Sunday, November 21, 2010

San Diego Mayor Proposes Eliminating City Pensions

As time runs down in San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders' tenure, his proposals to solve the city's financial crisis are becoming more drastic. This summer, he embraced a tax hike. Friday, he proposed 401(k)-style retirement accounts for most new city employees, and in turn, eliminating their pensions.

Staring him and everyone else in the face is a $70 million-plus ongoing deficit, one that neither a tax increase or a pension elimination will fix. The tax hike won't work because voters said no. The pension elimination, which also needs voter approval, won't save any money for years and wouldn't go on a ballot until next year at the earliest.

Sanders has two more years to solve the financial problem he was elected to fix. Friday, he recommitted to the task.

"I won't pass the structural deficit on to the next mayor," Sanders said.

As he tries to fulfill that pledge, Sanders' proposals include the familiar: All the reforms tied to the Proposition D tax hike. They include the major: Consolidating departments and potentially privatizing the city's airports and golf courses. And they include the minor: Ending free trash pickup for 18,000 homes on privately owned streets and using more energy-efficient bulbs in street lights.


Submitted by Jim Alex

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