San Jose has budget troubles and is considering selling assets to help balance the budget. Mercury News reports San Jose considering plan to sell water system.

San Jose officials are considering leasing or selling the city’s water system. Mayor Chuck Reed says the idea could help balance the budget. A sale could bring in $50 million or more—but also higher water bill for some residents.

One potential buyer is the private San Jose Water Co., which supplies 1 million people in San Jose and neighboring communities. The company’s president sent the mayor a letter of interest in April but noted a sale would mean increasing some water bills—possibly by 29 percent.

A sale also would require a public vote.

San Jose’s Structural Problems

San Jose needs to fix structural problems first because one-time fixes will not address the root cause of its budget woes: union wages and pension benefits.

I suggest San Jose outsource its entire police and fire departments to cut costs. If that does not work, then bankruptcy seems like a fine option.

San Jose college executive worked elsewhere while on sick leave

Please consider San Jose college leader worked at DeAnza College while on sick leave

A top executive at the financially troubled San Jose/Evergreen Community College District earned a full salary while on sick leave this spring — yet, during that same period, she earned a separate salary teaching at another nearby district.

Bayinaah Jones, whose title at SJECC is executive director of institutional effectiveness, earned $30,672 on sick leave there, but was apparently healthy enough to hold down a $5,775 teaching position in the Foothill-DeAnza Community College District.

The revelation comes at a time of economic hardship at community colleges, where students are shut out of classes due to budget cuts — and a mere $800 can provide a student with a valuable certificate in cosmetology or dental hygiene. It follows a searing state audit of the SJECC District’s books, which was critical of spending by former Chancellor Rosa Perez — whose live-in partner is Jones.

Perez also took paid sick leave — for eight months, earning $25,000 each month — until retiring last Wednesday due to health reasons.

Records show that Jones took sick leave from her $123,000 position — “per my physician’s order,” she wrote in an e-mail message — in April, May and June of 2010. She remains sick, “until further notice.”

In 2005, Perez hired Jones to be her executive assistant. She was quickly promoted to a newly created job as executive director of institutional effectiveness. The two women live together in a home they own in San Francisco.

In the last several years, according to documents obtained by KGO-TV, they took 18 business trips together to places such as El Salvador, Scotland and West Palm Beach — paid with district credit cards.

Criminal Fraud

The actions of Bayinaah Jones and Rosa Perez constitute criminal fraud in my opinion. Both should be prosecuted. Moreover, the idea that there needs to be an executive director of institutional effectiveness is ludicrous in the first place. The greed of this pair is galling.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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