This year, the San Jose City Council is forced to make drastic cuts. Unfortunately, the city of San Jose has had a deficit for the last decade even before the Great Recession. In fact, even without the recession, San Jose’s financial obligations are significantly higher then revenues coming into the city.
As a result current elected officials are left with trade offs often having to pit necessary services against each other. This year the deficit is $118 million. This is more then the entire library, transportation, planning, code enforcement, information technology, city attorney and public works departments combined.
The purpose of the survey is to gauge your thoughts about what means the most to you knowing that difficult decisions are going to be made and for you to share your thoughts on how the city can save and make money.
For example, there are alternative cost savings ideas that I support like second-tier pensions for new employees the taxpayer can afford, selling the Hayes Mansion, selling one of three golf courses, requiring affordable housing to pay property taxes, outsourcing cleaning/maintenance to save money, capping accrued sick leave payouts, to name a few. These will take longer to implement, however. If our City would have considered these items when I first discussed them, we would benefit from the cost-savings today.
This survey covers choices that must be made by June 4. The Council and all non-union personnel have taken a 10 percent pay cut and have requested that all of the 11 employee labor unions do the same so we can bypass massive layoffs—thus we would be able to provide expected services to residents. A 10 percent pay cut from all employees will help; however we would still be left with an approximate $60 million deficit.
The survey closes May 30 at noon. Survey results will be published on May 31 on SanJoseInside.com