San Jose Mayor Delays Call For Fiscal Emergency

SAN JOSE (KCBS / CBS 5) — San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has delayed a vote on his call for a fiscal emergency in the city.

“Rather than make that declaration today, I think we should modify that and direct staff to return to the council on June 21 with a formal declaration of fiscal and public safety emergency,” said Reed.

San Jose Councilwoman Nancy Pyle said she felt uncomfortable with the proposal, citing too many uncertainties.

“Here’s my dilemma. If we don’t have figures, we can’t make cogent, sane decisions and that is a huge problem,” she said. “I need more confidence to be built in so that I know that in that time frame, we’ll be able to get sufficient information so that everybody knows exactly what the status is.”

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

The San Jose City Council is faced with closing a $115 million budget deficit.
Reed has warned that drastic action was needed, given San Jose’s ongoing budget gaps.

“The City of San Jose is undergoing terrible cuts in our budget, we’re going to have to lay off police officers, firefighters, close libraries, community centers,” he warned before Tuesday’s meeting. “We’ve cut and cut and cut for years and we are down beyond the bone and we’re causing damage to our city and we need to take action now in order to prevent damage in 2012 that’s going to be dramatically worse than what we’re seeing this year.”

It was a hard sell for San Jose city workers, many of whom attended a noontime rally outside City Hall – one worker pointing out that he disagreed with having been hired with the understanding that he would enjoy certain retirement benefits, only to learn now he might not ultimately receive them.

Reed also proposed amending San Jose’s charter to raise the retirement age, in addition to other pension reforms which would have to be approved by voters, most likely in November 2011.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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