Sign Here, Please

I predict going forward that groups sponsoring ballot initiatives will be a constant part of the political landscape in San Jose, similar to the outside funding of planning department ordinances by third parties to move forward on regulations.

The minimum wage initiative recently gathered and submitted the required signatures last week, and action will be taken at the May 22 City Council meeting. A library initiative is also in the process of gathering signatures for a November election.

The city of San Jose budget director reviewed the impacts of implementing the potential library petition, which would require a certain amount of revenue to be spent on libraries. This increase would be $19.4 million from the general fund. This amount is ongoing and would require the layoffs of 175 police officers. Single-issue advocacy has its effect on other department budgets and this is an obvious example. Knowing that this could cut 175 police officers is too much to bear.

As far as the library advocates’ motives, I don’t blame them. It is a strategic move that will be duplicated by others. Those soliciting petitions will find many people sympathetic to signing the petition, especially as they enter and exit a library. However, to be fair, the signer of the petition should also be asked what do they want cut from other city departments to fund the library department. I understand why this path was chosen, because residents may not support a special library tax in 2014, which requires a ⅔ vote to pass.

Prior to 175 police officers being laid off, let’s give volunteers a chance to extend library hours, as this is a more viable option than relying on volunteer police officers.


  1. I think we should have volunteer council members in San Jose.  The cost of a mayor, city council, and staff is more than 175 police officers.

    Especially Silicon Vallley Executives posing as council members.  Double dip?

  2. PO

    Volunteer police officers.  Have you really lost you mind?  One minute the city in saying hire 70 officers over the next year and now you say 175 more officers may be cut.  Which is it.  Your bubby Liccardo states “we never saw a union commitment to take the bunden of future liabilities off the backs of our taxepayes”.  That is a flat out lie.  The unions made multiple offers and concessions including two pay cuts.  But the mayor is so hell bent on Measure B, all union concessions were outright rejected.

    SJPD with 1099 total officers? Not any time soon. In fact, in just the space of time between the Mercury News checking the numbers in mid-April , SJPD has shrunk by an additional 10 officers, bringing the department’s total staffing to 1078. The last time SJPD was this size was 22 years ago when San Jose had approximately 200,000 fewer residents.

    If measure B passes you will see a mass exit of more officers because and do you really think you will get qualified officers to every come work here.

    • And crime with continue to increase and tax revenue will go down as San Jose goes for being the safest to the most dangerous.

      The stats dont lie:
      Property crimes rose in the first two months of 2012, according to San Jose Police Department reports to the California Department of Justice. There were 811 burglaries reported in January and February, compared with 603 in the same period in 2011. Vehicle theft reports shot up to 1,191 from 876 a year ago. Larceny or thefts the first two months of the year totaled 2,382 compared with 1,874 in the same period a year ago…Violent crimes, except for homicide, also rose in the same period. Rapes increased to 44 compared with 30 a year earlier. Robberies totaled 188 compared with 158 in 2011, and aggravated assaults rose to 329 from 280 a year ago

  3. PO,
    I agree with you that the petition process process will hurt some services. However, due to the lack of leadership from the Mayor and City Manager’s Office, what else could you expect. Everyone has their heads up the Budget Donkey that they can’t see what is happening ( the slow destruction of a great city)

  4. PLO easy fix to all this mess you and Reed got us into.  Increase the amount of the General Fund by 5%.  This would be more in line with every other American city!!!  2. And do not use numbers off the top of your head. 3. Stop lying to the people about how doom and gloom it is.  This does not help business.  4. Council to be volunteer and not year long job.

  5. Josh,

    I will ask you again when you post but I have a question is SJI associated with the SJMN?  You talk about copyrights and yet the Merky News just posted your article:

    Independent Police Auditor Notes Lag in Internal Affairs Investigations
    Apr 13, 2012 by Josh Koehn Politics, Culture Comments (4)

    On thier editoral page like it was thier own article.

    Whats up?

  6. You don’t have to worry about laying off 175 officers to save money.  They will quit on their own within the year and go to cities where leaders there know how important public safety is.  Unfortunately there is no going back, the future leaders of the Department are running out the door.  Keep watching those FBI crime stats skyrocket as staffing dwindles!

  7. 2 homicides, third in critical.
    17 attempted homicides. Shootings, stabbings, baseball bats.
    9 armed robberies.
    Cops leaving left and right for other cities.

    That is just last weekend. What will the Cinco de Mayo weekend bring?

    • The COP will stay because he gets a huge pay check.  And he will be home for Cinco.  He works five days a week, get a take home car, yearly bonus check and could care less about moral.  Ask a street cop the last time he attended a briefing?

      I blame the mayor and city manager for not going outside the department to get a new view of how to run the PD, and Fire departments. 

      Go outside the box instead of blaming pensions, you all signed off on contracts, did not put money into penison funds when money was good (spending in RDA) now you want to crush unions, blaming them for all your wasteful spending.

        Shame on you!

  8. Pot meet Kettle Mr. Oliverio.  Didn’t yo and a majority of the council support Ballot Initiative B not to mention V and W) and a number of others? V and W haved cost the City the moral of all city empolyees and made San Jose more dangerous than it was before those measures passed.

    Any hard mumbers on what Measure B could cost the City if/when a court invalidates it? all that back pay SJ will owe the pension fund? all the legal costs assiciated with defending the indefensible?

    Here is my take on the “inititive process:”  Do away with it and do away with term limits too.  Both of these “once great” ideas lead to one huge unintended consequence!  That is, our elected representatives refuse to lead or be involved in the decision making process.  You and all Pols have essentially eliminated the “Republic” in favor of direct democracy. The Pol’s role in this is to gin up the support for the initiative of the moment from dull-normal/mouth-breathing barely funtioning idiots and we are worse off for it.

  9. PO,

    Wow you hit a nerve and you have hit an all time low.  You sit on the public safety committee.  This must piss you off if you suggest laying off 175 police officers if you don’t get your votes.  No mention of fire fighters or other union members!

    Who can trust the cities BS numbers any more than we trust you and the rest of you clowns. Chuck, Consent and the rest.

    What PO does not tell you is that when SJPD recently put out the call for new applicants only 800 people applied for 70 authorized positions, of which only about 30-40 are likely to make the cut to enter SJPD’s first police academy since 2008. By contrast, when Oakland PD announced it was hiring earlier this year, they had 2,500 applicants for 55 positions.  The reading is on the wall, they may not have a pension when they retire. We already know the Tuesday Vote for new city employees (reduction) has already been aproved or it would not even come up for a vote)

    PO, good people would rather work in Oakland than here.  Better start thinking about out sourcing the police department soon.  Do you understand property crimes ( when your house gets broken into are no being longer investigated) or any other property thefts (your car is stolen) just contact your insurance company.

    We still have a 90K police building sitting empty, time to sell!

    Glad I left SJ to a safer city.

  10. Initiatives are the problem.  The City should not be allowed to vote on an issue to put before the voters if they do not get enough signatures either. The unintended consequences of all initiatives must be made known or you do not have an informed voting population.  However, you have not made the consequences of Measure B clear so the voters know the true impact and consequences of Measure B. It certainly does seem like the pot calling the kettle black.

    • Amen, the true facts need to be out there.  MN is not going to do it, city will not do it, UNIONS come forth with the truth, don’t sit on your hands.  use some funds and get the facts out there.

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