Reed: City Union Bosses ‘Lying, Cheating and Lawbreaking’

Mayor Chuck Reed came out swinging this afternoon, calling for an end to the “lying, cheating and lawbreaking” by public employee unions who oppose Measures V and W.

At a press conference held this afternoon at the Chamber of Commerce headquarters in downtown San Jose, Reed denounced the police and firefighters unions’ controversial campaign to dissuade citizens from voting yes on the measures. Reed is an ardent proponent of the initiatives that would limit the power of outside arbitrators and create a two-tiered pension system to help control skyrocketing costs.

In a statement this afternoon, Reed accused the unions of fear-mongering and spreading disinformation, saying he is “alarmed” that people are scared the police and fire won’t respond to their calls if they support V and W. He also addressed last weekend’s shenanigans involving San Jose councilman Pierluigi Oliverio and fire-union political consultant Tom Saggau, in which Saggau tried to place Oliverio under “citizens arrest” for removing No on V campaign signs from road medians. Reed called the incident “an effort to further intimidate the public and add to the public’s fear.”

The mayor’s full press statement is below:

I stand here to denounce the lying, cheating and law breaking actions of the union bosses and political consultants for the fire and police unions that are being carried out against Measures V and W. I am here to assure the people of San Jose that these disreputable and illegal actions do not represent the values of our community or our police and fire departments.

I am alarmed that many people are afraid firefighters will not put out a fire at their house if they publicly support Measures V and W. I am appalled that the police union sent out a piece of mail to make voters think that if Measure V is approved, murderers will not be arrested.

Unfortunately, the campaign against Measures V and W consists mostly of misinformation, disinformation and lies and is making people in San Jose fearful and distrustful of police officers and firefighters. Their political consultant’s attempt to falsely arrest a Councilmember for removing illegal signs is an effort to further intimidate the public and add to the public’s fear.

Their actions against Measures V and W do not reflect the values of the men and women in our police and fire department. San Jose’s police officers and firefighters are sworn to protect and defend the people of this city and they do so, with honor. We expect the men and women of our police and fire departments to meet extraordinarily high standards of ethics and behavior.

San Jose’s police officers and firefighters put their lives on the line and keep our city safe. They deserve better from their union leaders. They deserve to be represented by people who tell the truth and follow the law.

Political consultants know that when it comes to ballot measures, the more you confuse voters, the more likely they are to vote no. It is obvious that political consultants for the police and fire unions have convinced the union bosses to run a campaign of deceit and confusion to try to fool the voters.

Unfortunately, the union bosses and political consultants working to defeat Measures V and W have tarnished the reputation of our police officers and firefighters through their lying, cheating and law breaking.

For example:

1.California law prohibits engaging in campaign activities in uniform or while on duty. Yet, union bosses have appeared at official police department briefings in uniform, on duty, and on city property to recruit police officers to work on the campaign against V and W. Using official briefings for this purpose is unethical and illegal, and I have asked for an investigation.

2.The San Jose Municipal code prohibits placing election signs on public property. Over the weekend, I counted several dozen No on V signs. 90 percent of them were obviously posted illegally on public property. That’s cheating. And the City’s sign code allows volunteers to remove them on behalf of the city.

3.On Sunday October 10, the fire union bosses held a press conference and told the media that the first-due engine company could not respond to a fire because fire engine 34 had been taken out of service due to budget cuts.

The Fire Chief reviewed the incident and concluded that “The first-due assigned company to the reported location was Engine 5, and they responded from their fire station and arrived at the scene within eight minutes of the call being received at our Communications Center.” (Memo to City Council, Oct. 14, 2010)

4.The union bosses and political consultants have sent flyers to the people of San Jose that are full of misinformation to hide the truth. They are trying to convince you that their skyrocketing salaries and benefits have no connection to reductions in force in the police department and fire department. They are blaming everyone but themselves for the fact that we have less police officers and less firefighters than we had last year.

This concerted effort to scare and mislead the people of San Jose must stop. Over the last ten years, the union bosses demanded big pay raises and big increases in benefits, and they got them from outside arbitrators or from city councils threatened with outside arbitration.

Now they should have the courage to stand up and admit that the costs for pay and benefits are out of control. They should be straight with the taxpayers and admit that skyrocketing retirement benefits forced a reduction in the numbers of police officers and firefighters, even though we are budgeting the same amount of money for public safety this year as we did last year.

The union bosses and political consultants don’t want you to know the truth. That’s why as the Mercury News said: “The police and fire campaign twist facts and uses half-truths.” (Editorial 10-22-10).

They don’t want you to know that they have benefited enormously from huge pay and benefit increases driven by awards from outside arbitrators.

They don’t want you to know that the average cost to San Jose taxpayers for police officers and firefighters is over $180,000 per year. That’s a 100% increase over what it was ten years ago, even though revenues have only gone up by 20%.

They don’t want you to know that they can retire at age 50 and draw pensions of over $100,000 and that amount will increase every year.

They don’t want you to know they receive taxpayer funded medical care for life.

They don’t want you to know that they can cash in unlimited amounts of sick leave for hundreds of thousands of dollars as a retirement bonus.

They don’t want you to know that the average cost for each firefighter and police officer went up by over $20,000 this year. Even though we budgeted the same amount of money for public safety this year as last year, we had to pay $30 million more for pay and benefit increases. That’s the reason we have fewer police officers and firefighters. That’s the reason response times have gotten longer.

Yet, the union bosses and political consultants are trying to trick the people into believing the opposite by repeating big lies over and over again. It’s time for the lies and misinformation to stop.

The people of San Jose deserve better and they deserve the truth: Measures V & W are critical to reforming pensions, controlling costs and protecting services for the people of San Jose.

The City Auditor analyzed the financial statements of the two city retirement plans and concluded that “Pension benefit payments to retirees and beneficiaries have grown seven fold over the past twenty years.”

That’s the truth the union bosses and the political consultants do not want you to know. Please vote Yes on Measures V and W.

“The police and fire campaign twist facts and uses half-truths.” (Mercury News Editorial 10-22-10).

Measue V will help control costs and protect services. “Police and fire unions argue that they will result in deeper cuts to public safety. The opposite is true.”  (Mercury News Editorial September 25, 2010)

“As salaries have risen, the city has had to cut back services.” (Metro Silicon Valley October 6-12, 2010)

The 2009-2010 Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury concluded that “Cities Must Rein In Unsustainable Employee Costs,” and that the arbitration process in San Jose “has resulted in wage and benefit decisions that have been greater than the growth in basic revenues sources.”  http://www.sccsuperiorcourt.org/jury/GJreports/2010

The San Jose City Auditor in a report on Pension Sustainability ( Report 10-10, September 2010) observed that “Rising pension costs threaten the city’s ability to maintain service levels. Recent budget deficits required cuts to service and layoffs . . . future deficits . . . will require similar considerations.”

In that report, the City Auditor collected data from financial statements of the two city retirement plans and concluded that “Pension benefit payments to retirees and beneficiaries have grown seven fold over the past twenty years.”

 

100 Comments

  1. Does the Mayor have any proof for anything he is accusing our fine men and women in uniform of doing?  Any video of No on Measure V supporters stealing property?  Thought not!

    This Mayor has lost all moral authority by choosing to back two thieves (Councilmember Oliverio) and another Larry Pellman/Pegram.

    Oliverio stole property from private property and ran like a big wooose and Pellman/Pegram stole money, defrauded families and can’t sign his name to save his life.

    Reed says no lying, no cheating, and no stealing…so I guess that means unless you are his friend—-

  2. Mr. Reed,
    It would be easier to take you more seriously if you didn’t turn a blind eye to Pete Constant. He is scamming the system, collecting lifetime disablity for an injury that he has obviously recovered from. Where is your moral outrage over this? You, Pier, and Constant are disgraceful. Where is your condemnation over Pier breaking the law and the crying to the Chief?

      • The video seems like it is benign at first when you watch it, but the fact is the Councilman is Disabled and as retired as so. 

        Now watch the video again and decide… 

        I guess he’s all better now. 

        Doesn’t look too Disabled…

        Seems okay to me. 

        Looks like we have some other stuff to look into with this.

        Pete Constant sits on the Retirement Board and Judges if someone who is “REALLY” Disabled can retire or not.  And he usually votes against the Disabled worker. 

        That’s a Conflict of Interest.

        I agree with Food for Thought, good post!

        • Whether it be wrestling or marlin fishing in Mexico (for which he had to miss an important vote) Pete is a scammer and as such needs to be investigated.  He is a hypocrite of the worst kind!

  3. Suggestion for a state wide proposition to end public employee unions in California.

    Why do we need public employee unions in the first place?  they are the #1 reasons some many city, county and the state goverment have enormous debt.  this is especially true since a certain governor decades ago signed into law the Dills Act allowing for collective bargining.

    This is not the 18th or 19th century where cruel monopolistic capitalists treated workers very badly with low pay, horrid hours and crappy working conditions.

    Mr/Ms Public Employee today are in a much better situation today.  In fact were it not for the public unions the public employee could well have better pay, working conditions and benefits.  Consider this Mr/Ms Public Employee.
    In todays interconnected society and workplace your job and its benefits could be available online along with your performance – and that would be a standard by which any honest employee would like to be judged by.
    If I have a good cop/fireman or teacher working for me, its in my interest to see that you are well treated.  Peer revue will tell a lot as well.

    But in the last 30+ years with public employee unions getting ever stronger and our clumsy beaurcratic public mangagment style trying to effectively negotiate every last dimes worth of the public’s blood – it is easy to see how advisarial working with the 4th branch of government has become.  There is enormous expense in maintaining this dualing josting match. 
    So Mr/Ms Public Employee, think about it as should the rest of us and like other bad habits maybe its time to quit.  After all Mr/Ms PE, you are working for your community, your working for your neighbors – – – you are working for yourself.

    Man up – – ditch the unions – come out, talk and work directly for the real people to whom your committed to serving – – the public!

    • > Suggestion for a state wide proposition to end public employee unions in California.

      > Why do we need public employee unions in the first place?

      > So Mr/Ms Public Employee, think about it as should the rest of us and like other bad habits maybe its time to quit.  After all Mr/Ms PE, you are working for your community, your working for your neighbors – – – you are working for yourself.

      Nice try, Mr. Biquitous.  But you basically asking vampires to stop sucking blood and become vegetarians.

  4. “Their actions against Measures V and W do not reflect the values of the men and women in our police and fire department.”  Mayor Reed

    A year ago, I would have agreed with that statement.  Now I am not so sure.

  5. I do not need Mayor Reed, Councilmember Constant or Oliverio or even the grand jury reports to tell me that the pension’s growth has outpaced the revenue stream in San Jose.

    I voted weeks ago (via absentee ballot)for Measure V & W.  Long before the Mayor’s press conference and long before the firefighters started showing up at my door trying to scare my husband, daughter and I into thinking the city will crumble if we attempt to reign in salaries.

    Shame on everyone for this debacle at taxpayer’s expense.  What part of “we can’t afford it” do all parties not understand?

    • @MAYORAL OPINION

      SO you believe the Mayor over the police and firemen. Other cities have twice the man power and they do it. 

      Mayor gone if few years the police and firemen still here protecting me.  I choose to believe them.

      Even though you taking away an arbitration process to see who is telling the truth.

      • When I was a kid and did something that I didn’t think I should get in trouble for, I’d fall back on “but he did it first!”  indicating my brother had also done the thing that I was doing.  Whether or not other cities overtax their citizens is of little concern to me.  I live in this city. 

        San Jose cannot continue funding a salary base and pension fund that outgrows revenue by a rate of nearly 5x.  It is not fiscally responsible for our council and Mayor to perpetuate this at the expense of taxpayers.

        I am not sure what truth you are referring to when you talk about taking away arbitration.  Measure V puts restrictions on binding arbitrations.  It allows for a neutral (retired judge) arbitrator and factors in that increases cannot outpace growth.  Thats just good business.  Regardless of who is mayor or council or in the ranks of the city workers.  Its good business for San Jose to spend the money that we have and not borrow on tomorrow’s dollar.

        • Mayoral opinion,

          “…a salary base and pension fund that outgrows revenue by a rate of nearly 5x.”

          Are you really so trusting of politicians to take such a claim at face value? Do you think these obligations were so out of proportion four years ago, fourteen years ago, or forty years ago? Let me assure you, they weren’t. That figure is a snapshot, taken at just the right angle, in just the right light, and cropped from a much bigger picture; a bigger picture that, were you allowed to see it, would make you realize you’ve been bamboozled.

          City revenues are down, not surprising in any economic climate given the asinine manner in which this city has been managed, but obviously also in part because of the challenges of the current economy. What are not down are the City’s obligations to pay those who protect it, obligations that arose out of many decades of labor contracts, obligations (we now discover) for which the City did not always responsibly prepare.

          The 5x factor the mayor likes to throw around is, if even momentarily accurate, due to the City’s failure to prepare to meet its obligations. There is not a single dollar being paid to a cop or firefighter (active or retired) that was not anticipated, predicted by an actuarial report, or previously agreed to during negotiations with the city administration. The only thing that has changed is that the City has been called on an obligation, similar in nature to a balloon payment, that it had long hoped would never materialize. And for however long it takes for market gains to replenish the investment (not contribution) related shortage, the growth/expenditure ratio will remain out of kilter.

          Measures W and V will not change this, but then again, they weren’t intended to.

        • I haven’t disputed that the city entered into the agreements that pay the outrageous pensions and salaries to city workers.  Current economic woes do not mitigate those obligations.  You and I are not in disagreement on that. 

          Measure W will assure that the city bring into alignment any future financial obligations to be in line with our actual and projected revenue streams. 

          I am not so bamboozled that I believe that the onus of responsibility for this mess the city is in rests on Chuck Reed’s shoulders.  There have been some very union friendly Mayor’s and Council majorities that have pushed the city to its breaking point by over spending and being overly generous with money they do not have and will not have in the bank.

          The reality is that the “balloon payment” as you refer to it is squarely in front of the voters and city residents.  However long the market takes to correct itself it is irresponsible to sit on this balloon with no move to reduce that impact in the coming years.  Whatever the circumstances of the agreements, the consequences must be grappled with now.  Measure V & W will not correct all the cities financial problems.  Salaries and benefits outpacing growth is but one fraction of the problem.  It is, however, the piece we can deal with as voters now.

          Believe me, when and if someone puts before the voters the option to stop funding the Hayes Mansion and Mexican Heritage Plaza I would support those too.  We are doing what families and households all across the city are doing, we are prioritizing our needs and and our wants and we are making difficult decisions that will leave some members of our “family” unhappy.

        • “Measure W will assure that the city bring into alignment any future financial obligations to be in line with our actual and projected revenue streams.”

          If that were true, and I understand why so many voters assume it is, I would not be arguing against it. But Measure W’s “actuarial” promise, the heralded reform clause, has always existed in the police-fire pension plan. What doesn’t exist, and is not offered in W, is the one much needed clause (one that no city-backed reform will ever include), a fund-as-you-go obligation on the City. If Measure W (or V) were actual reforms, such a clause would be listed front and center, and I’d vote for it.

          I’ve repeatedly challenged Mr. Oliverio, the author’s measure, to address this critical shortcoming, but he’s apparently chosen a more hands on approach to waging his campaign.

  6. This is obviously out of the Political Playbook 101 aka Stategies of War, Part V Unconventional (Dirty) Warfare:

    Rule 23: Weave a seamless blend of fact and fiction: Misperception. (No surprise, bread and butter for politicians like the professionals pushing passage of V & W)

    And today’s press conference:

    Rule 24: Take the line of least expectation, i.e. Attack with allies (Reed) when all would expect you to retreat. And in light of Oliverio’s criminal mischief retreat might be expected, but most despicable,

    Rule 33: Sow uncertainty and panic (in voters)through acts of that create terror.

        To accuse police officers and firefighters of anything less than an urgent professional response to citizen’s calls is APPAULING and REPREHENSIBLE and tantamount to political terrorism. In doing so Reed seeks to provoke citizens into voting for V and W by creating irrational fears. Absent iron clad proof, to levy such a charge, or to fuel such a Pro V/W political tactic, is HEINOUS and political gorrilla warfare. Sadly, an effective use of rules 24 and 33. 

        I have never had less respect for this den of vipers starring Reed, Oliverio, and Constant than I do today. I’ve had people rebuff me by telling me, “They are politicians, what do you expect?” While this may be true I never expected Reed to stoop this low. Once again, I am reminded how fortunate I am to work in a profession where I can (and often do) make a positive difference is someone’s life as a police officer. Today I am also glad I am not a politician of their variety. Today, Reed, Oliverio, and Constant succeeded in gaining the moral low ground. Congratulations Pro V/W team. Today is a new low for you.

    • “To accuse police officers and firefighters of anything less than an urgent professional response to citizen’s calls is APPAULING and REPREHENSIBLE and tantamount to political terrorism.”

      I agree 100%.  The only thing is, Mayor Reed didn’t do that.  I have had several firefighters come to my door in past weeks telling me how unsafe I would be and how firefighters and police wouldnt be able to respond to my emergencies if W & V passed.  From where I stand, it is the firefighters who showed up (in the uniform pants and shirts that I see them wearing in the grocery stores shopping when they are onduty so it is their uniform) at my door making the political threat. 

      Had I not had the firefighters show up at my door in such a threatening manner I probably would have voted no on both V & W because I happen to support unions, but now I will be voting for V and against W.  Why?  Because it was the firefighters who were the lone holdout for the reductions ask of all the city unions.  I am rewarding the other unions by voting against W and two tiered system and hope the firefighters get the message loud and clear from the voters that our “house” is on fire and we need their assistance. If they don’t “respond” then we have no choice but to put the fire out ourselves. Taxpayers can turn their own hoses on by voting for Measure V.

      • Police and Fire are “limited” or “hamstrung” in our ability to respond by staffing levels. That is a cold hard fact. It is NOT A THREAT and not intended as such. Measures V & W will adversely effect staffing. There is no propoganda in the message being delivered by officers and firefighters walking precincts. It is ugly to hear but I would rather hear a cancer diagnosis than sunshine. Information is power. 

            Mayor Reed makes a distinction. His point, and there is a nasty difference, is the implication, that we would slow our response and do so willingly,…of our own volition! That, my friend, is what drew my ire, and that is what I categorize as political terrorism! The thought of it makes me nearly sick and speechless. Police and Fire Departments have measured response times for decades and it is a point of pride. As I said above,

        “To accuse police officers and firefighters of anything less than an urgent professional response to citizen’s calls is APPAULING and REPREHENSIBLE and tantamount to political terrorism.”

            There is not a single officer or firefighter I would not chastise, in harsh language, for doing anything short of their damn best to get to calls for help as quickly and safely as possible. And I cannot think of anyone wearing a badge who does not feel the same way. Anything less than that is disgusting and is not tolerated. We take our commitments to you, the citizens we serve, to heart.

            Whether you realize it or not, our ability to deliver service has been weakened for years by some politicians in City Hall. When I arrived here we had just over 1400 officers. That number has been reduced by approx 200. Has that stopped annexations, population growth, crime, etc,…? Of course not. Those officers are gone and the shell game continues. We have become reactive, not proactive. Why do you think we speak of VCET (Violent Crimes Enforcement Team) in the past tense. A SWAT team that has been cut in half. I am embarrassed to tell you specific numbers re our SWAT team and cannot for operational safety. Financial Crimes Detective teams that will not investigate your fraud unless you have suffered a min loss of at least $5,000.00 (unless you are a VIP/Council/friend thereof/etc). These examples are just a sampling. The fact is we are hungry. As officers and firefighters we are hungry to make our neighbhorhoods safe. Every time I slide my sidearm into my holster I know I may use it to say a life. Sadly, not a week goes by where I can not take proactive enforcement because I do not have a cover officer available. The cause, deficient staffing levels. I happen to work in one of the busier districts in the city and do so proudly. It is truly a shame, I never thought I would see the day in my career where politicians are more concerned with the bottom line than public safety. I suppose I am showing my idealism but it’s true. Stopping SJPD and SJFD from accomplishing stated goals in this day and age are not hard core felons and arsonists. Truly they exist and are a challenge. It is City Hall, specifically politicians like Reed, Oliverio, and Constant. Worst of all, crime has no effect upon them. It does not touch them. When they feel threatened they request VIP service. Threats? They receive a personal (handheld) SJPD Varda alarm in their home, which like a laser, communicates driectly with SJPD Communications. Just ask City Manager Figone about these. VIP politicians don’t advertise their perks. They do not wait like you or I if our homes are burglarized. You and I do not have personal bodyguards. These decisions seem surgical for them, clinical. And sadly, I think many citizens will underestimate the negative impact these measures will have here. I for one will be appliying elsewhere the minute these pass. Like a winter migration, officers will flee here for better, more supportive climates and those cities will enjoy the talent. Godspeed to you fellow SJ citizen.

        • Officer X:  Your frustration is certainly clear. It is not completely unwarranted.  Unfortunately there are those in your ranks (and firefighter ranks) that are choosing to use inflammatory language to scare and intimidate voters into thinking that the passage of V & W will have a direct and immediate affect of making the city less safe and property more vulnerable to fires.  I have been ashamed for the firefighters who have taken time recently after critical fires in the city to make political statements about cuts and response times to the media when being interviews about the fires.  In one instance firefighters called an actual press conference to decry that the responding fire engine was not available due to budget cuts made that eliminated the fire engine.  It was very dramatic and very memorable.  Only it was inaccurate.  Later the information was corrected in a much less flashy way to accurately state that the response time was under 8 minutes and the first responding engine would not have been one that was eliminated.  If thats not using a terrorist scare tactic I don’t know what is. 

          There are many, many firefighters and police officers who do honorable work each and everyday.  I believe that and don’t say it as a platitude yet the police in San Jose are under a microscope for abuses of taser use, for racial profiling downtown and a host of other in-the-headline accounts.  If they are true, they are most likely a very small minority of the 1000+ officers on duty.  But they cast a very long shadow. Coupled with what appears to be unreasonable and bullying of voters to fall in line against these measure it does the ranks no favors. 

          This past weekend we saw the bizarre antics of Councilmember Oliverio and the campaign signs.  I know the fire union released the video showing their “citizen’s arrest” of Mr Oliverio as a way to have a “gotcha!” moment in the media.  The tv was on in my home and I had several family members over for dinner when it played and my nephew watched it and commented “man those firefighters look like thugs standing there like that”  Their big “gotcha!” moment looked worse for them.  Mr Oliverio may or may not have violated some city code (I am sure the attorney’s will figure that out) but he surely acted irrationally and made himself look silly.  But so did the firefighters that jumped at the call and came zooming to look like a gang as they all made a “citizen’s arrest”  It was like watching those homemade youtube videos high schoolers post of their friends beating up some poor kid at school.  What they think will make them look cool is revealing for all the wrong reasons. 

          I hope we don’t lose our police officers to other cities.  It will be a reality that we face if and when Measure V & W pass.  Godspeed to you Officer X.

  7. It is interesting that you would bash safety employees for “campaigning” against your outrageous measures, but when Councilmember Pete Constant was running reelection, nobody had any qualms about discussing these matters while in police briefing sessions. Let’s get real, Mayor Reed. The sign that PLO was caught removing was on PRIVATE property; therefore, PLO should face legal consequences for committing such a crime. Let’s not make sign removing from private property the norm because you may not like the message that it conveys.

  8. Mayor Reed:

    Congratulations, you just looked into a mirror. That was long overdue.

    If both these measures pass, God help us. Public safety personnel will flee this city in an unprecedented manner and other cities will feast on the talent. The trio of Reed, Oliverio, and Constant will have a lasting legacy that will cripple police and fire fighting for years to come.

  9. Isn’t Mayor Chuck Greed breaking the law?
    I thought it was illegal to engage in campagin activities while on duty. He says so himself in item #1:

    “For example:
    1. California law prohibits engaging in campaign activities in uniform or while on duty”

    Isn’t he “on duty” and isn’t he a paid city employee on city time and city property?

    Oh I see, it’s Ok for him to go around and support “Yes on V & W” while working but if any other city worker is caught doing this, there are severe consequences.
    Tell me who is really being fair and law breaking?

  10. Chuck –

    Didn’t your mom ever teach you that you are greatly defined by the company that you keep? Larry Pegram (homophobe/liar), Pierluigi Oliverio (thief/liar), Pete Constant (“disabled” photography business owner, sumo wrestler, big game fisherman/liar). Really Chuck, Really??????

  11. I would like to know why sjinside/Council member Pierre Oliverio deleted comments which were posted on 10/24/10? Do you have something to hide?
    I do not appreciate being censored. I would like the exercise my freedom of speech please!
    Please post the article below and yesterdays article as well.

    All City of San Jose elected officials, Mayor and Council members who upon there 5 year in office are provided with a STATE OF CALIFORNIA pension, CAL PERS. The City of San Jose provides funds which are paid by the TAX PAYERS.

    I don’t recall Mayor Reed, Council Member Oliverio or Constant offering this information up. Doesn’t this sound strange? There are all screaming unsustainable pensions but all stand a chance to collect a State pension. Well, what am I saying. Chuck Reed will collect a State pension since he has been in office for over 5 years.

    Councilmember Constant is collecting a partial tax exempt pension from the City of San Jose, yet is now collecting a salary from the CSJ. And if he serves a second term will eventually collect approximatley 20 percent of his current highest year salary as a councilmember. Nice job triple dipping Pete!

  12. Mayor Reed stated at a town hall meeting at the Villages recently that the city budget is 3 BILLION dollars.  The general fund is 800 million.  Where is the remaining 2.2 Billion dollars???

  13. .California law prohibits engaging in campaign activities in uniform or while on duty. Yet, union bosses have appeared at official police department briefings in uniform, on duty, and on city property to recruit police officers to work on the campaign against V and W. Using official briefings for this purpose is unethical and illegal, and I have asked for an investigation.

    But is it wonderful the energy and ultimately public resources that Mayor Reed, Constant and Oliverio can spend to promote their cause.  They are playing by different rules.

  14. > In a statement this afternoon, Reed accused the unions of fear-mongering and spreading disinformation, saying he is “alarmed” that people are scared the police and fire won’t respond to their calls if they support V and W. He also addressed last weekend’s shenanigans involving San Jose councilman Pierluigi Oliverio and fire-union political consultant Tom Saggau, in which Saggau tried to place Oliverio under “citizens arrest” for removing No on V campaign signs from road medians. Reed called the incident “an effort to further intimidate the public and add to the public’s fear.”

    If the Mayor REALLY, REALLY believes this, then the next step is to call on all honorable, honest, ethical, and community-oriented police officers to DECERTIFY their union.

    And, if there are no honorable, honest, ethical, and community-oriented police officers with the necessary courage, leadership, and initiative to respond to such a call, then the Mayor needs to begin the process of organizing whatever voter initiative is needed to DECERTIFY ALL police unions in the state, and save the citizens of California from what are inexorably morphing into armed and out of control labor union militias.

    Sadly, we are reaching the state where we need protection from our “protectors”.

  15. Dear Pierluigi Oliverio, Pete Constant and Mayor Chuck Reed,

    I am delighted that you are environmentalists with conviction! Willing to pick-up litter and trash whereever it may be! 

    I know that you all have aspirations to higher political office once you are term-limited out of San Jose. Best of Luck to you! Please ensure that you have enough money budgeted to cover the cost of campaign signs and more for replacements. 

    I have a feeling that many other Concerned Environmentalists, like me,  will heed your call to go out of our way to remove the blight created by your campaign signs start popping up on public property!

    Good Luck and count the days until you aren’t on the same payroll as the fine men and women of the San Jose Fire and Police Departments! 

    Sincerely,
    You Newly Deputized Trash Collector!

  16. So let me get this straight, Reed, Oliverio, and Constant are all City Employees (elected) and they can order the Police and Fire fighters not to campaign on duty or in uniform while they can call a press conference and host the media to (1) accuse the police and fire fighters of criminal behavior and (2) campaign for Measure’s V and W?

    Sounds like a double standard is being practiced.

    I demand an investigation?

  17. Mr Oliviero needs to take responsibility for his actions. A simple apology would have been fine. Instead he acts like someone who expects special treatment. The last time I got a ticket no police captain came and let me go.

    Mr. Mayor, you should not be supporting this type of bad behavior. It sends a terrible message to our young people. Whether you support or don’t support the proposition is not the issue. It’s about ethics.

    Shame on both of you.

  18. If Luigi was a Police officer caught taking down signs he would be on admin leave and the Merc would be writing article after article slamming him and the SJPD.  Lying , Cheating, Lawbreaking?  Look in the mirror mayor Reed and City Council.

    Mr. Constant what did you do to hurt yourself as a police officer? Step of a curb walking to your car after work?

    Stop talking out both sides of your mouths politicians.

  19. Calling Officer X, Calling Officer X:

    Officer X, I was wondering if there is real data for the readers to have.

    From last week:
    *How many calls are pending during peak hours?
    *How many calls are being canceled during your shift?  For the city? (lack of resources)
    *How is the response time?
    *How many assault w/deadly weapon incidents were there last weekend?
    *How many stabbings?
    *How many shootings?
    *How many officers injured?

    I ask because were not going to get this from the Murk and I think we all might be surprised.

    Thanks

    • Manny:

      There is real data regarding calls and our responses. I believe that Chief Davis has provided much of this information to the city council in his requests for additional staffing. I doubt that is public information, however it might be. I will research this. The POA probably has access to this but the hard numbers are likely highly controlled because the Chief, of course, reports to the City Manager, and that information does not make City Hall look good.

          I can tell you generally, without exception, it takes a singular incident to “wipeout” our staffing. I can guarantee you that does not occur in other cities our size. I can also tell you that the numbers vary according to district, time, and day of week. For example, several months ago, during the investigation of a particular drive-by shooting/homicide in our Western Division, at mid day, in the adjoining two districts sharing the effected radio channel, there were approx 15-20 calls pending. Some of those had been pending for hours. Many times we arrive and no one is there. We have to wonder what happened. Is there person who was calling 911 safe? Many times God only knows. The websire SJPD.org does provide alot of data regarding calls in the area you live, fyi.

