Lawsuit ‘Victory’ a Double-Edged Sword

The “victory” claimed by certain union members by suing the city over the word “reform”—as in “pension reform,” known as Measure B for the June ballot measure—may have actually jeopardized a future tax increase to fund their own jobs. The removal of the wording, “essential city services including neighborhood police patrols, fire stations, libraries, community centers, streets and parks,” was included in the ruling and cannot be used as a way for the city to lure residents into supporting higher taxation.

As a result, if the city of San Jose wanted to propose a general sales tax increase for the November ballot, the Council could no longer list “essential city services.” This wording has been used in the past by the city to garner support for higher taxes. However, there is no guarantee that tax dollars would actually be allocated to essential city services.

Now, as we move forward, only a special tax that requires a 2/3 vote could list the essential city service without a legal challenge. Will taxpayers support a general tax increase if they are not confident it will be spent on essential/core services?

This takes me back to my proposal of setting a fixed percentage—higher than today—of the general fund to be spent on police. Without this assurance, the voter has no way of knowing that additional tax dollars will actually be allocated to police or anything else in the City Charter.

On another topic, I attended the Oversight Board Successor to the Redevelopment Agency (RDA) last week, where the County of Santa Clara auditor reviewed the San Jose RDA Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule. No flaws were found in the payment schedule and San Jose was actually complimented on its work. Who would have thought! The County auditor has issues with other neighboring cities’ accounting.

The Community Budget Season has begun. The first of community budget meetings started in council districts 9 and 10. District 9 had approximately 10 residents, who made comments against opening new facilities that are closed, allowing more volunteer opportunities in the libraries and keeping compensation in check with the private sector so residents would be more likely to support a tax increase. District 10 had a much higher turnout of 40-plus residents, who were concerned about police response time, street lights turned off to save money, getting police out of desk jobs and into the field and suggesting fewer firefighters respond to medical calls.

16 Comments

  1. “Now, as we move forward, only a special tax that requires a 2/3 vote could list the essential city service without a legal challenge.”

    I am stunned and heartbroken… NOT!!!

  2. what we have seen in cities like Milpitas is that pension reform has been used as a means of punishing employees.  The Measure B Coordinator in San Jose is allegedly calling employee unions in other cities demanding they kowtow to city leaders on issues otherwise, “a measure b campaign can be organized in your city.”

  3. “essential city services including neighborhood police patrols, fire stations, libraries, community centers, streets and parks,”
    When did community centers become essential services? Let me help you out, here: it was when our elected creeps realized it was the only way left to package political paybacks to racist rabble-rousers. Taking care of grandpa and grandma is not the city’s business, nor is providing a plaza for Mexicans to celebrate their culture, a center for Filipinos to be with other Filipinos, or any other such endeavors, realized or planned (such as the Vietnamese shrine being pushed by Madison Nguyen).

    “and cannot be used as a way for the city to lure residents into supporting higher taxation.”
    from Dictionary.com: Lure: anything that attracts, entices, or allures; the power of attracting or enticing; a decoy. I guess you realized “lure” was a better choice than the more accurate word: ————.

    “Will taxpayers support a general tax increase if they are not confident it will be spent on essential/core services?”
    Our local politicians, like your buddy, Chuck Reed, have worked long and hard in creating that lack of taxpayer confidence, so don’t fool yourself into believing that you can “decoy” them with a particular word or alluring phrase. In this, the lost taxpayer confidence is exactly like the ruination Mr. Reed has brought to the SJPD; it’s here to stay.

  4. Sorry Piereluigi while you may say it is a double edged sword – you and Reed and anyone who was involved in the Yes on Measure V and Measure W campaigns that spoke with the politician’s forked tongue.

    In other words YOU LIED when you used those EXACT SAME WORDS (to protect “essential city services including neighborhood police patrols, fire stations, libraries, community centers, streets and parks…”) AND THEN CUT SERVICES AND LAID OFF EMPLOYEES.

    On another Note… TO the Residents of District 10: Response times are directly affected by Police staffing levels.  A little birdie told me that the graveyard shift staffed the 10th largest city in the USA with 63 bodies last thursday night (night of the big storm).  Prior to layoffs,  at this time last year they had 75 or so and prior to Pierluigi Oliverio’s Measure’s V and W passing – all to protect essential city services… blah blah blah… graves was going out with more than 80.

    • Meyer Weed has it right….Measure V and W were going to protect public safety, preserve essential services and put San Jose’s fiscal house in order….Remember Pier?

      I have figured out who you really are and what you are all about.  You are the guy in the red hat in this youtube video and this song should accompany any further postings you make on SJI:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D5Sa2Yq-2g

    • Thats nothing,,, a little birdie told me that last Thursday swings they were so short they asked for 12 volunteers to hold over from dayshift for overtime.  Poor morale and lack of respect for the job they do from City leaders = no volunteers.  They had to ORDER officers to stay against thier will just to get to minimum staffing.  Wait till summer and see how bad it gets.

    • San Jose residents should not have to depend on little birdies to know the police staffing levels   Does the city consider this information confidential or is it just afraid to let residents know just how few officers are on the beat?  Where can residents also see current response times along with how many calls are being ignored due to lack of officers?

      • At the bare minimum – The City Manager, Mayor and every member of the City Council gets digest of all major events occurring in the City for the previous 24 hours called ‘the Watch Commanders Report.’

        That digest includes staffing levels for each of the three shifts (Day/swing/grave) as well as the number of calls pending and active at the top of each hour.

        DEMAND ANSWERS!

      • Yes, the city is afraid to let residents know how few officers are on the beat. The city is also afraid to disclose the amount of crime in this city.  Ask any officer if you want to know the truth. I’ve asked my local police officers and have consistently been told the same kind of frightening numbers. I’ve even offered to hire them off duty to for my neighborhood. Atleast they know we appreciate them, unlike city hall.

