Teeter-Totter Salary vs. Pension

I was recently approached in my district by a married couple who told me that they hold “very liberal” perspectives on political matters, with the exception of pensions. When it comes to that topic, they said, they are in line with Rush Limbaugh.

It is evident to me that whatever degree of pension reform is put on the ballot—and, yes, pension reform for current employees must go to the ballot since it would require a change to the city charter—will pass. This afternoon we are having a study session on a proposal from five out of the 11 unions that offered a concession on current employee pensions moving forward. Included in the proposal is retaining the pension system for future city employees, although at a lower rate. I signed on to a memo requesting that this discussion be conducted as a public meeting. For those keeping track, I believe all union negotiations should be public.

Whatever does go on the ballot will offer some measure of savings to seal the hole in the budget deficit. And it could possibly return diminished city services to residents over time. I say possibly because the existing unfunded pension liability could increase more than forecast due to risk and uncertainty. The unfunded pension liability does not vanish if the retirement board transfers assets into CalPERS, as the liability will always be allocated to the city of San Jose and inevitably with San Jose residents.

However, whatever savings can be achieved from pension reform will not net out as forecast. For example, we know that reducing the 3 percent compounding automatic escalators (COLA) will achieve “X” amount of savings. In my view it will be necessary to reallocate a portion of the savings to increase salaries.

The one-size-fits-all concept of compensation for job roles in government is antiquated. Not every job is equal and not every job has the same amount of qualified applicants. Moving past pension reform, I believe the city of San Jose should allocate more dollars towards higher salaries for certain positions. Compensation going forward needs to be based more on salary than a retirement benefit, because a retirement system can put shackles on the younger generation. 

Some city positions have thousands of applicants while others have single digits. Therefore, after pension reform is achieved, it is imperative that salaries are priced so the city can retain and recruit key positions. Ideally, increased salaries are based on performance and not just the position, but in no way should increased salaries be given to entire bargaining units that overlap different city departments.

What are those key positions? We may not know for certain until we get there, however, here are some that I think should be considered:

Police — The only enforcement of the Social Contract, enough said.

Police Dispatcher — 911 calls require a unique person to disseminate and relay accurate data to the field.

Other key positions might be a city planner with a unique skill set, a chemist for the water pollution control plant, an attorney with litigation experience, an award-winning auditor, an information technology person who can move organizations off of legacy systems and into the cloud, so residents can access information 24/7, etc ...

Regarding retention, it might require pulling back the 10 percent ongoing pay decrease, but only for certain positions where retention may become an issue. For example, I would consider rolling back half the 10 percent pay cut for police and use the other half to hire additional officers. Going forward, surplus dollar amounts above a baseline budget should go as a package to police and let the membership vote up or down whether the money should be allocated to salary increases or hiring officers.

Salaries allow for greater flexibility during revenue downturns, but ratcheting down a pension benefit is herculean and, as we have seen, can take years to consider. With a higher salary, the individual can choose to save or spend. It is his or her choice.

The city will still have to make structural changes so it can afford to allocate a portion of pension savings to salaries of key positions. We may achieve further savings through consolidation of departments and outsourcing non-key personnel while still delivering that same service to residents for less. It’s not realistic for anyone to think we can do everything after pension reform is done. However, the impending pension reform simply allows for the proper allocation of dollars to what is most important.


  1. Your an idiot… Maybe we should start to recall you? You talk about pay cuts and yet you did not take one, you talk about pension reform but you get full benefits after two terms, wheres your pension reform. Same old stuff blame Police and Fire for all the cities problems, good god it will be nice when you and reed and figone leave!

  2. Pier, unfortunately your token message of having a competitive salary for police officers is coming way too late. Many officers have already left, and many more are on their way to other departments which not only have better compensation, but more importantly a city administration and community that supports them. By the time anything is resolved in your city, it will be way past the point of a crisis as far as retention of officers. You are waking up too late to what the POA has been warning for the past several years as far as the impending exodus of officers. One needs look no farther than the explosion of violence in this city in just the past few weeks.

