Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Early Look at Gloom-and-Doom Scenario for San Jose's FY12 Budget*

[*For fiscal year that runs from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013.]

Budget forecast: San Jose may have to close libraries, community centers. (San Jose Mercury News, 9/21/2011)

Excerpt: Every San Jose branch library shuttered. All city community center programs shut down. No more school crossing guards or park rangers. Even fewer cops.

That will likely be the reality for San Jose residents next summer if city officials don't raise taxes or trim employee pensions and perks, city administrators told San Jose's elected leaders Tuesday.

"This is no way to run a city of a million people," City Manager Debra Figone warned. "The solutions are not popular. This is a pivotal year."

Tuesday's gloom-and-doom session was an unusually early look at the upcoming fiscal year's spending plan -- something city leaders normally dig into in the spring before finalizing the budget in June.

City leaders want to get an early jump on difficult budget cuts that loom ahead. After 10 straight years of patching operating deficits -- mostly by eliminating positions left open by staff turnover -- the easy cuts are long gone. San Jose saw its first police layoffs in June when 66 young officers lost their jobs

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