SAN JOSE (BCN) – San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed delivered the 2011 State of the City address Thursday night, highlighting a $110 million budget cut and rising pension costs.
“The budget definitely is public enemy number one—an enemy that will steal our hopes of becoming a great city,” Reed said in his speech at the San Jose Civic Auditorium.
Reed said closing the budget would take more than the 10-percent cut in wages and benefits that city employees agreed to last year, and he urged workers to consider making the concessions permanent.
KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports: Reed commended employees for their work despite reduced resources and said the city needs to maintain its police officers and firefighters.
Despite the city’s grim state of affairs, Reed pledged that he would not drastically cut the police force or stop paying pensions. Public libraries and community centers would remain open, he said.
“What we will do is implement fiscal reforms to bring costs under control,” Reed said.
Retirement costs, which are expected to reach $400 million by 2015, must be brought under control, he said. Reed noted that the changes would affect all—retirees, current employees and new hires.
“Everyone has to participate, everyone has to help,” he said.
“Everyone has to share the pain.”
Council members joined the audience in a standing ovation as Reed closed an otherwise sobering speech on a hopeful note, by reminding residents that San Jose has a great quality of life and is a city of opportunity.
(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)