Job Cuts at San Jose City Hall Affect Neighborhood Services, Public Safety

The elimination of 500 positions at City Hall forced changes that took effect on July 1, including new hours at the San Jose branch libraries and community centers.

Council adopted thebudget on June 21.

Also, cuts in the San Jose Police Department, mean police officers will respond first to life-threatening situations or crimes that involve major damage or property losses, and to other calls as the number of officers on duty allow.

Fewer code enforcement officers resulted in policy shift in response to neighborhood complaints. Field inspectors will respond to emergency complaints that create a threat to life or property, for example, substandard housing or an unguarded vacant building.

For other complaints, property owners will receive a warning letter and a postcard to return to the city after the problem has been fixed. Field inspectors could be assigned to visit the site if the problem isn’t fixed.

Branch libraries have a new schedule, with nine libraries open Mondays through Thursdays, and nine open Wednesdays through Saturdays. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day, except Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when libraries are open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Four new libraries — Seven Trees, Educational Park, Bascom and Calabazas — will remain closed because of staffing shortages.

The 10 community center “hubs” in each council district are still operated by city staff but will be open 59 hours instead of 63. Also, some centers will be closed in the morning to extend evening hours. The other 41 centers will be operated by private organizations or nonprofits, and schedules will vary.

Edenvale Community Center, opened last year by city staff, will be put on a reuse list, which means the city will find a private operator to keep it open. The city is also looking for a private operator for the new Bascom Community Center.

Partnerships with private operators and schools allowed the city’s aquatics program to open at six pools and Almaden Lake Park.