  3. Mr. Councilman Oliverio,  This year I’ve seen public service employees give up the paycuts asked for by the city.  Now I read that labor has come to the bargining table with a proposal for pension reform.  Let’s say this all works out the labor proposals are confirmed and the city saves the money needed.  So tell me if every year for the next 5 years after this say the city continues on it’s path of budget shortfalls are you going to go back to the employees both past and present and ask for more each year.  The city web site is loaded with tons of information under the labor relations page.  Untold hours by the ERO and other city employees have gone into providing the open goverment forum the Mayor wanted.  Can you show me any type of in depth marketing ideas, plans and potential revenue generating ideas that the city has been working on.  Where are the volumes of information about meetings and discussions with business and others on how to increase city revenue.  Two ideas I’ve seen are shop San Jose and a blip on attracting business to SJ.  where can the average citizen go to see how these ideas will generate additional revenue.  Really there has been very little effort in this area because people like you and the Mayor and Manager are focused on taking down city employees by blaming them as being the sole problem for the budget deficit.  Why is it the city is only working on permanent cuts as opposed to short term ones, like 5 year spans and then re-evaluate, and if needed add more.  Is this the best that you and your fellow supporting council members can do.  Really is this the only level of effort and innovative thinking that you can come up with is to keep blaming city employees.  In your posting you discuss the one size fits all jobs compensation is antiquated, well here is where I agree with you.  Using your own senario I figure that some of the work, effort, risking of life and responsibility that I’ve seen public service/city employees make and take would put their salary at about two million a year, while yours would be worth about 5 bucks.

  4. sane ole BS from PO on Mondays.  You did not mention you are also going after all retirees to attack their pensions, COLA’s and medical benefits.  Always half truths and lies from the city manager on down to you.  Some of these folks have been retired for 15+ years, on a crappy pension and now you want to attack them as well. 

    So much for full disclosure.  Lean back in your office chair and chuckle at our responses one week at a time.

    Keep plugging for your run at mayor!

  5. This guy is a Rubik’s Cube of Idiocy,…no matter which way he turns, or from what angle you see him, he shows you that he is moron and/or idiot. They will be happy when there are 900 police officers in SJ making $20/hr with only a 501K.

  6. Did anyone watch the council meeting today?  The mayor could care less about all the concessions from the unions.  He plans to stick it to them.  He kept cutting off his own council from asking detailed questions.  He looked so bored he might as well have taken a nap.  Better yet, just retire and go home!

    Another puppet show from most of our fine council members, especially the big 4 that voted down the audit.

    What a great city we “Used to Live In”  gee another officer involved shooting, 3 more off the streets for how long?  Guess the Chief / Deb will delay answers for another week or two until we no longer remember what the questions were because no one will care about the BS answers anyway.

    Go A’s.

  7. Really,

    “The city will still have to make structural changes so it can afford to allocate a portion of pension savings to salaries of key positions.”

    Do you mean city manager, mayor and council members.

    God you make me sick with all your meaningless manifestos.

    • Gina,

      I am sure some of the worst leaders in history heard the same genious from parrots like you. Nevermind us though, stay the course and good luck when you need emergency services. Nevermind the gangs and your homicide rate, stay the course.

    • Gina just out of curiosity, Who are you going to call in a medical emergency/fire or some intruder in your house?? Thats right you are going to call the bullies (Both Fire & P.D.) and then guess what? they will come asap,they will do their job to the best of their abilities,they will take care of you and yours,they will be professional.thats what they do EVEN for people who truely dont deserve it.You can talk all the smack you want……..but if/when things go wrong you will be calling and they will be coming.sleep tight knowing that they are a call away.PINHEAD

  8. Jeez Pierluigi. You could come out in favor of being kind to puupies and some of these spoiled city employees would still jump down your throat.

    You’re absolutely right. Phase out the pension part of the contract equation. Put the emphasis on salaries so we’re not financially hamstrung for decades each time a new contract is negotiated. Police first- absolutely.

    Keep telling the truth and keep up the good work!

  9. Every City department has cutback services and staff for the last 10 yrs.  But I do not recall City Council making any significant cuts to its own house, namely the 10 council districts.

