Leadership Transition Continues with City Manager Debra Figone’s Retirement

San Jose City Manager Debra Figone announced this week she will retire after overseeing city operations for six years. Her tenure, which will come to an end in December, has marked some of the most difficult years in the city’s history, as the City Council enacted layoffs and pay cuts to cope with historic budget deficits. Her departure will likely leave the city with an interim city manager, police chief and fire chief, all while the 2014 mayoral race is in full swing.


Number of Missing Fire Response Time Reports ‘Significantly Higher’ than Expected

The San Jose Fire Department has a pretty good idea how long it takes firefighters to get to emergencies. Well, some emergencies. SJFD officials told San Jose Inside this week that thousands of emergency calls in recent years were mistakenly left out when calculating response times. In the 2011-12 fiscal year, there were 52,400 reported calls for emergency medical or fire services, according to current department statistics. But SJFD officials now acknowledge underreporting the numbers, and the total will be “significantly higher.”

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Mayor Reed is Wrong about Murder Rate

Editor’s Note: Jim Unland is a sergeant in the San Jose Police Department and vice president of the Police Officers Association. He wrote this column for San Jose Inside.

Last week the nationally renowned criminologist Chuck Reed said, “There’s nobody that seems to think that there’s a direct connection between the number of officers and the number of homicides.” However, Mayor Reed has also said that gang homicides can be prevented. Every time he says that the number of officers doesn’t matter with regards to the homicide rate, he demonstrates his ignorance as to how the San Jose PD has kept its citizens safe for so many years.


Supervisors Look for Budget Answers

Kicking off the first of three budget workshops this week, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors launched on Tuesday the first review of a proposed budget that will have to cut $219.6 million for the upcoming fiscal year. The proposed budget calls for an estimated 110 layoffs, 122 county employees would be bumped to lower-paying positions, and 300 would be transferred to different departments.

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Budget Crisis Looks Even Bleaker

San Jose City Manager Debra Figone unveiled her proposed budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year on Monday, and the forecast is grim. With a projected shortfall of $115.2 million, Figone’s budget says 588 city positions will likely need to be eliminated, which comes out to roughly 10 percent of all workers. Of that amount, 370 workers would be subject to layoffs. These numbers come under the assumption that the city will get all 11 labor unions to agree to an ongoing 10 percent cut in total compensation for city workers. If agreements are not reached, an additional 446 positions would need to be eliminated.