Posted: 11/22/2011 08:55:14 PM PST
Updated: 11/22/2011 10:59:51 PM PST
With life hanging in the balance, San Jose police and firefighters will take minutes longer to respond to emergencies. City libraries and community centers, some newly built, will sit locked and empty. There will be no more city recreation programs, and roads will continue to deteriorate.
"We are in a fiscal crisis," City Manager Debra Figone said. "Unless the city acts now to reduce these costs, the only choice will be to further reduce services to unacceptable levels. Further reductions of the magnitude necessary to pay retirement costs will cause the health, safety and well-being of our residents to be placed in critical and unacceptable risk."
San Jose's years-long battle over rising retirement costs will reach a crucial juncture Dec. 6, when the City Council is expected to vote whether to declare a fiscal emergency and set in place a March special election on a pension reform ballot measure championed by Mayor Chuck Reed.
"Our employees are dedicated, hardworking people, but if we fail to act, the ultimate consequences would be severe and devastating cuts to our workforce and to our services," Reed said in a statement. "Placing these reforms on the ballot will allow the people of San Jose to decide critical matters that will have a dramatic impact on their quality of life. After six months of discussion, debate and negotiations, it is time to act."
Submitted by Todd Bray