    San Diego, 1.376M pop, 8 CDs, 172000 persons/CD
    Los Angeles, 4.094M, 15 CDs, 273000/CD
    San Jose, 1.0M, 10 CDs, 100000/CD

    With these averages, we could provide the same council service with between 4-6 districts.  Not enough, then maybe 7 CDs.

    And btw, non-sworn employees have suffered salary and benefit cuts since that disaster Gonzalez was in office, and what do we have to show for it?  Yet another forecast of $70M deficit for next year. And this has been the same story for the 10 years. 

    Do we think it will all end when the City reduces our retirement, which mind you is not gold-plated?  Not at chance!! We are so skeptical that we already believe that there will be yet another attack on our compensation during the next round of negotiations.  Every engineer, inspector, technician, good employees (that you don’t even consider) who provide services to this City’s residents, are looking for every opportunity to leave.  Some groups are already staffed so thin that one absence already disrupts the ability to provide basic service.

    • you make an execellent point about the bloat in the City Council make up. I looked at San Diego’s budget to see if we had bloat in spending too and guess what—SD city council and office of the mayor’s budgets total 17.6M while SJ with just two additional councilmembers totals 33M.  It is almost double! Anyone think the council should clean its own house first before it takes after others?

  10. The ReInventing Government, and running like an Enterprise jargon has been around for awhile.  There’s some room to borrow ideas and practices from the private sector, but at the end of the day, this is a public agency carrying out public business.

    So the nature of the business itself, the public goods and services is different than in a free market system where there are competitive elements at play.

    Certain values of service seem to motivate folks to public service in what was historically a lower paying, but honorable and public service oriented profession.  The trade off for lower wages was job security and a retirement.

    That formula seems to have broken down about a decade ago.  I wonder, however, as we engage in another round of reinventing government and going to a pay for performance and “the most important people will get raises” system, how this will work.

    I suspect there’s a labor market that SJ shares where they compete with other cities for the same pool of qualified applicants.  Due to high housing costs, most folks probably aren’t going to relocate here from very far away, so its local candidates competing between local agencies for local jobs.

    One tendency I’ve noted is the elitist mentality that we can recruit in some rising star who’ll do great things.  Sometimes there’s been good stuff, but a lot of times you just push up salaries for well dressed idiots to come in and throw their weight around.

    It seems to me that there’s attributes you look for in a good candidate like diligence, public service focus, ethics, etc and the jspecific skill set can be built up over time on the job.  Great city workers aren’t imported, they are grown over time from local workers who come into the organization and grow with it.

    That said, just be careful with these new models that you don’t forget the rank and file who support the city day in and day out and have given years to the city already as you look for high-flyers to reward over others who must accept stagnant wages and diminished retirement.

  11. They knew there was financial problems for the last 11 years, yet in 2007 or 2008, the council gave themselves a 20% salary increase. Mayor reed was right there and did nothing to vote it down.

  12. God you are pathetic!  Salary for key positions?  Were do you think it will go?  Dept, Heads, deputy managers etc.  I’m still waiting for my review that I actually wrote back in May per managements request what I accomplished in the last fiscal year.  Here we are 5 months later and still no review. 

    Being a City employee since the 90’s; I can see through the management B.S. in my department i.e. favoritsim for staff assignments, overtime for certain staff etc.  Oh we can’t pay overtime but how to certain employee’s get it.  Management following the rules for specific residents and sweeping it under the rug for others who did the sme thing because of the Council Office!  Oh the true things I could tell……and these are jus the things I know about.  I could only imagine the other things management is hiding from the dept. director, City Manager etc.  You should ask for another audit of the ???? dept.  It has only ben about 10 ears since the last one!

    • Totally agreed. 21 years watching things just get more politicized and less competent. In promotion where performance and experience are a liability. Those who identify problems and propose real solutions are a threat to those in charge, because it exposes what they are. Brown nosing employees with the marginal critical thinking capabilities.

  13. PO: I find it interesting that every post you do never ever does it lead to positive input! Do you realize that either you are an idiot or you are so out of touch with City Employees that you fail to do your job fairly? Let me ask you this: Has any of your posts gave you feedback that you did not think of? If yes, then why do you never change your views? It seems to me when you get an idea, you go all out on it even though comments have time and time again shown you the effects of your ideas are not good? I am still waiting for a Post from Pier that gives POSITIVE comments! When that happens maybe then you won’t be called an idiot! By the way how much time is left for you on the Council? Think about it!

