Why Did San José Really Lose 400 Police Officers?

The number of sworn officers in the San José Police Department has dropped from 1388 prior to the Great Recession, to approximately 995 today.1 Much has been made by the Cortese campaign and police union that “pension reform drove officers away.” Of course, it has not helped that the same police union bosses that have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to elect Cortese have also engaged in a pattern of encouraging officers to leave San José to support their political argument that their pensions and benefits shouldn’t be reduced. They’ve invited other ...

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The County’s “Balanced Budget” Under Cortese

Dave Cortese has repeatedly claimed that under his watch, the County has been a picture of fiscal balance, saying that he and the County Board “negotiated over $200 million in employee concessions” that have somehow resolved their pension problems. Sadly for all of us, that’s far from the truth. In Cortese’s six-year tenure, the County’s unfunded retirement debt has ballooned from $2.0 billion to $3.3 billion in 2013. Even worse, the County still fails to pay its minimum “annual required contribution” each year for retirement costs – paying only about ...

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San José’s Burglary Unit

In recent mailers, Dave Cortese and his allies have sent out mailers suggesting that Sam voted to eliminate the Burglary Investigations Unit. They fail to mention that the Burglary Unit actually still exists – an inconvenient fact for those claiming that Sam voted to eliminate it somehow. If you’d like to call detecives in that unit, you can reach  them at (408) 277-4401. Nobody doubts that the unit is understaffed, like most units in the Police Department. That’s why Sam crafted the proposal last year to identify the over $30 million in pension reform savings ...

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Property Crime Rates on the Decline

Dave Cortese’s supporters want you to believe property crimes are skyrocketing. Repeated mailers show graphs with upward slopes showing large increases in burglaries or auto thefts between the years 2008 and 2012, suggesting crime has run rampant throughout the city. The San Jose Mercury News editorial board attributed these misleading mailers to a “fear-mongering campaign by Cortese and his supporters” in a September 28, 2014 editorial. Why are the mailers wrong? First, they completely ignore the data over the past two years, when property crime has dramatic...

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Paying More to Retire then to Work?

Dave Cortese has said he would undo pension reform and believes, in fact, that police are “under pensioned”. However, with average pensions starting at above $100,000, with built in automatic 3% annual increases, it’s not long before many retired officers make more than those still on the job. Cortese has yet to explain how he’d pay for these continuing costs.

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Cortese Doesn’t Say “No” to Unions

Dave Cortese likes to say he voted against pension increases in 2005 because he was concerned about costs. That’s not what he said back then though – back then the Mercury News reported, “He has said he did not object to the level of benefits, but he felt that a previous labor agreement required police and fire retirement benefits to be established together.” [Mercury News, 1/19/2006] At the time, the firefighters had not yet reached an agreement because they were pushing for even more benefits. So had Cortese’s side won out, pensions likely would have been ...

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Minimum Wage

Sam Liccardo is a strong supporter of creating living wage jobs for residents of San José. In fact, he’s the only candidate with a detailed plan on how we can bring those jobs to our city – and help workers get the skills they need to take advantage of new opportunities. Sam also believes that everyone who works hard should be paid fairly and he supports workable plans to increase our minimum wage. Sam publicly expressed concerns about the failure of the 2012 minimum wage proposal to create a "phase-in" period for small businesses, as San Francisco had in its ...

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Crime Rates in San Jose

Get the facts about crime in San José – the number of violent crimes is actually lower today than it was in 2008, the year Dave Cortese left the City Council. Check it out...

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