Election Advice: San Jose Mayor Opines on Importance of Fiscal Health in Choosing Candidates

The city of San Jose has endured huge deficits, major cuts, and noteworthy pension reform and Mayor Chuck Reed has written an op-ed for the Silicon Beat arguing that voters should focus first and foremost on candidates committed to long-term fiscal health. Here’s an excerpt from the mayor’s article on what voters should look for this election:

“Voters also need to scrutinize candidates’ plans to grow our economy. Protecting our fiscal future will require us to attract and retain growing companies that create jobs for our residents and generate new revenues for state and local governments.

Unfortunately, keeping businesses and jobs here in Silicon Valley has been a monumental task given that many other states and countries offer major financial support to help companies relocate and expand. This has been exacerbated by the State of California’s decision to eliminate Redevelopment Agencies, which were the main economic development tool available to cities.
We need elected leaders who understand the connection between economic development and our long-term fiscal health. We need elected leaders who are committed to making Silicon Valley a competitive place to do business. And we need elected leaders who will make it a priority to devise new tools to spur economic growth.
Silicon Valley voters can take a step towards fiscal stability during this election. Make sure the candidates you vote for understand the complex problems facing our region and the state. Ask the tough questions:

- What services would have to be sacrificed if we don’t fix our fiscal problems?
- What’s the true size of your city’s/county’s/school district’s pension costs and unfunded liabilities – and how much will those numbers grow without reform?
- What is the full impact of a company’s decision to build its next factory outside California?

And just as importantly, make sure they are willing to do something about it. Elected officials are constantly under enormous pressure from special interest groups, who spend vast resources to support candidates who carry their water and attack those who stand up to them. As a result, our elected leaders have long been prone to ignoring big problems and kicking the can down the road to the next generation.

Now is the time to demand real solutions to out growing fiscal problems. We can’t continue mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren. And it’s up to all of us to hold our leaders accountable and vote for candidates who will protect our fiscal future.”

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