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City of San Jose Police Services Spending Increase Measure (June 2014)

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A City of San Jose Police Services Spending Increase Measure ballot question did not make the June 3, 2014 election ballot for voters in the City of San Jose in Santa Clara County, California.

If approved, this measure would have required a minimum of 40 percent of the San Jose's general-fund tax revenue to be spent on the police department. In the 2013-2014 budget year, city officials chose to spend approximately 30 percent of the city's $1 billion dollar budget on law enforcement. The city council rejected this measure in their meeting on March 4, 2014. In the vote, the measure's sponsor Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio (District 6) was ultimately the only one who approved of the measure. All ten other council members voted against putting the proposal before voters.[1][2]

Support

Supporters

San Jose Councilman and mayoral candidate Pierluigi Oliverio (District 6) proposed this measure for the June ballot. Oliverio, who represents Willow Glen, said, "It's a good chunk of the budget but it's the most important part. If it's the biggest priority then we need to fund it."[1]

Arguments in favor

Those in favor of this measure argued that San Jose features the disastrous trend of an increasing crime rate and decreasing arrest rate, concluding that more spending on law enforcement was required.[1]

Opposition

Opponents

Mayor Chuck Reed publicly announced his opposition to the measure, expressing concern that it would shortchange other essential city services.[1]

Arguments against

Mayor Reed said, "If this proposal goes into effect, it appears that we'd have to cut significant funding from firefighting, emergency response, gang prevention and intervention, libraries, community centers and road repairs next year just to meet (the) proposed police department guarantee. It's bad policy to guarantee funding for one specific service, even if it is our most critical city service, without regard to the city's fiscal situation or other pressing needs."[1]

Critics of the Oliverio's measure accused the councilman of using this police budget measure as a campaign stunt in his bid for mayoral candidacy, saying that the proposal was not actually practical and could be disastrous to other city services if enacted.[2]

Mayoral election

Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio (District 6), who represented Willow Glen and sponsored this measure to increase the city's police spending, was in the running to take the place of termed out Mayor Chuck Reed in the November city election. The tightly packed June 3, 2014, primary election race was being formed around polls showing that a majority of voters were most concerned with the issues of the city's crime rate and depleted police force. This motivated several candidates to make an effort to distinguish themselves as tough on crime and strong on law enforcement. Pierluigi was among these, and he put forward this measure as his bid for public safety driven votes. Other mayoral candidates had proposed different solutions:[1][3]

  • Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese was pushing for better compensation for police officers and was seeking support from police officers and public safety unions.
  • Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen made it a priority in her campaign to give San Jose its past status as the safest big city in the county. She also strongly defended voter-approved pension reform to save taxpayer's money, which, while allegedly making the San Jose police force less attractive to some officers, would free up city monies used to fund the public pension system for use on city services, such as law enforcement.
  • Councilwoman Rose Herrera pushed to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in the city, arguing that they were damaging neighborhoods and posing threats to the well being of children.
  • Councilman Sam Liccardo, who, as of December 31, 2013, had the largest campaign war chest of $513,152, proposed allowing police officers to access footage from private security cameras and publicly announced a full crime prevention plan.[3]

Path to the ballot

San Jose Councilman and mayoral candidate Pierluigi Oliverio (District 6) proposed this measure for the June ballot. Oliverio, who represents Willow Glen, said, "It's a good chunk of the budget but it's the most important part. If it's the biggest priority then we need to fund it."[1]

The city council voted against this measure in their meeting on March 4, 2014. In the vote, the measure's sponsor Councilman Pierluigi Oliverio (District 6) was ultimately the only one who approved of the measure. All ten other council members voted against putting the proposal before voters.[2]

See also

External links

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