  5. Lack of a law degree and/or common sense evident.

    The Appeals Court ruled against using the bogus “essential services” line because Measure B does not have one word and/or phrase that codifies the dedication of any “savings” toward the very “essential services” Pier says they were trying to preserve…the court ruled that it was MISLEADING in the context of a pension measure…HELLO!!!!

    If the council wanted to place a measure before the voters to raise taxes and wanted to dedicate those monies toward “essential services” that would not be misleading because the text of the measure would have some enabling language in it that would make the ballot question factual.

    That was not the case with Measure B.  Looks like a law degree is not in Pier’s future.

  6. maybe if you and the rest of your crew(,Liccardo,Constant,Nguyen,Hererra) would speak in clear, concise, Honest, english and not fabricated facts figures and numbers, San Jose could have reached an agreement with its employees.You have done nothing to aid public safety , so the notion that the city was GOING to ask for a tax for city services , is laughable. just be honest with the residents , You , Reed and crew are just out to destroy Public Safety and to make the rest of the citys workers work for peanuts. why is it no one ever mentions that city employees CAN NOT COLLECT SOCIAL SECURITY AND THAT THEY DO PAY INTO THEIR OWN RETIREMENT. I truely believe that even thou most people want pension reform , they want it done legally .Even more than that, people want REAL , HONEST LEADERSHIP, something that this current council is severly lacking

  7. I talked to a 20+ year CSJ employee the other day.  He’s not SJPD, but he’s in one of the departments.  Won’t say which one of course.

    He was disappointed that the union decided to fight for “spiking”  Spiking rarely happens in his department, but he told me it’s pretty rampant in another department.

    I’ve seen plenty of spiking and golden parachutes over the years in high tech.  I’m sure you’ve seen your fair share of it too.  How often does the person getting the spike actually deserve it..

    What I’m getting at is, most of the folks that benefit from spiking, do so because of their brown nosing abilities, and not because they have a heavy work ethic.

    I think for the point of being on-topic and cordial discourse, what are your thoughts on the subject of spiking?  What would you propose to do in order to level the playing field for all employees, regardless of who’s anus they’ve kissed?

  8. “essential city services including neighborhood police patrols, fire stations, libraries, community centers, streets and parks,”
    When did community centers become essential services? Let me help you out, here: it was when our elected creeps realized it was the only way left to package political paybacks to racist rabble-rousers. Taking care of grandpa and grandma is not the city’s business, nor is providing a plaza for Mexicans to celebrate their culture, a center for Filipinos to be with other Filipinos, or any other such endeavors, realized or planned (such as the Vietnamese shrine being pushed by Madison Nguyen).

    “and cannot be used as a way for the city to lure residents into supporting higher taxation.”
    from Dictionary.com: Lure: anything that attracts, entices, or allures; the power of attracting or enticing; a decoy. I guess you realized “lure” was a better choice than the more accurate word: bullshit.

    “Will taxpayers support a general tax increase if they are not confident it will be spent on essential/core services?”
    Our local politicians, like your buddy, Chuck Reed, have worked long and hard establishing that lack of taxpayer confidence, so don’t fool yourself into believing that you can “decoy” them with a particular word or alluring phrase. In this, the lost taxpayer confidence is exactly like the ruination Mr. Reed has brought to the SJPD; it’s here to stay.

    2nd posting

  9. Wake up D-6!  Being honest with voters is a double-edged sword?  The removal of the wording, “essential city services including neighborhood police patrols, fire stations, libraries, community centers, streets and parks,” was removed from the ballot question because Measure B doesn’t protect or restore of any of these services.  Pay attention to word “LURE.”  Rather than being direct and honest with voters, Pierluigi would like to LURE you to vote for something without really understanding it.  Let me help you with Measure B.  If you vote for Measure B, you are voting to forgive your own debt.  Sound lawful?  No?  You’re right, its not.  The LURE that Pierluigi wants you to bite on is that you (we- Yes, I live in D-6) will have essential city services restored.

    Now before the jester chimes in again with more deception, Fire Fighters want real, lawful, cost-saving pension reform and we stand ready to implement it right now in order to start saving money right now.

    Pierluigi suggests that telling the truth on the Measure B ballot question will risk being unable to put forward a future tax measure?  Maybe he means if voters can’t be lied to today, then we can’t be lied to tomorrow.  Perhaps a more fundamental question is this:  If we vote to walk away from our pension debt, won’t we then be able to pay for essential city services?  Oh, that’s right, that was just a LURE.  A LURE that the courts cut off of the fishing line.  Maybe other San Jose council members are better at fishing.  This one has hooked his own mouth, tangled his line in a tree, and fallen in his own bucket of bait.  He stinks and he doesn’t have this fish fooled.

    What’s the city council’s real plan?  Step 1:  unlawfully tax employees another 16% of their pay to make up for the public’s self-forgiven debt (in the city council’s plan over half of Fire Fighters pay will go to pay for pension costs) – and while we’re at it, let’s fire police officers and fire fighters who get hurt on the job.  Step 2:  get tied up in court for several years to see if something breaks off of vested benefit and contract law.  Step 3:  Be out of office, enjoying their unreformed CalPERS retirement benefits before the courts tell the City to pay up.  Yes, it’s risky, but only for San Jose residents and employees.

  10. You have ZERO credibility with enlightened district 6 residents PLO. We see what this councils “leadership” has done to this once decent area of the city. You have so many proposals to increase funding for public safety but you don’t exhibit the character to challenge the Mayor, liccardo, and constant on any of their obviously flawed and derelict plans.

    I don’t know the secret to success, but I know the secret to failure is to try to please everyone.