With four days remaining before the San Jose City Council votes on the city's final budget, Councilwoman Rose Herrera said it is not too late for bargaining units to come forward with proposals to address the city's $118 million deficit.
"As it stands now, there is no easy way out," Herrera said at a news conference at City Hall this afternoon. "But where will we be July 1? We need budget reform now."
The city is in the process of negotiating with six remaining bargaining units. Some have offered cost-saving proposals, but they are not long-term, Michelle McGurk, a spokeswoman for Mayor Chuck Reed, said.
Reed has said the city is facing the most difficult fiscal situation in its history. He has asked workers to take a 10 percent cut in wages and benefits, saying that it could save a significant number of jobs and services.
Herrera, who is considered the swing vote, said that both the city and the bargaining units will have to set aside politics and instead focus on solutions to the deficit to save libraries, community centers, and other services that matter most to residents.
A public hearing on the budget will be held Monday at 7 p.m. and will continue on Tuesday at the council meeting. The council will vote on the final budget on that day.
Herrera was joined today by Reed, Vice Mayor Judy Chirco and Councilman Sam Liccardo.