Each fiscal year, San Jose’s councilmembers are allocated $20,000 in “HP grants” that can be utilized to provide grants to cultural, educational or recreational groups. These funds are allocated solely at the discretion of the elected official. My allocations, listed in this column, represent my personal priorities and values not only as an elected official, but also as a proud citizen of San Jose.
Contemporary American cities are at a defining moment in many ways. Traditional, reliable sources of revenue have been reduced. Reductions in federal and state spending have added to the burden by cutting or removing direct funding for city programs. But I am optimistic about the future of San Jose’s parks system, and there are some very specific reasons why.
City officials in San Jose have now drawn the ire of a powerful special interest group: dog lovers. Parks and Rec’s budget has been chopped to the point that it says it can longer afford to supply free bags at San Jose’s nine dog parks so that owners can clean up after their pups, as the law requires.