  14. Ok guys, bicker away, and avoid the realities in your own self interest. At least Mr. Unionitis finally recognizes there must be a carrot to attract good candidates for key positions. My list of inconvenient truths:

    1. The formula for pension I came on board with 20+ years ago as a non-sworn professional is basically viable. 2.5% accrued pension. It’s all the enhancements, 3% retiree increases, year-end bonuses, 90% sworn pension etc that created the unfunded liability.
    2. Blame is not Council or Federated for out of control sworn ridiculous increases, it’s the fricking arbitrators stupid!
    3. With the exception of Mayor Hayes term, the incredible land use abuse lobbied by the housing developers knowing that in the guise of “Smart” growth SJ would be the worker bedroom repository that created the easily predicted fiscal imbalance.

    In my field, with 13 years private sector, the carrot has not been enough to bring competent private sector folks in my profession, to public service. Now, the long term effect on the lip service to desired City service will be to operate with the lowest on the food chain, has diminished to the point that San Jose will be a 3rd world City, with only incompetents or ones seeking farm team experience to move to greener pastures, like that County that actually contributes to SSI along with pension.

    Council made up of school teachers, cops, lawyers, etc. (with the exception of Hansen) have no background in corporate management. So they must rely on the City Manager office for guidance. A wonderful example of the competence of that office is the ludicrous “imputed income” concoction. Whereby employees entitled to vacation sell back are taxed as income for what they carry over to the next year. They get taxed at a high rate for income never received leaving a huge paycheck deduction at end of year. Only to recoup when filing their taxes. Then when taking the vacation the next year that has been taxed, they are paid tax free! No net benefit to the employee, the feds, or the City, all with the bogus claim that the Feds will sue for noncompliance with tax code, something no other business entity worries about, because the Feds get no net benefit from this book keeping nightmare. The City looses by having to allocate finance resources to this boondoggle. And why? So Debra can cynically pressure contract negations to just give up the sell back. Is this a City who has a clue? Credibility is down the drain.

  15. hi pier,
    obviously you cant get a real job and yes i agree you are an idiot and you landed as an executive at san jose city hall sucking up all the resources and not really offering any real ideas. If pensions were really the issues why did mayor chuck reed take 4 years to tackle the issue(his words from his original election) “fiscal/pension reform is job number one”.. what ideas have you brought forward that have been implemented? probably none…..please collect your salary/pension for another 14 months and leave… nobody wants to hear from you moron.


  17. Nearly a year ago, I was talking about this issue, and now, in October 2011, “I told you so” just doesn’t seem to quite cover it. Nonetheless, there it is: I told you so. 11 months ago, I asserted that attempting to implement draconian changes in wages and benefits was only going to damage the city in the long term. I asserted that a city – San Jose – which fails to compete in the marketplace of other municipal and county employers will quickly find itself facing an exodus of those employees who are the most in demand and who will be the hardest to replace – employees such as my peers in the police department and firefighters. I pointed out that it is only a very small percentage of applicants to those positions who ultimately are hired and fewer still who actually complete their respective academies and past training and their probationary period.

    11 months later, the police department has seen an exodus of officers who are retiring or moving on to other agencies, an exodus the likes of which we have not seen in this city at an point in the 33 years of my exposure to, or employment with, the Police Department (I am 2nd generation with SJPD).

    Not only have many officers retired – some earlier by several years than is the norm – but many other officers have left the department for other agencies. These agencies have paid better, offered superior benefits packages and who are ultimately typically taking home a better income and working in an environment which hasn’t been poisoned by its leadership, as has San Jose’s.

    It would be nice if San Jose’s leadership would be honest about its budget, its expenditures, its goals. It would be nice if the City Council would permit contract negotiations in public as the POA has requested repeatedly. It would be nice if, as PLO had once suggested, the City Manager, as she developed her annual budget, would first fully fund Charter departments and contract obligations and then fund the remaining departments as funds were available. After all, this is the municipal version of responsible household budgeting.  It would be nice if the City Manger would stop paying out of the general fund grants to organizations which have nothing to do with supporting San Jose’s Charter Services or Obligations. It would be nice if she would spearhead responsible and honest budgeting.

