From the San Jose Mercury News:
Sensing there’s not enough voter support to extend an expiring parcel tax that funds libraries, former San Jose elected leaders announced a petition drive Thursday for a November ballot measure that would instead give them a fixed slice of the city budget.
Advocates including former Mayor Susan Hammer, former Vice Mayors Frank Fiscalini and Blanca Alvarado and former Councilwoman Trixie Johnson, say the measure would increase library funding without raising taxes.
“Year after year, we’ve seen San Jose’s library budget cut and services reduced,” Alvarado said. “The Save San Jose Libraries initiative will get our libraries the basic funding they deserve.”
But critics including Mayor Chuck Reed and City Manager Debra Figone say the proposed measure could force city leaders to lay off cops while leaving library hours intact.
“While libraries are extremely important to the community, it’s not our only priority,” Reed said. “This initiative would force us to make significant cuts in other critical services like public safety staffing, parks, community centers and road repair. It’s just bad public policy to guarantee funding for one specific service, without regard to the city’s fiscal situation.”
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