San Jose facing $100-million budget deficit

Mayor says state' eats local revenues faster than Joey Chestnut eats hot dogs'

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed delivered the 2010 State of the City address Thursday morning, focusing on rebuilding the economy, creating jobs, closing the budget cut and improving public safety.

Addressing hundreds at the McEnery Convention Center, Reed began the speech by proposing solutions to meet the city's $100 million dollar deficit.

"The biggest challenge we face is balancing our budget in the wake of the worst recession since the Great Depression, in a time when we must compete with the world for private sector investment, and in a state where the Legislature eats local revenues faster than Joey Chestnut eats hot dogs," Reed said.

He called on employee unions and city administration to work together to reduce employee costs, stating that a 5 percent reduction in the average cost per employee negotiated by the city manager in November was insufficient.

"We need every bargaining unit to give back 10 to 15 percent to avoid layoffs," Reed said. "It's time for everyone to share the pain to save the jobs of your friends and co-workers."

Above all, Reed said economic development is the ticket to increasing revenues.

"San Jose is the capital of Silicon Valley, the world's center of innovation. Our driving industry companies will continue to create jobs and invest in innovation, facilities, and equipment. The question is: Will they do it in San Jose?" Reed said.

Bay City News contributed to this report.


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