    And, more than anything else, it would be nice if everyone on the City Council would acknowledge this one basic truth: it is not employee benefits and pensions which are putting the city in deficits year after year after year. It is an irresponsible, intrusive, oppressive and toxic business environment which is at the root of the problem. And, Mayor Reed and several others on the council have are up to their ears in responsibility for the state of the city, for the burdensome tax and fee structure and the toxic business environment which has driven away score – if not hundreds – of businesses.

    • Mike:

      Is “P” your buddy lingo for Pierluigi? Cute,…I could think of a few myself.

      To say that “the people of San Jose” support “P” is a laugher that for many is not that funny. Many of the residents of this city bought the political soundbites of this regime and are now realizing the mess it is creating. This mayor’s bs would be a tough sell today at any voting booth for “The people of San Jose”, hence the delay in the special election. Reed the Terrible would lose today unlike his glory days of V and W. The people of this city are suffering dramatic increases in gang violence and a historic rise in homicides. Police are overwhelmed, understaffed, and without a true leader. I suspect the families whom have suffered firsthand from crime, and they are many, resent this mayor’s campaign to gut SJPD and those “people of San Jose” also count.

      • Hey Mike you are just as out of touch as your “buddy” P.I seriously wonder if either of you has ever had a real job or do you two sit around laughing at the working man/woman of San Jose. I guess life is peachy kean , when you live off of your parents………………..the both of you idiots need to grow up

  18. I am not a union member, and I am a resident of San Jose.  I think the City Council is a joke, and a bloated carcas sucking up city benefits while getting nothing done that actually helps this city out of the financial mess it is in.  They are great at the blame game though, but usually when you point the finger at someone, there are two or more pointed back at you.  I cannot wait to leave this city, and all its troubles behind.

  19. Summary of the article for me is that even liberals favor pension reform.

    Summary of the comments for me is that people should quit their job if unhappy instead of slacking and whining.

  20. Everyone knew the 90% pensions for police and fire were budget busters years ago.  I don’t blame the unions for wanting more but the city leaders should have put this to a ballot immediately before implementing any raise.  For the current management of the city to blame the other unions for the deficit isn’t very fair. If they were reasonable they would roll back all changes passed after the 1980’s.  The pensions were fiscally sound back then.

    • The police and fire pensions were fully funded up until the 2008 crash.

      When police wanted raises, the city offered retirement. Yes, we took it and did not complain.

      The city is on the hook, and it will pay.

      • You guys were greedy and broke the pension system.  I stand by my earlier observation.  Now the young cops are going to pay for your greed. Pushing that 90% deal was nuts.  Especially in a department that is so overstaffed with supervisor positions. I’m amazed the counsel hasn’t figured out that all these fast supervisor salaries have something to do with the excessive police pension payouts.

  21. Last Thursday in Sacramento, the state treasurer stated that that the vested rights issue will be upheld in court of law.
    The ballot measure that the city of San Jose will put up to voters is 100% illegal and will cost the city millions and in the end billions of dollars. That is 100% fact!

    When they asked the city of San Jose representative if the ballot measure was illegal, his response was, “I’m not a lawyer.” Even he knows.

    PLO your scare tactics would not even scare my seven year old.

    My advise to you PLO, is to negotiate, or those same “very liberals” folks will vote you out of office.

    • The real crime is that not enough San Jose Residents even attempt to be informed. Either they read the Mercury news( they’d be better off reading a comic book). Blindly follow what the Dishonorable Mayor states as truth ( he is incapable of acknowledging anything but his own view) or listen to his Lame rant on KLIV. It is true that there needs to be Pension reform,But it is NOT true that Employee Salaries & Pensions created the mess that we are in.That Honor belongs to Chuck Reed , whos been on Council for at least 13 years, the Overpaid Debra Figone and the rest of the puppets who make up City Council.This City has been destroyed by the Politicians and the residents of San Jose have aided/allowed this to occure.Please Educate yourselves do some research.It wont take much for people to realize that the course we are on is ILLEGAL and could cost the citizens of San Jose millions . DO YOUR HOMEWORK,PLEASE!

