Staedler: Participation in San Jose’s budget process is vital
San Jose City Hall is pictured in this file photo.

One of the yearly San Jose traditions is the mayor’s March Budget Message for the upcoming fiscal year. It sets out budget priorities and starts the process of the creation of budget proposals which will be considered by the entire City Council in May, with a final budget approval in June.  Here’s the full 25-page budget message.

Let’s take a look at the six-point highlight of the message’s recommendation:

  • Homelessness and affordable housing
  • Public safety
  • Battling blight
  • Climate and seismic resilience
  • Equitable economic recovery
  • Fiscal sustainability

I’m not going to be giving my opinion of the items within the budget message, just advocating for public participation in the budget process.

I believe public participation in the budgeting process is vital. It is hard to overlook the myriad of complaints on various social media platforms about what needs to be fixed. To be a part of the solution, we need the residents of San Jose to make their voices heard.

During this budget process, councilmembers write memos to give their recommendations. Here are links to their recommendations:

Councilmembers Sylvia Arenas, Maya Esparza and Magdalena Carrasco

Councilmember Matt Mahan

Councilmember David Cohen

Councilmember Raul Peralez

Councilmember Dev Davis

Here are the upcoming budget events on the city calendar:

  • April 27: 2022-23 Proposed Capital Budget and 2023-27 Capital Improvement Program released
  • May 2: Proposed Operating Budget released
  • May 6: Proposed Fees and Charges Report released
  • May 6: Proposed Capital Budget cost estimates due to City Manager’s Office
  • May 9-27: Proposed Capital/Operating Budget community meetings

There is a Balancing Act tool for everyone to allocate spending across different priorities. Here are links to the online tool in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

Here is a link to the mayor and City Council webpage.

Please participate in this process, we need as many voices as possible to give perspective on how the budget should be shaped.  Onward and upward.

San José Spotlight columnist Bob Staedler is a principal at Silicon Valley Synergy, a San Jose-based land use and development consulting firm. His columns appear every first Monday of the month. Contact Bob at [email protected] or follow @BobStaedler on Twitter.

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