Cities across the Bay Area are beginning to piece together the budgetary damage the pandemic has caused and in San Jose, city leaders are projecting a $72 million shortfall.
The steep drop off in sales tax revenues and city fees has blown a hole in teh city’s budget, much bigger than expected but Mayor Sam Liccardo says that for now, they will not be cutting full-time staff jobs.
Liccardo said the budget shortfall is worse than the recession in 2008 but he said police and fire staff will not be slashed, instead a freeze on hiring unsworn community service officers.
“The good news is we’re not laying CSO’S or Police Officers off as we had to in 2008,” he said.
Parks and libraries are going to be the hardest hit but at the moment, public recreation programs aren’t operating anyway because of the shelter-at-home orders and restrictions on group gatherings.
Libraries won’t likely be reopened for months. Tom Trudell with Friends of the Almaden Library said they’re disappointed but under the circumstances, they understand.
“I have a hard time imagining how people can wander around a library and stay six feet apart,” said Tudell. “It’s kind of like ping pongs bouncing around in a box. How do you coordinate that?”
When libraries do reopen, they’ll have operating hours cut by four per week.