Council to Discuss Top 10 Priorities

The City Council is expected to finalize the city staff’s Top 10 priorities for the current fiscal year at Tuesday’s meeting

There are ordinances city staff is in the process of completing, ordinances that are currently on hold and ordinances to be considered for the future. Already, the city has completed one of its priorities for 2011-12: reviewing an idea to lease the Municipal Water System. Meanwhile, action on two priorities in the workplan has yet to be taken. According to a memo on city staff progress, a review of regulations and enforcement for medical marijuana is 90 percent complete.

With three high-priority spots potentially vacant on the city’s workplan, several councilmembers have submitted ideas on what they think should take a front seat.

Councilmembers Ash Kalra, Sam Liccardo, Donald Rocha and and Xavier Campos have all signed a memo asking for staff to include in its workplan a review of payday lending facilities and smoking in outdoor areas. The city already has several grants available to begin such reviews.

“In short, for both projects, we have an opportunity to study potentially beneficial policies at a significantly reduced cost and with substantial assistance from partner organizations,” the councilmembers’ memo says. “In this time of fiscal constraints, it is incumbent upon us to take advantage of the funding and partnership opportunities to implement policies that protect the health and financial well-being of our residents.”

Councilmember Nancy Pyle has submitted a memo that recommends the city pass a Social Host Ordinance designed to take “a stand against underage drinking and adults who provide minors with alcohol …”

Pyle notes “neighboring cities of Morgan Hill, Gilroy, Palo Alto, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Santa Clara, Los Altos, Los Gatos and Milpitas have already approved a Social Host Ordinance.”

Councilmember Kansen Chu submitted a memo with two recommendations for the city workplan. Chu would like to see a streamlined process for gaming control licensing and work permits, as well as an ordinance for plug-ins for electric vehicles at city parking garages.

Among other decisions to be made, the council on Tuesday could also elect a new member to the Elections Commission. The applicants include: Neno Aiello, Rolanda Pierre Dixon, Louisa Davis, Brian Quint, Christine DiSalvo, Rama Sehtia, Rosalie Flores and Albert Reavis.

The appointee’s term would run through Mar. 1, 2015.

Click Here to Read the City Council Agenda for August 30, 2011.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. “Councilmembers Ash Kalra, Sam Liccardo, Donald Rocha and and Xavier Campos have all signed a memo asking for staff to include in its workplan a review of payday lending facilities and smoking in outdoor areas.”

    Smoking in outdoor areas?
    For the top 10 priorities in the city’s workplan?  Really?

    I have a tip-top priority for the city’s top priority workplan – reduce the total number of city council seats by 4.

    • “Mega Dittos!” Also cut the meetings to once a month!
      There is a limit on genius; there is no limit on stupidity! We are paying taxpayer money to pay for this nonsense?
      Stop give money to non profits. Get rid of City departments that the Council calls services but are an unnecessary pain in the ass. The Planning department should be number 1 on that list. There are others that we do not need.
      The Council Members should stick their heads into a bucket of cold water to see if that wakes them up before they have any more brilliant ideas.

  2. Some where I read that the mayor and council need 100 employees to support their position. That is amazing that many people to help someone who is elected do their job. Or could it be they need that many because 90% of the day is spent asking for money.

  3. #3. Reduce the number of departments.  Combine Economic Development, Planning, Housing, and RDA.  Fold Libraries into Neighborhoods.  Combine Public Works and Transportation.  Spin off the Airport to an Authority.  Keep the utilities – they help support the base administrative load.

  4. #4 – Fix or outsource Fire.  Either fix the overtime and disability scams and restructure the Fire Department to match current realities (mostly medical calls and prevention) or outsource the entire operation.

  5. #5 Form a power utility.  PG&E is not a friend to San Jose.  A city power utility would result in lower and greener power (like Santa Clara and Palo Alto) and help attract energy intensive businesses.

  6. Police and Fire Retirement Board needs major changes.  They hand out disability retirements like candy at Halloween.  There is no independent investigators to verify claims.

    I know of numerous bogus claims, one happens to sit on the city council.

  7. #1 Reduce the staffs of the Mayor, Council, and City Manager.  The Mayor can have 3 assistants, 1 for each CM, and 3 for the City Manager.  The dozens of current staff accomplish little except get in the way.  Require the departments to accomplish their missions without all this extra duplicative bureaucracy.

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