  22. Posted by POA

    It should come as no surprise to anyone that we received a rejection to our pension proposal in the form of a counter offer from the City today.  We were told that our offer was rejected because it did not provide a sufficient reduction in the cost of benefits. They also said that the CalPERS route would take too long to implement.

    They have made it very clear that they are intent on having a special election in March of 2012.

    Thank you PO and the rest of you.  All city employees can say they would work for free and you would still reject it

      • Naturally, the City negotiators have chosen to be deceptive in how they steal our benefit.  It’s written as a “suspension” of the COLA until 2017.  However, the measure then goes on to read that following 2017, a list of specific criteria must be met prior to restoring the COLA.  The criteria must be met for three years.  Thus, the COLA is eliminated until at least 2019.

        It gets better.  The City Council, after 2019, could decide to restore “part” of the COLA.  They wouldn’t have to fully restore it to 3%.  Additionally, they would not make up on the money they’ve cheated you.  The restoration would only apply to the future.  Also, they could choose not to restore it.  It would be their choice.


    • Absolutely agree.Everything that the mayor wanted was in the draft…………….makes no difference, he’s out to break the unions. The reason they dont want the CALPERS option is because this piece of S*** City has always been after the Pension fund , and if it was with CaLPERS the city would not ever be able to get at it. evreything that the City is trying to do is ILLEGAL and is going to cost the citizens of San Jose MILLIONS of dollars . The State has already stated that these benefits can not be changed by a special election , It is something that needs to be agreed upon by both city and Unions. The thing that bothers me most is that not enough people are holding the Dishonorable Mayor and Council accountable for breaking the Law .Pathetic!! Like the Legendary Bob Marley Said “Get Up , Stand Up For Your Rights”!

  23. I haven’t read Oliverio’s blog in some time. The comments are getting extremely hostile and personal. This is why I won’t go to a city hall meeting and express my opinion because I’m afraid that one of these individuals might follow me to my car. But I suppose this is what happens when the bank is broke, i.e. the taxpayer, and the perks have to go, for everyone.

    I’ll wait for the attacks…

    • Mr. Taxpayer,  People are just frustrated, do not think that everyone comments this way.  But I have a question for you, have you seen any proposals with detailed information that the city, city managers office or the mayors office has provided on creative ways to generate more revenue for the city without tax increases.  Do they have precentages that show if sales in the city went up 5% what would that mean to the line item in the revenue under the managers budget doc.  Why is it that there is no innovative discussion on revenue generation.  They are hanging their hat solely on the back of public employees.  I have yet to see figures or a comparison with employee consessions and growth of sales tax revenue (only one example) that would be a compromise to solve the cities budget situation and continue to hire the finest quality individuals.  We have just learned today that the city rejected labors proposals for pension reform that was projected to save the city roughly 467 million through 2016.  The city provided no rebuttal to the comparison just a flat out rejection.  Labor has been bargining in good faith to save the city the money it says it needs to keep service levels current.  The city has only been one dimensional in their approach to the self proclaimed fiscal emergency cause.  You may see the written comments here as attacks from people who are frustrated by others not seeing the whole truth.  The only attacks that are occuring are the ones by the Mayor and Managers office against hard working city employees.  Why is it that the City of Long Beach and now the City of Belmont are able to come to agreement with labor to make the changes needed.  Their proposals and now agreements are just like the ones that labor in the City of SJ have proposed only in greater numbers.  There is a clear and unspoken agenda about bringing down labor.  you may have a preception of what city employees do, maybe yours is correct and maybe it is not, I can tell you it isn’t police officers sitting in donut shops or firefighters playing cards around the table waiting for the next fire, nor is it a public works employees paving their own driveway.  If you really knew the level of training and the amount of responsiblity placed on these individuals shoulders you would think differently about the people who work for the city.  I worked in my profession for over 32 years, I did what I was asked to do and then some, because I really cared.  So when you see comments that seem they are attacks, please have some understanding that the frustration level is high because the so called city leaders are putting the blame soley on their own employees, just doesn’t seem right to me.

