Saturday, June 25, 2005

Theatre reprieved by council

From the Willow Glen Resident, June 22nd:

Theater program is saved from cuts

The San Jose City Council voted on June 14 to retain neighborhood watch programs and the Young People's Theater at the Kirk Community Center.

"Our neighborhoods are at the core of San Jose's community policing effort," Mayor Ron Gonzales said.

The council also voted to save the Young People's Theater by increasing parent fees and volunteer participation. Willow Glen resident and program parent Rosemary Marks, who has been fighting to save the program, is relieved, but says there is still a lot of work to do.

"The parent group is getting together to work out the necessary strategies to make the program succeed," she said.

Friday, June 17, 2005

YPT update

TO:  Friends of YPT
FROM:  Andrea Norman

I wanted to follow up on a concern expressed by several parents who have responded to the email about YPT I sent out on Sunday, June 12th.  The concerns expressed relate to the statement in the Mayor’s June Budget Message that said, “Given the speculative nature of the increase in revenue the Manager is directed to review this budget in December and not proceed if costs are not tracking within revenues.”

I wrote to Larry Lisenbee, Budget Director, and asked him what the budget process would be if costs weren’t tracking revenues when the review in December occurred.  This is an excerpt from his response:

“I can't answer the question with any real assurance, because, as always, what happens in the end is whatever the Council votes to do.  From a process point of view, however, this direction is basically to me to bring back a report as part of our Mid-Year Budget Review, a formal report on the finances of the City that we produce in late January, and the Council considers typically in mid-February.  In that document I would report the basic data about costs versus revenues.  Nothing would happen automatically.  Typically either we, or the Mayor, would recommend an action (which in this case would depend on how things were going).  But even if the recommendation was that the trial effort had failed, and the program should be shut down, that recommendation would still be considered by the Council and would need to be voted upon.  Prior to that there would be plenty of time and opportunity for public comment and participation in designing alternatives.  And for what it is worth, given 19 years of experience at doing this, the Council interest in keeping you guys going is such that I believe they would be very reluctant to just shut you down if there is another alternative.  It all will depend in part though on what our fiscal condition is at mid-year.”

I hope this additional information…and positive news, I think…is helpful to everyone.


Breast Cancer Site donates free mammograms

The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on "donating a mammogram" for free (pink window in the middle).

This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammogram in exchange for advertising.

Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Current state of the performing arts at YPT

 TO: Friends of YPT
FROM:  Andrea Norman

Thank you to Rosie Marks who this weekend sent out an email to some of you with information released from Ken Yeager’s office on YPT.  I wanted to give you a little more detail, so here goes.

First, I want to back up a bit and let everyone know what a great job Joanie Schuller did in speaking in support of YPT at the City Council Budget Hearing on May 10th.  I also want to compliment Kevin Marks on the 2-minute video he prepared for the same meeting.  It showed 4-5 of the children in Peter Pan costume speaking on what the program means to them - a very powerful message amid all the adults speaking that night.  Although there were hundreds of people there in support of other programs on the chopping block and other Council agenda items, I think we were well represented by Joanie and Kevin’s video.

On June 8th, Mayor Gonzales released his “Mayor’s June Budget Message for Fiscal Year 2005-2006.”  Included in the memorandum was the following item related to YPT that the Mayor authorized to be incorporated into the city’s budget:

“Young People’s Theater: The budget proposal to eliminate this theater program can be avoided through raising fees, adding different activities to the program, and continuing the volunteer support for the program to achieve full cost recovery.  Under a proposal developed by PRNS and supported by YPT parents, the program would achieve cost recovery and would require parents to provide a total of 3,333 hours of volunteer participation.  Given the speculative nature of the increase in revenue the Manager is directed to review this budget in December and not proceed if costs are not tracking within revenues.”

This result was the work of YPT, Ken Yeager, and Judy Chirco.  You should know that the development of a Manager’s Budget Addendum (MBA) by PRNS was slow in coming and was spurred on by a formal memorandum written by Yeager and Chirco to the Mayor on May 23rd.  Budget Director Larry Lisenbee was also very helpful and attentive to getting the MBA finished.

The great news is the YPT will continue.  The cautionary message, though, is that the future of the program after December will depend on YPT’s ability to achieve cost recovery.  Several factors will determine whether this will happen and our participation with YPT and support of Carole and her staff is one of them.

One final piece of information.  Those of you who attended the meeting with Joan Carrico at Kirk CC on May 9th might recall that Gary Ozaki and staff explained the YPT Fee Activity Account.  This is the account that all the program income and expenses go through (except Carole and Donna’s salary).  At the time there was a balance of approximately $10,200 and the question was asked if that money would carry over to 2005-06.  Last week I heard back from Gary on that subject and he stated that the current balance in the Fee Activity Account is approximately $2,900 and that any money left over at the end of this fiscal year will be carried over into the next fiscal year.

I will be copying Carole on this email and will be offering to help her organize a meeting of the Friends of YPT when she feels it is appropriate.  To help facilitate such a meeting, please review the FOYPT roster below.  If any information on you is missing, please provide it to me by email.  And if you know of anyone that would like to be added, please also send their information.

Thank you,
Andrea Norman

Saturday, June 11, 2005

City Budget Impact on Willow Glen

Greetings. This week, the Mayor released his June Budget Message, which includes those
proposals from individual councilmembers that the Mayor is recommending for funding in the final adopted City budget.  (You may view the Mayor's June Budget Message online at

As you may know, I had requested continued funding for the hose wagon at Fire Station No. 6.  In his June Budget Message, the Mayor has recommended cutting the hose wagon.  I still believe very strongly that the hose wagon fills a vital public safety need in the Willow Glen neighborhood.

The Mayor did include my recommendations to restore Monday hours at our branch libraries, maintain the City's crime prevention programs, and save the Young People's Theater.

The final public hearing on the 2005-06 proposed City budget is Monday, June 13 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall.  The City Council will vote on the Mayor's June Budget Message and the 2005-06 proposed City budget at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, June 14 at 1:30 p.m., also in the Council Chambers at City Hall.  I encourage you to contact either myself or the Mayor if you support or oppose any of his recommendations.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Parents join forces to save theater program from ax (see article in The Willow Glen Resident | June 8, 2005

The Willow Glen Resident | 0523 | June 8, 2005

Thanks Alicia for writing a great article!

Update from Ken Yeager


I wanted to make you aware that the Mayor released his June Budget
Message on Wednesday. As part of that budget message, I am very pleased
that he included the proposals for saving Young People's Theater that
Councilmember Chirco and I recommended in our memo to him. As you are
aware, those items include raising fees, adding different activities to the
program, and continuing the volunteer support for the program. All of these
components are necessary so that the program can achieve full cost recovery.
Also, as part of this agreement, the City plans to examine and evaluate the
revenue for this program in December.

If you wish to comment on any items related to the budget, the next
Public Hearing regarding the budget is scheduled for 7PM on Monday, June 13
in the City Council Chambers.

The Council is set to vote on the budget at our 1:30 PM meeting on
Tuesday, June 14. The June Budget Message is Item 10.2 on this agenda. If
you wish to access the agenda for this meeting, you can do so at: