San Jose Mayor Reed: Everyone To Share Budget Pain

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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.)

  • Ron Veldan

    Why are pensions so holy? This whole idea that we’ll continue to pay people gigantic sums of money after they retire and until they basically die is ridiculous. If I’m not mistaken, they also get free healthcare for life after retirement as well. What a scam. How come employees from private companies don’t get this perk. If only I could get a government job…

  • DaPoPoMan

    Ron your ignorance is not astounding. Pensions are so holy because that is what people are working for. If someone is really talented they can parlay those talents in the private sector into huge sums, but they are required to set aside for their retirements. The government jobs, which provide services to the community, do not make nearly those sums of money. They are designed to generate livable income and for after retirement (pension). There have been many companies who plundered their pension funds leaving the retirees with nothing, which is not what they worked hard for many years to realize. The actions of those companies is criminal but they were allowed to get away with it.

    Only the department heads get ‘gigantic sums’. It is not the rank and file. Most pensions have their retirees paying for medical now, its not the way it used to be. You lament about private companies not doing this. I hate to break the news to you but they used to when they were union. People decided to do away with unions or go to work for non-union companies and when you do that it is all up to YOU. Also, I can think of at least 30 people who never collected a year’s worth of retirement payments before they died. They did not even draw out what they had contributed into their retirement. So that is free money for the fund.

    You also forget that the Bay Area is one of the most expensive areas of the country in which to live. Therefore pay has to be commensurate to that. Why do you think most people move out of state when they retire? They move to places where they can make the most of their retirement income.

    Most public employees pay 15%+ into their retirement system. The city/county/state contributes 30%. The remaining 55% comes from investments made by the retirement fund. Most employees have to have been retired for at least 8-10 years before they start hitting the money the city/county/state contributed. Also, safety employees do not get to draw Social Security, did you know that?

    Its too bad most people do not bother to educate themselves. This budget crisis was not manufactured by the public employees. It comes down to fiscal mismanagement and failure to plan by the ‘leaders’ and elected officials. Do not try and foist their lack of fiduciary responsibility upon the workers.

    • Terrence McMann

      PooPooMan … Why are you commenting on this story? You’re a mall security guard. Stop defending government pensions. It doesn’t benefit you. TM

    • JBlevins

      Enough of the entitlements. Stop mooching off taxpayer dollars. No more welfare for the govt workers On a program that they call “Pension.” If the job doesn’t pay enough, they should get off their tails and get an education and get a better paying job. STOP USING TAXPAYER DOLLARS FOR PENSIONS.

      • DaPoPoMan

        Pension plans are not entitlements. Entitlements come from welfare and are something given for nothing. The public employees work and provide services to the public. As far as ‘getting an education’ there are a good many public employees who hold high level degrees. It seems you are just upset, most likely because you do not have a pension. Or are you one of the exorbitantly wealthy people who are part of the tea-baggers? And before you call me a liberal, I am not a democrat.

        I am very conservative in my views and the only way out of this mess, which was created by our idiot politicians and their lack of fiduciary responsibility, is to make spending cuts and to raise taxes. Sorry, but there is no way around it. People do not want to pay higher taxes but will have to happen.

  • Bill Allistaire

    Hey PooPooMan, this is Bill. I came to Johhnies party at The Bottom of the Fifth Bar. Do you remember talking to me and my wife about your KCBS postings pretending to be an expert on police official duties? I can’t believe you’re still pretending to be a police officer. Don’t be ashamed of being a Rent-a-Guard at the mall.

  • Mark Gasshaus

    Mr Poopooman (aka pretending to be a police officer). Stop playing games on this site. We’re trying to have intelligent conversations. We don’t need immoral characters pretending to be something they’re not.

    • DaPoPoMan

      Its interesting that you post all your screen names with double letters, is it something pathological?

  • Kim Dewey

    I’m new to this, but the pension issue is what I am interested in. Seems like the popoman’s friends know him very well and that he is a security guard. Hence his sign in name is popoman (slang for poor poor man). I am against govt pensions. Yes, they are funded by taxpayers. Yes, it is welfare. The pension entitlement is stopping now!!!! If your job doesn’t pay enough, you can no longer look at the tax payers to bail you out. No more welfare for govt workers. You mentioned you are for spending cuts; well, since govt pensions are counted in the budget as an expense, let’s cut the pensions. You can’t pay out more than you receive, this includes pensions. You are living proof that conservatives are also on welfare. You live the lie; you believe liberals are the only ones in welfare. Most of the states in the US that lean to towards republican receive mire federal dollars than they pay in. Example: Alaska (red state). They pay $1 to the Feds and receive $2.45 back……WELFARE !!!!!! California (blue state) $1 paid, 65 cents back.

  • J Blevins

    Poopooman, yes, I live a life of luxury. I attended graduate school that was paid fir by me. I worked hard and built a corporation. No handouts. I did NOT receive tax credits under Reagan. I dud get them under Bush 1 & 2. I did not use them to create jobs. I paid them to shareholders. My corporate pension fund is 100% funded by my corporation. My employees also “Serve the public” as you stated you do. All jobs serve the public. All American workers contribute to the economy. You made a typical republican response “cut spending and pensions, just don’t cut mine.” Time to get off the tax payer gravy train – time for you to give back the entitlements. As your friends stated in earlier posts, security guard is an honorable job. My company can use experienced guards. Apply tomorrow. We provide a pension 100% funded by the company. No tax dollars. No, I am not a member of the tea party. I am a liberal that believes in helping others. The US economy cannot be strong if there are millions of people without aid. There will always be people who need help. I’d rather pay a little now, than pay a lot more later. You seem intelligent, think about that.

  • Jim W

    San Jose mayor spoke about police and fire pensions and the impact to their city. No, government officials did not take money from the pensions. The law states that officials cannot use pension monies to pay bills. He pointed out that pension payouts are larger than the pool of money in the pension plans. The give aways were too generous. Police and fire are not entitled to tax payer dollars only because they serve the public. If we use your logic, pay the teachers, librarians, crossing guards and others.

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