      I share your sentiment more than you can possibly know,….I live with it daily.

    • Its obvious from your post and the insider speak of many of the posters in this topic and the two previous topics about Councilman Oliverio that you are either a police officer or a firefighter.  I do admire the tenacity of both unions to come out in such force (pun intended) for your anti V & W campaigns.  However its not lost on the average taxpaying voter that this surge in patriotism is self serving because its your issue.  Where was this patriotism when we the taxpayer needed your assistance for tax relief and budget cuts?

      I am sending my absentee ballot today and I will be voting for W & V.  Its not a show of support for Mayor Reed its my own version of a self-interest vote.  I don’t have anymore tax money to put into guaranteed pensions and raises. I have kids to feed and bills to pay myself so your raises are not my priority. 

      If your response is that then you and your brethren will leave to other cities that will appreciate your service so be it.  Quit this job and leave.  My oldest son is just out of college and would love the opportunity to train in the academy and take the spot you grudingly hold now.  If you really believe life is easier in any other city, by all means, go and find out.

      • Vested:

        You have your opinion and I’m happy to hear that you exercise your right to vote.  Good for you.  I, however, won’t be stealing your campaign sign. 

        —You say: Where was this patriotism when we the taxpayer needed your assistance for tax relief and budget cuts?

        Where have you been??? Police have assisted in the budget cuts with concessions to their pay/retirement and benefits. 

        —You say: I have kids to feed and bills to pay myself so your raises are not my priority. 

        You are not the only one with bills and kids.  You know what else is not a priority?  Your health and safety.  It is just not a priority.  Good luck with that.

        —You say: My oldest son is just out of college and would love the opportunity to train in the academy and take the spot you grudgingly hold now.

        I hope your son makes the cut and goes to the academy.  Oh wait the PD and FD aren’t hiring.  I, on the other hand, will not encourage my children to work in the public safety field.  With the thankless sentiment becoming more and more prevalent that is not what I want for them.  Not now at least.

        Despite your opposite opinion, I hope you never have the need for the PD or FD.  I do recommend that you, your son for sure and others look into the citizen academy.  A real eye opener for those who are not scared to open their eyes.

        • PD & FD aren’t hiring but isn’t that the scare tactic that the FD has been promoting as they canvass our neighborhoods, that we will all be unsafe and in peril for our lives if W & V pass because they will all be forced to seek greener pastures in all the financially thriving and solvent cities in CA? 

          So when all your brotherhood bail on San Jose because you see it as a slap in the face rather than the necessity it actually is when V & W pass the many young men and women who stand up and answer the call to join the ranks will be happy to take the pay.  Even at 1/2 the average salary they’d be making just shy of six figures. 

          You hope I never have the need for FD or PD, why is that?  Maybe Mayor Reed is correct when he says the PD & FD are using scare tactics to make residents think that they won’t get a response in an emergency if they publically support V & W.  I’ll express my opinion with my ballot.  When the public speaks loudly and clearly you can take any firefighter, police officer and city worker who thinks they can do better and go do it.  Good riddance.  Not only are the unions fleecing the city but they act like they’re entitled to it and we should “shut up and pay”.

        • YOU SAY: You are not the only one with bills and kids.  You know what else is not a priority?  Your health and safety.  It is just not a priority.  Good luck with that.

          —What a hypocrite.  If you’re a police officer it IS your priority to provide for the safety of the community.  Even those of us that will be voting for Measure V & W.  Maybe the previous poster was on to something.  Let all of the public service employees who feed off the tit of the taxpayer who do not think it is their job to actually serve the public go get another job.

          Chuck Reed may not be a public hero or even a great mayor but he sure knows how to make a move at the opportune moment.  The yes on V & W campaigns have raised only 1/2 the money the no on V & W movement has yet public opinion is swinging towards sure passage of both measures.  Why?  Reed’s secret weapon of course.  The Police & Firefighter’s unions harassment of the community and fear mongering is the best reason to vote for the measures.

        • Vested:

          Someone recently told me to chill out.  I deserved it.  I suggest the same.

          I said that I hope you never need PD or FD just because I hope nobody does.  Usually if one needs the fire department it is because of a fire or medical response.  If they need the police it is not to have tea.  Sorry if you took it the wrong way.

          Gee Wiz.  Nice talking with you or what ever that was.

        • Hypocrite:

          You are correct that sounded like a hypocrite.  It was a poorly written statement.  I think that the police and fire will continue to view the health and safety of the community as their priority.  Why wouldn’t they, that is what they get paid for.  That is your point I believe.

          I believe that it is not the priority of the city.  I think their priority is a baseball stadium, a large RDA savings account and so on.  We used to be the largest safe city in America.  I think the response times will grow and crime will rise.  Maybe I’ll be completely wrong.  I hope so.

          Sorry if you call that fear mongering but that is my take on it.  I also think PO stole the signs.  HAHAHA.

      • Vested:

        Officers have left, continue to, and will in the future. And if these measures pass we will all live with the consequences. Tell your oldest son not to bother to apply to SJPD. Applications are going nowhere. Mayor Reed has already threatened to revisit another “wage cut OR layoffs” next year. Our concessions this year saved the jobs of 85 police officers. And no academies are scheduled for the fair distant future. If you son does in fact become an officer here, well done! Good for him, I would congratulate him. Ironic also that your votes will have made he job that much less rewarding and, more importantly, that much less safe.

        • There’s that big scary doomsday scenario again. 
          Mid six figure salaries as an average.  Its certainly no wonder why the union honcho’s hold tight.  Yet so many of the upper eschlon cut and ran when they thought their pensions were going to be tampered with didn’t they?  Early retirements to get the guaranteed increases that they know will further cripple the city taxpayers.  So much for commitment to public safety. 

          Once officers leave, a twotiered system is in place to regulate the salaries and pensions going forward then my son and all the men and women who want to be officers and firefighters but don’t have the chance this year will be able to won’t they? 

          Life finds a way.  Chaos theory.

  20. WOW! It seems everyone on both sides are loosing their minds. Come on people, let’s stop this and trust voters to decide the issue without all this ugliness. Thank God the election is almost over.

    Mayor Reed, you should strive for peace in our City not creating more tension.

    Pierluigi, man up, own up, and apologize.

    A San Jose Mother,
    Very well said. I agree 100%.

    • Kathleen you are usually very fair and levelheaded with your posts.  It does seem that both sides have gone a little loopy doesn’t it?

      We have police and firefighters trying to make citizen feel like they will be in constant peril if W & V pass when there is no plan for jobs to be cut—just pensions reeled in.  They complain about long taxing hours yet there are at least a dozen cops and firefighters posting in rapid fire succession on these topics.  Their self interest is high on this without a question.

      The Mayor took the extroidinary step with the press release.  Councilman Oliverio, I don’t even know what to say about the sign issue. 

      The bottom line for me is that I am a mother too.  I have obligations to meet, I have kids to feed, a mortgage to pay, college to fund.  I get no increase in spending that exceeds my income.  If I spent 5 times as much as my revenue increased annually my husband would have a fit.  Its just not possible to keep spending irresponsibly.  I like firefighters.  I like police officers.  I think they are honorable careers and that it takes a very dedicated and brave person to choose that career path.  Unfortunately, like teachers and several other service oriented professions, the public will never be able to pay you what your services are truly worth.  You take those jobs as a public service.  You know that going in.  The trade off for low pay has traditionally been a sound pension plan.  They have that now.  They have also negotiated the trade off of “low pay”  If Mayor Reed is correct and the AVERAGE salary is $180,000 then I would say you have to have a 401K and not a guaranteed increase public pension. If you trade back down to a livable wage in the $75K range then you can have the public pension. 

      Mother’s like me cannot afford to put money in your mouths if we take it out of the mouths of our children. 

      Sadly I don’t think the end of the election will calm the storm.  Lets hope cooler heads prevail.

      • Mothers Club:

        Thanks for the input.  I know that you put “average” in all caps so you are cognoscente, yet I have to say that the $180, 000 is misleading.  I believe this average is elevated do to command staff pay scale, retirement payout and overtime.  The true fact is that the patrol officer gets paid well but nowhere near $180,000 a year. If he/she does make that much, then they are single, no family or divorced.  Furthermore, after paying into their retirement and paying taxes, I would guess they are a lot closer to that $75k than you would think.  Or at least closer to the AVERAGE salary of the San Jose worker. 

        I agree the city has to spend more responsibly.  Thanks for reading.

        • Manny: 

          Thank you for the reply.  Yes, I am very aware that $180,000 is the average and that the upper eschelon drives that up.  But we did have the young rookie cop post in this very thread who was very eloquent in his post who said his rookie salary is $105,000.  That is pretty high for a rookie salary.  I don’t know the perks of pay in detail so I do not know if that is an unusual salary that factors in education or specialized training.

          I truly wish that all the firefighters, police and city workers could make six figures AND keep their pensions.  I wish that the public funds that maintain that system were fully available.  Sadly, the money is not available and those funding rates are unsustainable.  I am not sure that Measure V & W will solve the problem. My guess is that it will not.  There has to be a starting point.  I recognize that even though I am a regular user of public libraries and love the crowded community center near my home that those services will likely have to be cut as well.  Im for cutting the car allowances and perks that council and others get too.  Im not happy about the ballpark public funding nor am I a supporter of the two city halls and the further investment in either Hayes Mansion or the Mexican Heritage Plaza. 

          In an ideal world we would be able to fund the arts, parks, city services and public safety at an optimum rate.  I feel very frustrated that we cannot.  I hope the city workers do not read the passage of measure V & W as a vote against them and what they do each day to help this city be more livable.  I think there are a great deal of San Jose residents that just don’t see another way and believe the council and elected officials need all the tools necessary to balance the budget.  We have to stop living outside our means.

