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I attended the State of the City Address Wednesday night at the Center for Performing Arts. Not knowing how much the local television news and local paper were going to cover, I felt I would keep my ears open for anything that was relevant to our part of south San Jose. In that respect, there is nothing to report. The mayor didn't get into anything specific about our part of San Jose. Cisco only came up in passing when he discussed his proposal to increase funding to the small business loan program. The mayor said most of the new jobs being generated in San Jose are coming from businesses with ten or fewer employees. The proposed Calpine/Bechtel power plant was never mentioned by the mayor.
Mayor Gonzales did bring up two things that we have heard recently. He mentioned the storefront police precincts idea that has been proposed by San Jose Police Chief Bill Lansdowne. The mayor also strongly stated that he wants all grafitti to be removed in city parks within 24 hours of it being discovered. We had already heard this was policy by the parks department when we reported on the La Colina future development meetings. Since the mayor and the city council are in charge of funding these ideas, I guess it is good to hear that he is behind these ideas.
Although not something specific to our area, what elicited the biggest response from me, was his promise for the city to pay for all sidewalk repairs for damaged sidewalks. Currently, the city pays for one-third of the cost to fix damaged sidewalks while the homeowner is responsible for the remaining two-thirds of the cost. I know I am in no position to fix damaged sidewalks and have noticed many that are dangerous as I have walked throughout our neighborhoods. The extra cost to the city seemed trivial in the scope of the city budget. If your sidewalk is damaged, you may want to call the city so we can get them fixed. Perhaps we can maintain a list on the web site and track when they were reported to the city and when the city can fix them. Our neighbors across the street just fixed their damaged sidewalk and curb to the street. I wonder if the city would reimburse them.
After the mayors address, each of the city councilmembers recognized an individual or group as part of the "Good Neighbor Recognition Awards." Our district 2 councilmember Charlotte Powers chose Forrest Williams. As reported by the San Jose Mercury News, Mr. Williams is "a volunteer in the Santa Teresa and Edenvale areas, who led IBM's partnership with the school-to-career program at the Eastside Academy."
Finally, after the program was over, there was a reception out on the back patio area of the Center for Performing Arts. I was able to greet Charlotte Powers. She has been very busy and hopes to update us on what has been going on in our district soon. Ms. Powers says it is still too early yet to have anything to say about Calpine.
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