Council to Discuss Bumping, Police Chief

The topic of bumping takes center stage at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the first of 2013. An audit focusing on the last 10 years of city staff reductions—a report former District 10 Councilmember Nancy Pyle was dying to discuss but will instead be heard by new kid on the block Johnny Khamis—has some less than stellar findings.

Here’s a nutshell of how much has been stripped from city services, according to the audit:

“Over the past decade, the City of San Jose has cut 28 percent of budgeted positions. The City has eliminated budgeted positions over the last ten years mainly by eliminating positions as they became vacant. This either shifts the workload to remaining employees or causes managers to scale back work. In addition to laying-off 337 people over the last ten years (all but 6 were laid off in the last three years), 2,444 fulltime employees retired and 1,507 fulltime employees resigned. The City’s annual turnover rate, which historically had been between 5 to 8 percent, spiked to 14 percent in 2011—a year in which the City cut more than 600 budgeted positions.”

Below are other key items on the City Council Agenda for January 8, 2013:

— This next report could be bad news or good news, depending on how much a person monetizes their self-worth. In a report of city services and accomplishments, there is a breakdown of how much money is spent on individual San Jose residents from a departmental perspective:

• $299 for Police
• $234 for Citywide, General Fund Capital, Transfers, and Reserves
• $198 for Environmental Services
• $159 for Fire
• $ 77 for Public Works
• $ 69 for Transportation
• $ 59 for Airport
• $ 53 for Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services
• $38 Finance, Retirement, Information Technology, and Human Resources
• $35 for Mayor, City Council, and Council Appointees
• $35 for Convention Facilities and Economic Development
• $29 Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement
• $28 for Library
• $ 8 for Housing

— There’s a police chief search underway, and the council needs to sign off on a SJPD policy statement as well as some interview questions for candidates. The two most provocative requests/queries:

No. 5 Please describe your approach to working in a unionized environment, including non-sworn as well as sworn personnel.

No. 17 How would you deal with a recommendation that, in your professional judgment should be made, but which you know may be unpopular with the Mayor and City Council?

— The council could sign off on a 10-year, $1.25 million lease agreement with Whispers Café and Creperie, which would be located at 150 S. First St.

— The city could sell property to Launchpad Development Nine, LLC for a Rocketship charter school at Tamien Park. The sale already has Mayor Chuck Reed and Vice Mayoir Madison Nguyen’s blessing.

— Could a pilot program for Curb Cafés’, which is a fancy way of describing tables and chairs placed out front of a restaurant or coffee shop, rescue San Jose’s downtown?

— City Manager Debra Figone is taking a trip to Las Vegas on Jan. 24-26 to take part in the Large Cities Executive Forum. Ballin’.

Noble Dog Park Community meetings could receive some funding if recognized as city-sponsored special events. District 4 Councilmember Kansen Chu is leading the charge.

— And one item worth keeping an eye on at next week’s meeting is the sale of several city properties from the stable of properties under the watch of the Successor Agency to the city’s deceased RDA. Included in the list of properties to be sold is 193 E. Santa Clara Street, which Symphony Development wants “for a purchase price in the amount of $4,250,000.”

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


  1. Some City Hall folks are in fact ballin’ like Jim Jones’ “We Fly High (Ballin’)” tune with their inflated salaries.  Stay classy San Jose.

  2. Martin Monica for COP.

    How low can you go Chuck!

    Suggest Pete Constant, since Chuck needs a puppet anyway.  That way PC can triple dip.

    Really, who in the hell wants the jog other than the money.

  3. Humm, 299 for police when they are jumping off a sinking ship, how much goes to forced overtime?  Would you please explain this one, when you mention retirement below.

    234 for general fund when you seem to spent this on all the below mentioned.

    198 for environment services, please explain what the heck this is!

    59 for airport, that is supose to be self supporting, major joke.

    53 for parks, recs and neighborhood services, which we do not get.

    38 for retirement, etc. Is this what caused Measure B?

    35 for all of your council and clown funds.

    28 for all of our closed libraries

    8 for low income housing that we do not need.

    Where is the hidden money for apprised ballpark property?

    and you wonder why this city is out of control.  How much money is set aside to defend Measure B (that will lose) and where is that money coming from?

    Try listing all your hidden funds as well.

    This is why this city sucks, worst than the federal govt. and all the pork belly funds.

  4. The breakdown above represents $1.28 billion, from the General Fund.  The City operates other funds and the total City budget is $2.8 billion.  While you hear a lot about pensions, we never get a clear picture of where the other *half* of our money goes.

    Page 18 makes it look like Redevelopment went away, saving 100% of it’s cost- the reality is that we are *currently* with about $4 billion in RD debt, far far far greater of a concern than a pension that is underfunded when projected out decades.

    • BINGO !!! its a shell game , its all in what The Mayor, Manager and Council want the residents to know . Residents in San Jose are To Lazy or coudnt be Bothered enough to do their own research , It is much easier to blindly believe elected officials , than to question their Integrity and/or honesty . It has never been about pensions , city workers offered to roll back pensions @ least 10 %  plus increase medical and dental co pays . all with a GUARANTEED savings to the City. The Mayor flat out refused to even look at the proposal . It was going to be his way , no ands, ifs or buts about it. Public safety employees will be bringing home aproximately $43, 000 per year . How can they be expected to continue to pay mortgage and provide for their familys in one of the most expensive places in the country to live? .

      Public safety should have its own fund , NOT be in the general fund ( most Citys have a different fund) . People would then realize that they pay more for their cellphones than they do for public safety.




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