        • I appreciate your level headed response.  I would like to clear up a misunderstanding.  You are mistaken on the $105,000 salary.  That figure represents the total compensation the City is paying for his service, not his salary.  I too was in the last academy and can tell you that we do not make anywhere near $105,000 a year.
          Honestly, I made more money serving in the military then I do as a San Jose Police Officer.  There are many issues facing this city and it’s sad to see the “leadership” is less interested in being open and honest then they are in pointing fingers. 
          Someone asked which cities offer better wages/benefits…just about all of them (Fremont, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos….ect).  I have read a lot of comments from people asking why PD and FD live outside of San Jose.  I can only answer for myself, simply put; I cannot afford to live in San Jose on $3,600 a month.  That is what I am paid on a monthly basis.  I live within my means and I cannot do that living in San Jose.  I’m sure many of the people posting here working in the private sector make much more then I do.  When the SJPD overwhelmingly agreed to a pay concession on the last contract, I myself lost around $1,000 a month.
          If I were to lateral to another agency I would be making approximately $5,000 – $6,000 a month. So when someone says that SJPD would be used as a stepping stone they are correct.  People will apply to SJPD; complete the academy, FTO, and most likely probation.  Then they will lateral to another agency that has better pay and benefits.  And San Jose will be left paying for their training.
          This is not a scare tactic, it is simple truth. 

          I love working for this city and the people that live here.  Like you, I too have a family and need to take care of them.  It’s an ugly situation and hopefully one that gets resolved quickly.

      • Mother’s club,

        Thank you from the bottom of my heart for discussing this like a caring, mature, adult. As a mother you know that when your children fight there is more to it than the toy they are battling over. You know they want power, to be heard and respected, they want attention, acceptance, assurance that if that toy is theirs you won’t let anyone steal it from them, and YES even discipline/justice when they are feeling violated. In my opinion, that is what is happening here.

        Police and Fire aren’t purposely “lying or trying to frighten anyone,” they honestly believe what they are telling you, just like the Mayor believes what he is saying.

        I’ve been a mediator and arbitrator for 27 years now. I believe honest communication, teamwork, putting the mission first, and fairness for everyone, putting the NEED NOT the WANT first, and win/win are very important during conflict. I didn’t become a lawyer because I don’t like win/lose, or adversarial situations because relationships get broken and in the end no one really wins anything any way.

        Having said that, I honestly believe that this situation never needed to come to this point. Cities that have negotiated in good faith with Unions have already proven me right on this. Political posturing on both sides has gotten way out of control when it comes to this issue and that is were the problem lies.

        The bottom line here is that everyone, just like you as a mother, have families, and employees to feed and they are fighting the only way they know how to achieve that. Much of this is being led by the need to survive, and to protect their families/employees. The business aspect is to protect their profits at all cost. So much of what you are seeing is FEAR on all sides, not feeling heard, not feeling respected/appreciated for services rendered, and in some cases sheer ego and power.

        So what is the solution to this? FAIR negotiation! Compassion, fairness to everyone, respectful communication, TRUST, good faith give and take, respect, feeling heard, AND TEAM WORK!

        Right now because so much divisiveness and political posturing has occurred, that is just something that no one feels they can do because they fear they will lose something vital to their survival. Whether that be power, money, or ego it still boils down to “losing.” (Unfortunately, losing or giving in is something our society deems as weak, or wrong. That’s why win/win negotiation is vital so everyone gets a piece of the pie.) 

        My hope is that even after the election is over, that people start understanding that our public servants, AND our dedicated City employees are NOT the bad guys here, the economy is! And that we all start troubleshooting and working together, otherwise we’ll all go down in the sinking ship together.

  21. This is disgusting! How dare he perpetrate firefighter’s as spreading fear and lies? I’ve seen these men and women in action…their the one’s that respond in the middle of the night to YOUR emergency’s…save lives, take care of the sick, ………put their lives on the line…and for who? The citizen’s of San Jose!! I’m not a firefighter but a soon to be registered RN and it appalls me that anyone would characterize people who go into the line of work they do as volatile and threatening! Shame on you Major REED!

    Citizen’s of San Jose..the reality is you cut their jobs and response times will drastically go down…this is not propaganda, it’s reality! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure less men on the job=cut fire station’s which inevitably means a response team from a farther away station will have to respond…how does that not make sense! Before you vote think back to the last time you called 911 and remember what significance the people who helped you had in that moment! Now it’s your turn to come to their rescue!!! VOTE NO ON MEASURE V! Thank you

  22. While I support and appreciate our police and firefighters, the public employee unions do NOT have the best interests of the residents at heart.  The rate of pay and benefits that are currently being shelled out are a stranglehold on the budget, are causing more layoffs, are unnecessary (we aren’t hurting for police and firefighter applicants), and are completely out of touch with what the rest of us with similar education and experience are being compensated.  I will be most certainly voting for Measure V & W.  Something has to change!

  23. Hey reed,

    Do you think we don’t know that your little rant was just to avert attention from your peon oliverio’s screw up and a feeble attempt to turn it into a campaign ad for your interests?
    The reason unions are still needed is to put a leash on politicians like you and your two faced buddie constant ( bad back my a—). How many more lower level City employees have to lose their jobs,so you can justify spending more money on your pet projects (ie. team san jose: a $20+ million loss since ‘04).
    ANYTHING that you and your Council pals support is now tainted by both Oliverio’s actions and your support of them.                      The time of crooked politicians running San Jose is coming rapidly to an end; the HONEST citizens of this City will put an end to you faster than you may think…………..

  24. Ad Hominem attacks are great for political theater and lousy for actually making good public policy.

    Rather than talk about issues, facts or beliefs you attack the person or people on the other side.

    Read the angry rhetoric…and consider.

    On a seperate note, some 20-30 years ago the city removed the rules about city employees having to live within the city…and today, especially among police and fire, most employees live far outside the city commuting in for there shifts.  That’s one reason there’s such panic on the labor side because most of the rank and file are not SJ residents who can vote on this.

    So raising $800,000 and doing a huge media blitz for the no campaign seems like a logical move for the union.  I’m more impressed that the proponents managed to raise $400k.

    • Maybe that is something that should be looked at and put on the ballot.  I don’t think its unreasonable that city workers (especially firefighters and police) live in a 30 mile radius to the city.  They should be Santa Clara County residents at the very least.  You raise an excellent point, I bet they aren’t able to vote on this issue and that is why its so critical for them.  If they’re not residents of the city of San Jose they shouldn’t be trying to buy the vote of those of us that do live here.  Sure they work here, but they get a check for that.  If they don’t like it they should apply for the police and fire services in the cities they do live in.  No more gravy trains at taxpayer’s expense.

      • Thirty miles is a bit much the distance from SJ city center to SF city center is 45 miles +/-.  County residents is a good place to start though. The ball then gets thrown into Mr. Joseph DiSalvo’s court I presume, because then the citizens of San Jose must take steps to ensure the education of future city employees promoting education and recruitment within the city itself for the cities needs.  Singapore is a great example of how this can be achieved, though I don’t know if Americans could readily accept assimilation of that aspect of another culture.  The government there provides world class education for it’s future employees in exchange for a contracted amount of time in service to the city.  A city that is still running like San Jose used to i.e. a micro-economy with globally effective influence.

    • When my brother first began his campaign for city council this was an issue I was concerned with and we discussed.  The fact that city employees come from all over the bay area is alarming to me.  It is understandable that sometimes it is necessary but should be an infrequent exception.  For the benefit of the city and it’s residents it seems that keeping the money circulating within it’s own taxable territories just makes good fiscal sense.  The obvious benefits of municipal pride are also a relative bi-product.  Beyond that hiring residents increases the pool of eligible applicants for city sponsored loans and/or development programs. 

      If theres one thing I have learned in my observations in Thailand is that even in a more economically challenged region if you keep the cash flowing but local the people are generally happier with the level of city services provided despite obvious and blatant corruption.

      It would be interesting if this was reformed as well to see the effects but that’s a whole other ball of yarn.

  25. Continued from previous post.

    “They don’t want you to know that they can retire at age 50 and draw pensions of over $100,000 and that amount will increase every year.”

    Even though this is factually true, I do not know of anyone that got hired by the police department at age 20.  The average age in my police academy class was around 26.  Many of the officers that were hired were in their mid 30’s.  State law requires police officers to be at least 21 years old.  We get 90% of our base salary after 30 years of service.  Apparently only 4% of retirees get 90% of their base salary.  This job is just too hard on the body for most officers to last that long.  The average pension of a retired officer is 75% of base salary.

    The mayor makes it seem as if retiree pensions are funded by the city’s operating budget.  This is only true when the pension fund’s investments go south.  The city could have avoided this when it did not have to contribute when the market was good by putting that money away.  Instead they dumped that money into who knows what… most likely art that imitates feces in Cesar Chavez Park.

    “They don’t want you to know they receive taxpayer funded medical care for life.”

    The police union took a concession on that in the last contract.  I don’t think it is unreasonable for the city to provide this for its public safety employees considering the tolls our bodies take in the performance of our duties.  The military gives this benefit to its retirees (and their spouses).

    “They don’t want you to know that they can cash in unlimited amounts of sick leave for hundreds of thousands of dollars as a retirement bonus.”
    If anything, this would be a bonus for the city if they managed their books correctly by putting the money used for sick leave hours into a fund like they should.  The hours of sick leave earned by city employees are hours in which they could have called in sick.  If they called in sick, the city would have to pay someone else overtime to fill in for them.  The sick hours that are paid out are paid at regular time.  If this policy changes to where sick time becomes “use or lose” or the payout is capped, expect a lot more employees calling in sick. 

    “They don’t want you to know that the average cost for each firefighter and police officer went up by over $20,000 this year. Even though we budgeted the same amount of money for public safety this year as last year, we had to pay $30 million more for pay and benefit increases. That’s the reason we have fewer police officers and firefighters. That’s the reason response times have gotten longer.”

    Of course the average will go up if you don’t hire any new people to keep the average down.  This is an insulting trick that a pre-algebra student could see through if they looked at the raw data.

    If measure V and W pass, which I unfortunately believe happen, San Jose’s police officers and firefighters will continue to provide the best service possible because we are professionals.  As professionals, we also know that our skills and experience have a certain value.  I love San Jose, and I love working for the people of San Jose, but if I am offered an opportunity to employ my skills for an agency in a safer area and that is willing to fairly compensate me, I would be dumb to stay here and continue to take pay cuts.

