Calif. department aims to balance budget, preserve recruiting

By John Woolfolk
The San Jose Mercury News

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Mayor Chuck Reed's effort to contain employee costs and wipe out San Jose's chronic deficits will face a critical test as the city negotiates pay and benefits for its police force.

Talks on a new contract for the San Jose Police Officers Association will force Reed and the City Council to balance two top goals. They must keep costs in check to fight deficits now stretching into a seventh year. But they must continue to offer competitive pay and perks in order to hire more cops and regain San Jose's "Safest Big City" crown.

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