SAN JOSE -- In his eighth and final state of the city address, Mayor Chuck Reed on Thursday vowed to spend his final year in office trying to make San Jose safer by bolstering the depleted police force, speeding up 911 response times and reducing homelessness.
Those are among the top concerns of the city's nearly 1 million residents in this key election year in which four of Reed's City Council allies are among those running to succeed him.
Reed struck a mostly upbeat tone during his annual address, delivered in his signature dry, pragmatic style.
"Unfortunately, we don't have the resources to do as much as we want or need to do," Reed said toward the end of his speech. But he concluded: "We've got 10 months and eight days to go. Let's make every day count. Please join me to make San Jose a great city that we can all be proud of."
The half-hour evening speech at the newly revamped San Jose McEnery Convention Center offered the 65-year-old mayor an opportunity to reflect on his seven years in office -- which he called "challenging and difficult" -- and lay out his vision for his final year before he is termed out:
County supervisor and mayoral candidate Dave Cortese said Reed deserves much of the blame for the public safety problems he's trying to address.
"It's going to be an uphill battle for him to make any real progress in the last few months," Cortese said.
In his first state of the city speech, in 2007, he promised before he left office to wipe out what was then the sixth straight year of funding shortfalls. The budget is now essentially balanced, helped in part by surging revenues and the various cuts Reed and his colleagues have made to help offset increased retirement costs for city employees.
Still, he implored the city's future mayor and council members to "stand on our shoulders" and continue the fiscal restraint, conceding that the city's full financial problems can't be solved before he leaves office on Dec. 31.
Contact Mike Rosenberg at 408-920-5705. Follow him at twitter.com/RosenbergMerc.