    My fear is that over time, the level of service provided to the citizens of San Jose will be degraded because the better candidates for public safety jobs will apply elsewhere.  SJPD will have to lower the stringent standards for hiring officers.  LAPD standards meet the state minimum… I hope SJPD does not have to stoop to that level.

    • Thank you!  I for one am tired of the “press conferences” and would prefer a People conference where the residents don’t keep hearing the sound bites but the facts, but of course we are too late for that…..

  26. “The union bosses and political consultants don’t want you to know the truth. That’s why as the Mercury News said: “The police and fire campaign twist facts and uses half-truths.” (Editorial 10-22-10).”

    I am a rookie officer with SJPD and am writing this response to the Mayor’s speech as a member of the SJPOA and a longtime resident of the City of San Jose.  I was a member of the last class of recruits hired by the city in July 2009.  I am deeply concerned by the Mayor’s speech.  He paints my union as a collective of thugs out to raid the city coffers.  He has resorted to invoking visions of 1930’s mobster style unions exercising power through heavy-handed intimidation tactics and that is just plain ridiculous.  I truly believe that Mayor Reed has the City’s best intentions at heart when he slipped measures V and W through the backdoor and onto the ballot.  I do not understand why such an honest man with pure intentions would resort underhanded politics to execute his agenda and then accuse his political opponents of doing the same thing.  I guess that is just politics as usual.

    In response to the mayor’s claims of what your public safety employees “Don’t want you to know,” I have come up with the following responses: 
    “They don’t want you to know that they have benefited enormously from huge pay and benefit increases driven by awards from outside arbitrators.”

    Outside arbitrators are used because they are impartial.  The mayor makes it seem as if the arbitrators always unfairly side with the unions.  The arbitrators never completely side with the city or unions, they know they would not get another gig if they seemed to favor one side more often than the other.  The arbitrator awarded unions the benefits after going through the city’s books and taking many taking other factors into consideration, like the going rate for a police officer in neighboring cities for instance.  Bottom line on this accusation: arbitrators make fair and impartial decisions.  Why would the mayor and his cronies not want fairness and impartiality involved in labor negotiations? 

    “They don’t want you to know that the average cost to San Jose taxpayers for police officers and firefighters is over $180,000 per year. That’s a 100% increase over what it was ten years ago, even though revenues have only gone up by 20%.”

    UC Berkeley did a study comparing the costs of public and private employees (http://www.irle.berkeley.edu/cwed/wp/2010-03.pdf).  It states in its conclusion, “The estimates from the wage analysis indicate that California public workers, both state and local, are not overpaid. An apples-to-apples comparison which accounts for education, experience, hours of work, organizational size, gender, race, ethnicity, and disability reveals no significant difference between private and public employee compensation costs.”

    We are actually getting below the market rate of a police officer in this region in terms of total compensation.  As for myself, I will make $108,010.32 in total compensation, wow! However, my actual taxable income will only be $60,000.00 (OT included) this year.  So after taxes, my net income this year should be around, $42,000.00.

    Continued on next post.

    • First of all I want to say that I appreciate the way you present your opinion here.  When so many others are quick to whine and complain or to tear into their “opponents” with biting words, I do appreciate your frank yet polite candor. 

      However, I must disagree with you about supporting measure V & W.  I do not believe the Mayor slipped through the backdoor to bring the measures to the public.  Its a very public campaign for the support of measure V & W.  Binding arbitration in its current state cannot ever benefit the taxpayer.  Yet it is the the taxpayer who is on the hook for whatever the arbitrator designates is “fair”.  I agree that arbitrators should be fair and impartial.  Having an arbitrator who is a retired Union lawyer who does not have to consider the revenue stream of a city or entity in its arbitration is ridiculous.  Measure V will put in place a stipulation that the arbitrator be a retired judge (which heightens the likelihood that they be truly impartial) and will not allow for arbitrating agreements that exceed the revenue restrictions of the city.  The one person not at the table in the taxpayer.  Measure V makes sure that our interests are being served while giving the unions that represent the police and firefighters the chance to negotiate the best deal that the city can afford.

      I’ve read the Berkely compensation study you put forward and while it addresses the issue if public workers are “overpaid” (private/public sector comparison) it does not address the issue of affordability from the source.  Again, can the city afford the pay rates?  Sadly, San Jose cannot afford the payscale and pension funds that are currently in place.  You are a rookie police officers – one year on the job – making six figures.  Its not a matter of begrudging you the pay or saying you and your coworkers are not worth it to the city, again, its what we can afford. 

      As a lifelong resident of San Jose I appreciate your service and commitment.  I completely understand if you decide that its in the best interest of your own family to take an opportunity in another city if Measure V & W passes.  That will be our loss as a city.  But I also believe that the city has long overextended itself in pay and pension to city workers.  I do blame the Mayor for that.  Not Mayor Chuck Reed but Mayor Ron Gonzalez.  When Mayor Gonzalez and his vice mayor (now union honcho) Cindy Chavez reigned they gave away the store at the taxpayers expense.  Men and women like you were led to believe that there would always be a six figure salary and a cushy pension at the end of the road; taxpayers were duped into thinking that the magical tax dollar would always be enough to cover the bill. 

      We know now that its not true.  The rank and file of the police, fire and city worker unions should demand accountability from Cindy Chavez.  Mayor Gonzalez is long gone but she now heads up the powerful labor tent in San Jose.  Don’t be lead astray again. 

      I hope you remain safe for as long as you are on the job Rookie.

  27. How does a city with no money have their bond rating go from a AA to AAA?  To have a AAA bond rating the city needs to have reserves and assests of over $100,000,000. Huh? 

    How is it when redevelopment runs out of money to buy land for the “Chuck Reed Memorial A’s Stadium” the city seems to find more? Huh?

    How is it when a former city council member needs $6,000,000 to develop a market downtown they find it? Huh? Oh ya the project has not even been started.

    How is it we can spend $750,000 for art at the Sewer Treatment plant? Huh?

    How is it we can build 2 community centers at the same time totaling $60,000,000 less than 2 miles appart.  Now they sit there empty because they say they do not have the money to operate either one?  Huh?

    How does the city dedicate $80,000,000 to a $40,000,000 project and then say they have no money? Huh?

    How can the city continue to operate Hayes Mansion at a $6,000,000 loss every year? Huh? 

    How is it a city with no money buys over $1,000,000 in cars.  Huh?  Oh ya, they did not even buy them in San Jose to help our our residents. Huh? 

    Oh ya, didn’t the new City Hall need all new computers, desks, chairs etc…when they moved in.  They could not use the old ones.  I wish everytime I move I could get new furniture, TV’s and Computers.. I think that was $50,000,000., not to mention the fact that it was $100,000,000 over budget.

    The list goes on and on.  But it is our public safety fault that the city has no money.  The spending is the problem.

  28. Maybe Pierluigi saw the litter ladder commercial and was inspired to aspire to become All Star Stan.

    I’m Littering Lucy, and I don’t care.
    I throw my trash anywhere.

    Toss It Tom’s my name, here’s my rhyme:
    Pick up your trash. I’ll pick up mine.

    I’m Keep It Clean Jean and I’m here to say:
    I pick up trash that’s in my way.

    All Star Stan, hey that’s me!
    Help keep San Jose litter-free.

  29. It is very troubling that San Jose politics has deteriorated to low level of San Francisco’s Dirty Mean Nasty politics with half-truths, false accusations, mean spirited angry statements, distorted exaggerations and outright lies

    Most people are upset with unacceptable behavior of:  elected officials, city manager, city staff and unions who ALL share the blame to include Mercury who has also distorted facts or participated in nasty mean politics

    Where is honesty, accountability and working for public good rather then for their own political or financial benefit against best interests of city, public and taxpayers?

  30. MR. MAYOR

    So what about stealing the signs?  I find it curious that you don’t even care that PLO was stealing signs.

    YOU are lying about your rant. Here is what the Municipal Code says, listed below.

    THE CITY LAW SAYS: “REMOVED BY THE CITY”. PLO is not the city. Unless you are directing that all no on V signs be removed.

    Seems to be a free speech issue here. IF you only going after the no on V signs. Guess SUNSHINE REFORM does not apply?

    You endorsing some guy PEDGRAM that filed for bankruptcy. ANd then tried to cover it up by using another name. That sounds smart!!!

    I told you about thousands of dollars the city was wasting when the city sent $5 dollar packages legal information out to children who were babies. But since their name was on file they got the information. YOU DID NOTHING.

    Other cities have twice the amount of police and fire and they manage. Those cities pay more and have better benefits.  WHY can you not manage?

    Union Business has taken place inside the police station for decades. But since they talking about you lying, SUNSHINE REFORM does not apply. You want to silence that, the police, ALL the police are talking about you LYING and PLO STEALING.

    For us taxpayers it hard to figure out? UNION SAYS MR. MAYOR is LYING.  MR MAYOR says Union is lying. 

    WHO IS RIGHT?

    THIS IS WHY WE NEED BINDING ARBITRATION.

    THE VOTERS 30 years put it into place to stop someone like you.

    MR MAYOR you took over a city that was safest in country and you have run it into ground.

    The people are not scared of the police and fire. They know those men and women will respond. But they dont want someone to get hurt or killed because they know there are not enough of them.

    The people are scared because you calling the police and fire LIARS.

    IF THE FIRE FIGHTERS DO NOT TRUST YOU WHY SHOULD I.