    • City rejects P.D./F.D. offer for Pension reform , even though it gave the City everything they asked for!!!!GEE THERES A SHOCKER!!If the City gets its way, Both P.D. & F.D. Employees Take home salary will be aproximately $30,000 a year( because they will have to prefund pension fund) How does Mr. Burns(chuck reed) expect city employees to live on that? the exodus of employees and residents will only increase.This city has become a joke, ran into the ground by the mayor and his cohorts.Im out …..cant stand this city anymore

  24. You shouldn’t even go out in your front yard!  Another officer involved shooting this morning.  What does that make 7? in the last couple of weeks.  We don’t and wouldn’t bother with a person such as you.  We are too busy protecting you with our own lives. I understand your comment was ment as a self gratification vs. reality but hey we would still do everything in our power not to have you and your family hurt in San Jose.  Please take that to the bank with the small amount you pay for public safety services. (do you actually know how much you contribute for the public safety service?) By law we have to put victim first our lives second.  Does your job require the same?  Sorry for the grammar been up since 2am.

  25. If your into saving money why did you vote to give $$$$ 3.2 million in SEVERANCE PACKAGES TO Redevelopement EMPLOYEES… 26 Weeks of FULL PAY!! ON MARCH 2011.. While you FEED people these lies.. Who are you REED and the Especially Debra Figgone to Give out TAX Dollars as SEVerance packages ..? YOuR A JOKE !!! Oh yeah Didnt you VOTE to Give the City Manager $27,000 into her Deferred compensation plan recently…to make up for her 10% pay cut !!!WOWWWW

  26. It’s problematic when the Unions own most of City Hall.  There should be full disclosure as to how much the unions own each politician.  And politicians who take union money should be exempted from negotiating with unions or they should be removed from office for ethics violations.  This is a clear conflict of interest and unfortunately this has been business as usual at City Hall for years.  I say the city should terminate the pensions of all public officials who took money from unions then negotiated sweetheart deals with them afterwards.  Take all their assets and throw them in jail just like the Occupy movement wants to do with fat cat Wall St. bankers.  The next step is to cap all public employee pensions at $100k/year.  Or just tax anything above and beyone that amount at 100%, it accomplishes the same thing.

    • We can see how much the unions own City Hall given all these lucrative contracts the last couple of years, the warm and fuzzy hugs they are getting from the city council and the public support from city councilpersons in the Murky News.  Put your jealousy aside and give everyone a break….

  27. you 2 knuckelheads must read “the Merc” if you honestly believe that the unions created this mess.the problem with your idea of dealing with the pensions is , WHAT YOU WANT TO DO IS ILLEGAL! yes there needs to be reform , but not by destroying the lives of city employees . These employees that everyone is demonizing are the reason that this USED to be a good place to live . the coalition of unions offered the city Reform that would have saved $500million dollars in 5 years, and it gave the city everything that it was asking.Obviously the city turned down the offer because they had not studied the offer enough.This city only has one agenda , the ballot initiative (illegal) that will cost san jose residents into the millions and will be in the courts for years. hows that for leadership. you re absolutely correct , this Mayor,City manager and Council are corrupt as they come

  28. Do you guys understand that city employee pensions are what they are because the City of San Jose Offered more into the pensions and no raises. you want to hate the unions for accepting the Citys offer.Please try to educate yourselves

  29. Keep hacking at our pay. Most officers have a 4 year degree and are looking elsewhere, even in the private sector. What is it that San Jose thinks they have is so special? And for those liberals who say that police make too much…. Go ahead and level our salaries with the private sector.. When that happens, what is the incentive to jump in front of a bullet for you…

    Keep it up.. I’m interviewing and if the pay is even remotely close, I’m gone! C-ya!

  30. I would like to see a recall campaign. The mayor and his blind followers on the council like Pierluigi are abusing the public trust plain and simple. Swapping public safety for a baseball park, taking the taxpayers into a legal quagmire, cooking the books while rewarding their cronies and themselves.  I actually think the union issue has reached vendetta proportions for Chuck. Pier has just hit the wall on the critical thinking skills required for this job. Both are inexcusable.

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