San Jose’s City Manager today released preliminary budget reduction proposals aimed at closing a projected $116 million shortfall in the City’s general fund for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2010.

The City Manager’s proposal includes drastic service cuts, including the elimination of 878 positions (only 142 of these are currently vacant; 78 of these were restored during last year’s budget process with one-year funding).

“San Jose is facing the most difficult fiscal situation in the past decade,” said San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed regarding the proposed cuts. “Our $116 million shortfall is more than the budget for all of our parks, libraries, community centers, and senior services combined. The Manager’s preliminary proposals show that closing this gap will have a drastic impact on the services that residents depend on and eliminate the jobs of hundreds of dedicated employees.

“We can save jobs and vital services if we all share the sacrifice. We need every union to agree to a 10 percent reduction in wages and benefits to minimize layoffs and service cuts. San Jose employees work hard and are committed to serving the residents of this great city. In times like these, we must pull together to save services and jobs.”

The City Manager’s Preliminary Budget Reduction Proposals are online here.

These proposals should be viewed in their totality. There is no single department or area that will not be profoundly affected by service reductions. The elimination of 878 positions includes:

  • In the Police Department, the elimination of approximately 160 sworn positions would include positions in Patrol, Investigations and special units.
  • In the Fire Department, elimination of approximately 86 sworn positions would include the elimination of five engine Companies, one Truck Company, and the reconfiguration of staffing and response of the dedicated Hazardous Incident Team.
  • In the Library Department, a significant reduction would cut branch library hours to three days/week. Reductions would eliminate approximately 110 positions.
  • In the Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department, the closure of 21 satellite and neighborhood community centers and the reduction of many community services would result in the elimination of approximately 117 positions.
  • In the Transportation Department, cuts would be spread across many services including the Capital Program, traffic calming, and street maintenance resulting in the elimination of approximately 40 positions.

The City of San Jose has 11 bargaining units (unions) representing approximately 6,358 City employees.  The City is in negotiations with almost all of the unions with a goal of reducing personnel costs to help lessen service level reductions and layoffs of City employees as the City deals with a budget shortfall of $116.2 million.

Information about the status of labor negotiations, including proposals made by the City and the unions, is available here.