Mayors to Chuck Reed: Drop Pension Measure

November 27, 2013

Contact: Steven Maviglio, 916-607-8340 


Dozens of Local Elected Officials From Throughout State Announce Opposition 

SACRAMENTO – More than two dozen mayors, county supervisors, city council members and other elected officials from throughout California today urged San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed to end his effort to put a measure on the November 2014 ballot that would slash retirement security for millions of California’s teachers, firefighters, police officers, school employees and other public workers.

Nearly 20 mayors and vice-mayors signed the letter, including: Pete Aguilar (D-Redlands); Rusty Bailey (No Preference-Riverside); Scott Bartley (D-Santa Rosa); Connie Boardman (R-Huntington Beach); Aja Brown (D-Compton); Gary Davis (D-Elk Grove); Marie Gilmore (D-Alameda); Steve Hardy (D-Vacaville); Joe Krovoza (D-Davis); David Lim (D-San Mateo); Evan Low (D-Campbell); Gayle McLaughlin (D-Richmond); Andre Quintero (D-El Monte); Gina Papan (D-Millbrae); Jean Quan (D-Oakland); Jason Scott (R-Corona); Tony Spitaleri (D-Sunnyvale); Jim Wood (R-Oceanside); Vice Mayor Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg); and Vice Mayor Gilbert Wong (D-Cupertino). Collectively, the bipartisan list represents nearly three million Californians.

“Like most Californians, we believe pension matters are best decided locally at the bargaining table rather than the ballot box,” wrote the mayors. “Our cities have been successful in doing just that – as have the overwhelming majority of those in California.”

According to the CalPERS, more than 386 jurisdictions have negotiated more than 538 changes to pension benefits, producing hundreds of millions in savings through higher employee contribution levels, reduced employer costs and reduced benefits. “We believe that engaging our public servants in constructive dialogue rather than political battles is a more effective way of achieving balancing budgets,” wrote the elected leaders.

“We also are extremely concerned about several specific provisions of your measure that will likely increase costs to California’s cities by hundreds of millions of dollars. We believe those dollars are better spent on local services and attracting and retaining quality public employees, providing services to our city than in reducing their retirement security.

“Last year, Governor Brown and the Legislative enacted sweeping pension measures that will save our communities and the state nearly $100 billion. Combined with the actions we are taking in our communities, we believe this will address the concerns about retirement benefits that your measure proposes to address. As a result, we urge you to withdraw your measure and engage with us in constructive dialogue with public employees to address the pension challenges facing our communities.”

Other officials signing include: San Francisco County Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and Sonoma County Supervisor Mike McGuire; City Council members Erin Carlstrom (D-Santa Rosa), Victor Gordo (D-Pasadena), Mark Johannasen (D-West Sacramento), Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), and Dan Wolk (D-Davis).

Mayor Miguel Pulido (D-Santa Ana), one of the five mayors listed of a proponent of Mayor Reed’s measure when it was submitted, also has withdrawn his support.

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