    IF THE POLICE DO NOT TRUST YOU WHY SHOULD WE!
    ================================================
    SAN JOSE MUNICIPAL CODE
    23.02.880   Authority to remove illegal signs in public right-of-way.
        A.    Any illegal signs in the public right-of-way may be removed by the city.
        B.    Any illegal sign of de minimus value in the public right-of-way may also be removed by volunteers on behalf of the city.
        C.    No notice shall be required prior to removal of illegal signs, including without limitation elections signs, in the public right-of-way.
        D.    Any sign removed by the city, except any sign of de minimus value, shall be held in storage and the owner or other person in control of such sign, if known, shall be given written notice and ten days to reclaim such sign.
        E.    Any sign held in storage by the city may be destroyed by the city if not reclaimed:
          1.    In the time period set forth in subsection D. above; or
          2.    Within ten days after removal if the owner or other person in control of such sign is not known.
        F.    In order to reclaim a sign removed by the city, the owner or other person in control of such sign shall first pay to the city a fee as set forth in the schedule of fees adopted by resolution of the city council.
        G.    Any illegal sign in the public right-of-way of de minimus value shall be deemed to be abandoned and may be destroyed by the city after removal. No opportunity to reclaim such sign shall be given by the city.
        H.    For purposes of this section, any sign made of cardboard or other nondurable material shall be deemed to be of de minimus value.

    (Ords. 24201, 24835.)

    • Well, OK if you say so and the muni code backs you up then someone should notify the city that a certain “XCampos” has a slew of signs stuck all over the public right of way on the NE corner of Story and King- – – Now what?

      • No kidding most of his signs are on public right of way spots.  It makes me wonder just how lazy his campaign is that they can’t knock on some actual doors and get people excited about supporting him.  They resort to the laziest campaign in recent memory. 

        “Xavier Campos =yawn= he’s too lazy to work for your vote, but vote for him so he won’t have to look for a job”

      • notify PLO of the signs…he seems the most interested in cleaning up the city and will have them removed right away….unless ofcourse he endorses Campos

  31. SJPD Rookie you sound sensible and level headed.  I like that you can do math.  However there needs to be more information for the voters, for example: Base salary, does this refer to the salary at the time of retirement(I assume it would) and does it account for inflation and cost of living increases year by year? 

    The sick leave policy makes me sick.  That needs reform, I make no apologies if you are making $108,000 in cash and benefits then your health coverage is 220 (second to none) and you should be sick less then average. Most people don’t even get sick leave and this is a minor concession to have to make.  This also leaves me wondering when is the sick leave benefit calculated? 

    Is it calculated at base pay rate of the employee when they retire?  Why not simplify it and give yearly bonuses and let the officers manage their own funds?  I agree with you on one point though if the city managed it’s obligations with funds properly, then it would not be in this mess. 

    There are a lot more questions that need answering and my intention is not to be adversarial but simply probe deeper because both sides leading these campaigns are playing smoke and mirrors.  It is easy enough, and you’re good at math apparently,to lump all this accounting together into an average and give a gross and negligent generalization of the cost per unit no matter which camp you are from.

    On a side note… I was deeply opposed to measure K (casino expansion) and I love playing cards.  I won’t get into the reasons why though it is beyond the ambiguities surrounding gambling.  The next time the city proposes such a measure the public employees unions should demand approval of such a measure provided the city receives a stake in the card-rooms for the sole purpose of funding pensions.  It worked for Sammy the Bull and all the unions members got their pensions. Which were also subsequently the funding source to open his Las Vegas casinos.

  32. A question for the anti- V&W folks: You are claiming that Oliverio removed a sign from private property, which would be illegal. He says it was a public right of way, which would be legal.

    Can anyone tell me the SPECIFIC LOCATION of the private property where Oliverio is said to have removed the sign?

    I keep hearing the allegation, but not any specifics. Are ya’all just blowing smoke, or can you give us the address where this happened?

    Just curious. 

    BTW – Legal or not, there is something basically wrong about an elected official pulling down opposition political signs even if, as he claims, they were posted illegally. Oliverio was just plain stupid. (Just think, Willow Glenn, you passed over Steve Tedesco to elect this twerp!)

    That said, pensions are out of control and I support both V and W. But I sure don’t like the tone BOTH sides are now taking in the final days before the election!

    • For years I’ve physically taken by body and equipment to the very limit to make sure I could make your unfortunate circumstance better. You ungrateful people. I will no longer do that. I will no longer risk my life,health or safety for you. These comments are a slap in the face to us all.The passage of Measure V will hurt you more than it hurts us. This will become evident.

      • This is obviously not a public servant’s posting.  I wouldn’t be surprised this person spends his time thinking of ways to agitate peaceful demonstrations into footlocker raiding mobs.  My guess is this person is from Santa Cruz but likes to travel to Oakland to stoke racial tensions to further an anarchist agenda.

      • Is that a threat? Man, we pay your salary and your pension benifits, now you are threatening the very citizens your are paid to “serve”. And you call youself “Your loyal public servant”? What loyalty are you talking about…. definititely not loyalty to the people of San Jose. Please make the lateral move to Santa Clara or Palo Alto or one of the other PD’s that you consider to have a better package, and don’t the door hit you on the azz on the way out. This locks up my yes vote on both Measures. Hopefully this vote will weed out those of you are bitter and unhappy, and leave us with the real public servants who are doing their JOBS and serving OUR community for the right reasons.

        • You really think these college kids today are willing to wait the 10 years it’ll take to make that six figure salary…yea right.  It’s gonna be interesting to see the next excuse the mayor and city council come up with to justify/hide their spending habits. 

          One last thought….i know SJPD officers are problem solvers, I know they are used to mediate between parties….I just didn’t know that they would be used to to solve the city financial crisis.  You are delusional to think that pensions are the reason the city is in this situation…what a joke.

          Loyal Public Servant I feel your pain brother…keep your head up.

        • What a great idea, hire the out of work people for “six figures”, they will be breaking down the door.  That is until the next best thing comes along, then they will leave for more money. (solar industry etc.) The people that work in Public Safety do so because they want to, not because of the money. 
          Since when is it a crime to make a living wage in an area with one of the highest cost of living in the world?

          If San Jose wants to run its Public Safety departments as the lowest common denominator it will be a training academy for other municipalities in the area that pay a competitive wage and the tax paying citizen will be the ultimate looser.

        • Lee Pac:

          If you are allowing one frustrated officer, venting years of anguish, to sway your vote, at this very moment, then your mind was already made up. You just didn’t know it.

          Officer X

        • I’m with you 1000%

          If they don’t want the pay there are lots of out of work or just out of college folks who would like the opportunity to make six figures and serve the public. 

          Don’t let the door hit you on the way out “loyal public servant”

  33. Mayor Reed,

    I just read your press release.  At some point the political rhetoric needs to be toned down and leadership starts from the top.  The morale of your city workers is at an all time low!  As an elected official who has to work with the city unions please consider taking a leadership position by reducing tensions not holding press conferences that raise them with press releases which take on an angry tone.

    • I am not surprised the morale of the city workers is at an alltime low.  The confidence of the voter/taxpayer is against them.  It seems that the approach fire and police have taken has achieved the opposite of what they’ve attempted because many in my neighborhood agree that they’re acting like high schoolers whose parents took away the keys to the family sports car.  They will most likely be surprised when the public passes both V and W handily.  I do not think they will be votes against the police and fire or even the city workers but a vote for restraint and fiscal conservationism. 

      We just cannot afford to fund pensions and salaries at a rate five times that of revenue.  It is fiscally irresponsible to continue this practice.

      • The confidence in police and fire is at an all time low.  However, the real reason is that the Mayor has been brilliant in his campaign of turning his own citizens against their public safety members in the guise of saving money and union busting.  I do believe though that citizens should get exactly what they ask for.  When V and W pass, the city cuts base pay, benefits, and pensions, police and fire fighters leave in droves, and the quality of new candidates hits an all time low, guess who will pay for that?

        • I will agree that there is a great deal of hyperbole going on but its not limited to the Mayor and what you label union busting. 

          How is it any less hysterical to claim that passing V & W will result in “…police and firefighters leaving in droves and the quality of the new candidates hits an all time low”? 

          First of all, I do not for one second believe that police or firefighters will leave in droves because of V & W passing.  Where would they go?  Is there another city in California or state for that matter that is paying better or in a less pinched financial state?  Would they really trade their seniority from here (even with base pay cuts & pension reductions) to go someplace else facing the same issues and no senority?  Roll into that that I still believe in the “service” end of public service.  I think many of the firefighters and police officers in San Jose are committed to their jobs, just like teachers who face pay cuts and increased class size continue to teach. 

          Secondly, why would any potential candidates for fire and police be at an all time low?  Is it your believe that only the current staff can be qualified?  We are a city of over a million residents, there’s no doubt in my mind that there are HUNDREDS of young men and women who are not only qualified but would love the opportunity to be trained as police and fire fighters in San Jose.

          Yes there is much hyperbole on this issue.  BOTH sides are guilty.  The mayor for making it seem like the unions are from the shyster academy and the police and fire unions for trying to scare the public into thinking that we wont and cant be protected and safe if you’re asked to do your job for less than $180,000 a year.  My house will burn to the ground if you make $170,000? 

          Again, it is fiscally irresponsible to continue this practice of funding pensions & salaries that grow at a rate of 20% per year while revenue only grows at 8%.

        • Actually, many other agencies offer superior wage/benefit packages. And, san jose has already lost some officers with a decent amount of seniority to those other agencies. One was a veteran with about 6 years, the other with something on the order of 20+, I believe. Both went to Palo Alto.

          Secondarily, there is the trust issue. The manner in which Reed and the rest of the City Council ramrodded these two measures onto the ballot pretty much destroyed our trust in city leadership which was pretty much already on life support. Now, it’s dead. So, if you don’t trust your employers and can find a better job elsewhere, why not lateral?

          Lastly, one of the central issues that City Hall is ignoring and which the POA is doing a miserable job of communicating is that the actions taken by City Hall will make it far more difficult to recruit and retain qualified candidates to public safety positions. San Jose just isn’t competitive. At best, San Jose might become a clearinghouse for training young officers on their way to other, more stable agencies which have a better pay/benefits package.

        • If you don’t trust your employer and can find a better job else where and can make a lateral move, then by all means, make that move.  As a citizen, resident and taxpayer in San Jose I would feel much safer if I know the police and firefighters who are being paid to protect and care for the city want to be here. 

