Mayor Reed delivers last State of San Jose address

Thursday night, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed gave his eighth and final state of the city address.
February 20, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Thursday, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed gave his eighth and final state of the city address. His time in office has been plagued by budget problems, pension cuts, and disgruntled police and fire departments.

He'll stay in office almost a year since his time isn't up until Dec. 31. He used his speech to lay out his vision for this year and beyond.

"In my final 10 months in office, my top priority will be improving public safety and the quality of life for our residents," said Reed.

It's a promise Reed has made before. At last year's state of the city address, public safety was also his number one priority. However, low morale, pension reform and a shrinking police department still plague the city.

"The residents of this city all say 'good riddance' to Mayor Chuck Reed. He's really steered this city in the wrong direction," said Ben Field from the South Bay Labor Council.

The South Bay Labor Council works closely with both the police and firefighters unions. They think change at the top can't come fast enough.

The mayor also suggested ways to improve the fire department's dangerously slow response times. Some of the ideas were implementing a motorcycle medic program -- like they do in parts of Europe using two-person squad cars for medical emergencies and bringing the number of firefighters manning a rig from four to three.

"Today the most reasonable thing to do in our opinion is to increase more boots on the ground," said Jose Guerrero from the Firefighters Union.

But that idea requires money. The mayor is backing a quarter cent sales tax this year. The revenue raised would go to public safety.


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