          I am sure there will be no shortage of police and fire recruits to take their place. You mention that at best San Jose would be a clearninghouse for young officers to more stable agencies.  Where exactly are these more stable agencies in CA?  The money woes San Jose faces are the same issues all cities are facing throughout the state.  Some cities are even voting to outsource police and fire to county operations.  If a San Jose police officer thinks they can better their six figure salary someplace else they should run not walk to put their application in and see how that works for them.

        • For those unhappy city employees consider Santa Clara Police and Santa Clara FD. Much better wages and benefit packages. When do you ever hear SC employees complaining about their city council. They DON’T!! Why? Because they are taken care of!!!!

  34. Union boses really you mean like in NYC in the 40’s what a joke. Frist of the city requires employees be in a union. there are no union boses the unions vote on everything. if you want to know about the unions go and ask. go the the POlice union walk in and ask they will talk to you like a person. they will treat you with respect. they will not lie to you and they will show you the truth. Ask to see an officers pay check and see if it matches with what the city says each officer earns.
      Then go to the City and ask to see some of the city CEO checks and bonuses. I bet you never see those. ask to see who got a bonus and how much. i bet you never see it.
      ask pete contance how he hurt his back was it on duty or was it from sitting at his computer 14 hours a day editing photos. ask him why he never told the city that he spent huge amounts of time editing photos. ask him why the photo business is in his wifes name when he was the camera nut. ask his clients who they delt with pete or his wife. ask him when he moved the company to his wifes name. hhmm before he retired. ask him if he claimed the income which shuold have been deducted from his retirement. ask him those questions and see who is scamming the system. He stands infront of the public and lies and trys to cheat the people who he used to stand side by side with. Pete did not earn his retirement the city will not pay it it will come from the cops and firement working now. he has no loyalty..

      stop believing these lying politicians .. it has to stop Nov is supposed to be the start to the end of these greedy liars. go to the unions and you will see they are not scamming the city they are not some greedy mob … who keeps cheating you unions or the politicians .. and why .. because they want to fund that stadium on the backs of the city workers because they will make big bucks. every vendor will give them money to get those contracts ..

  35. Misinformation? Mayor Reed has been disseminating misinformation ever since he got elected. Backing is piers such as “the thief” Oliverio, “the fraud” Pegram, and “the scammer” Constant. For Sunshine guy, Mayor Reed has a lot of items not shown, a lot of items that he keeps away from the public, and a lot of backroom dealings. In regards to Measure V, it gives the men and women of Public Safety with no recourse other then take what the city is giving them. Public Safety employees do not have the option to strike, like other union employees. As a union employee how would you feel if during negotiations…your only option was to take what the city is giving you.  That’s no longer a negotiation, but now it will be begging. Having a a two-tier system like Mayor Reed wants is basically a way of breaking and dividing the union. Another step towards removing union solidarity. If these Measures pass San Jose will no longer enjoy having one of the best Police and Fire departments in the country. Current Police Officers and Firemen will leave this disgraceful city that does not appreciate them and flock to to other cities with the top-notch training and experience the City of San Jose has paid for. Thank you Mayor Reed…you can now put San Jose as your claim to fame…as the next Oakland.

  36. Mayor Reed’s fake outrage is ridiculous. He should have been an actor. Police and Fire are greatly limited in our ability to respond by staffing levels. That is a cold hard fact. It is NOT A THREAT and not intended as such. Measures V & W will adversely effect staffing. There is no propaganda in the message being delivered by officers and firefighters walking precincts. It is ugly to hear but it is the truth.
     
      Mayor Reed makes a distinction. His point, and there is a nasty difference, is that we would slow our response and do so willingly,…of our own volition! That, my friend, is what I categorize as political terrorism! The thought of it makes me nearly sick and speechless. Police and Fire Departments have measured response times for decades and it is a point of pride. As I said above,
    “To accuse police officers and firefighters of anything less than an urgent professional response to citizen’s calls is APPAULING and REPREHENSIBLE and tantamount to political terrorism.”

      There is not a single officer or firefighter I would not chastise, in harsh language, for doing anything short of their damn best to get to calls for help as quickly and safely as possible. And I cannot think of anyone wearing a badge who does not feel the same way. Anything less than that is disgusting and is not tolerated. We take our commitments to you, the citizens we serve, to heart and as a solemn oath.

      Whether you realize it or not, our ability to deliver service has been weakened for years by some politicians in City Hall. When I arrived here we had just over 1400 officers. That number has been reduced by approx 200. Has that stopped annexations, population growth, crime, etc,…? Of course not. Those officers are gone and the shell game continues. We have become reactive, not proactive. Why do you think we speak of VCET (Violent Crimes Enforcement Team) in the past tense? A SWAT team that has been cut in half. Financial Crimes Detective teams that will not investigate your fraud unless you have suffered a min loss of at least $5,000.00 (unless you are a VIP/Council/friend thereof/etc). I personally was assigned a case because the victim was a “friend” of a councilman. Guess who sent an e-mail on behalf of his “friend”? LOL. Fewer Detectives means, fewer crimes get solved, that includes homicide Mr. Mayor.
     
        The fact is we are hungry. As officers and firefighters we are hungry to make our neighborhoods safe. Every time I slide my sidearm into my holster I know I may use it to say a life. Sadly though, not a week goes by where I can not take proactive enforcement because I do not have a cover officer available. The cause, deficient staffing levels. Long before this financial crisis City Hall has not staffed the Police Department fully. This case has been repeatedly and is no longer debatable. I happen to work in one of the busier districts in the city and do so proudly. It is truly a shame; I never thought I would see the day in my career where politicians are more concerned with the bottom line than public safety. I suppose I am showing my idealism but it’s true. Stopping SJPD and SJFD from accomplishing stated goals in this day and age are not hard core felons and arsonists. Truly they exist and are deadly challenges.

        It is City Hall that stands in the way of making San Jose a safer city again. Specifically politicians like Reed, Oliverio, and Constant are fighting a war like politicians, instead of giving the generals what is needed. Worst of all, they make this decision from a place of privilege. Crime has no effect upon them. It does not touch them. When they feel threatened they request VIP service. Threats? They receive a personal SJPD “Varda” alarm in their home which communicates directly with SJPD Dispatch. Does your alarm do that? Just ask City Manager Figone about these. VIP politicians don’t advertise their perks. They do not wait like you or I if our homes are burglarized. You and I do not have personal bodyguards. As such, decisions impacting delivery of public safety are surgical for them, clinical. And sadly, I think many citizens will underestimate the negative impact these measures will have here. I for one will be applying elsewhere if/when these pass. I refuse to have a dictatorial government impose a contract upon me, especially when law forbids I strike. And, after contributing over $2,000.00/month to my retirement I believe I have earned it back after 30 years. It breaks my heart. I grew up in SJ, am a Spartan alum, and truly love our city. I said enough, if you have read this , thanks for indulging me.
     
        In my humble opinion, passage of V & W will stoke a winter migration, officers will flee here for better, more supportive climates, and those cities will enjoy a flood of new found talent. This Mayor and his two comrades have successfully demonized police officers and fire fighters. Morale for all city workers is at an all time low. Well done. Quite a legacy you are creating.

  37. Chuck talk about no ethics this whole editorial of yours is full of twist and turns concerning the truth. It is obvious that you and your minions feel you are above the law and that you are not held to any ethical standards. You have been nothing but dishonest with citizens from the beginning. You guys even sent out literature and disguised it as if it was from the police and stating that we endorsed Measure V. This is all about you having all the power all the marbles a hammer to make you feel you can crush the unions. You dont want the arbitrator because they will not allow you to have all the power. No one organization should, not the police or the fire or you. In the pass when arbitrators ruled, it was fair across the board. You are only upset because the arbitrator caught the city dirty and hiding money. It is to bad that you did not hide enough and you and your City Officials went spend crazy. Now you want to blame the economic collapse on city employees. Bottom line you are asking to take the referee out of the world series and let the Rangers coach make all the calls. It is as simple as that. Though it would be great for all the Ranger fans you would be screwing the Giants fans. Perhaps we should take the judges out of the court rooms and you can make those calls as well. You sound more like a person for dictatorship. You still have that Billion dollars for your baseball team? I suppose you will be the ump and the referee as well as coach. You are a disgrace to your position with your twisted lies and political games.

  38. I would agree with your anger about what the so called Public Servant above said but please keep in mind that this person is anonymous so none of us really know who he/she is or if they even work for the SJPD. Those of us that work for the SJFD and are against this measure are not in any way ungrateful for the jobs we have, we did not get into this profession to deal with politics.Unfortunately we are now in that place and it seems everyone on both sides is now in full attack mode. The thing is, we were and are simply against Measure V because it was thrown together at the last minute and is poorly written. We realize adjustments need to be made but what Measure V does is completely gut the system and gives all the control with no check or balance to the city. Please go to the city clerks web site and read the full proposition. There is a section that says if the measure is found to be invalid by a court then there is no obligation to use arbitration. How is that “honest” by Mayor Reed. I have never heard him ever mention that, just how it only says the arbitrator will have to base his decisions on the cities finances (they already do that). This is the type of stuff he has been pulling all along for years. They push things to arbitration so they can wash their hands of the responsibility and then later point at the big bad arbitrator and say “see its their fault”. If people actually knew how unprepared the city was when they come to the table they would have a much different opinion. In the past they have come unprepared and tried to hide money and accounts and then were caught with their pants down when our accountants exposed their actions. The Mayor talks about open negotiations, we have agreed to this from the beginning, it has been the city who has refused this not the union.
    For the Mayor,the leader of the city to call and news conference and call us Liars, Cheats and Lawbreakers is so unprofessional and unethical it is beyond comprehension. So if we have a different opinion about how a measure will affect the citizens we are liars; if we go out and walk neighborhoods to voice our opinion we are cheats or thugs and scaring people; and if we catch a City Councilman removing No on V signs we are lawbreakers. That is a very strange take on freedom of speech.
    But if the Mayor wants to go on TV and slam us day in and day out, use the Merc as his personal PR tool, make slanderous statements about us and do everything he can to blame the city workers for every financial problem the city has and not take any responsibility at all for his decisions then that is ok?
    All we ask is that the citizens take the time to do real research and talk to both sides and then make an informed decision. If you still want Measure V then so be it, at least you made an informed decision.