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“On July 1, 2011, we have a $72 million budget deficit that we have to fill,” District 3 council representative Todd Gloria said to 50 people at a September 14 forum on Prop D, the ten-point financial reform and half-cent sales-tax ballot measure.

Sitting on the panel alongside councilmember Gloria at Tuesday evening's forum in Hillcrest were city attorney Jan Goldsmith, city auditor Eduardo Luna, and councilmember Carl DeMaio.

According to proponents, the initiative is aimed at filling the $72 million budget gap and will save the city $800 million in financial reforms. The reforms include changes to the City's pension plan, implementing managed competition, and accepting bids to run Miramar Landfill and the City's I.T. department.

Gloria, who coauthored the measure with his colleague Donna Frye, touted the need for the sales-tax increase. “If the ‘No on D’ side is successful, we still have the status quo...the fire station brownouts will continue and they will expand. We will have cuts to the police department. We have an iceberg straight ahead of us that we have to address.”

DeMaio charged back, trying to sink Gloria's argument with comments on the City's costly pension plan.

“I call this proposition the ‘dash for cash,’” said DeMaio. “I gave up the pension because I do not believe it is a sustainable system. The [pension] question was put to Mr. Gloria...and his response was, ‘I'll pay more, but I can't pay an equal contribution because I simply cannot afford it.’”

After DeMaio concluded, Gloria responded, “Leading by example can happen in different ways. I took a 6 percent pay cut. Mr. DeMaio did not.”

City attorney Jan Goldsmith then broke the iceberg while commenting on the City's pension plan. “We are heading into an iceberg and Prop D isn't going to solve that,” said Goldsmith before revealing a new plan to address the high pension contributions.

“If you create a ‘Tier 3’ less expensive plan, with a lot less contributions from the City and employee, it's a potential win/win. That's the only way that we are going to avoid this iceberg.”

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Comments

Fred Williams Sept. 15, 2010 @ 10:10 p.m.

Todd Gloria is saying, "If you bribe us, we'll finally try to do the right thing".

Uh huh.

So why is the City and CCDC "studying" how to spend $800 million on a downtown stadium?

Much as I'm a fan of Donna Frye, I'm voting NO on Prop D.

Best,

Fred

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BigJ Sept. 16, 2010 @ 8:09 a.m.

I find it absolutely ridiculous that people would rather the disease spread than treat it because you are worried that the patient might use the money to score Oxycontin. People in this town lack trust and it is really sad that we can't seem to get that cutting things from the annual budget won't fix anything anymore. As the city gets larger, we want to cut services, but we don't want to pay for anything we still get....like free trash pick up? We may have to cut that eventually too. And as anyone who lives in the outlying cities of San Diego can tell you, sometimes people stop paying and that stuff just piles up. It can get ugly, man...real ugly. We may not like exactly where ALL of our tax money goes, but understand the first things on the chopping block are never going to be those things, but rather the things we need like timely emergency response. I will vote yes on D..not because I'm stupid but because we need an actual fix and not paying anything more and cutting services still does little to create positive revenue.

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Founder Sept. 16, 2010 @ 8:21 a.m.

Reply #1

I'm with you, Just Say No to Prop D.

Also unsaid, is why our City Councilmembers who are also the Redevelopment Agency are not spending it's BIG Redevelopment Money fixing infrastructure right NOW instead of building more Buildings; I guess the Companies that fix roads were out donated by those that build Buildings...

San Diego needs to declare Bankruptcy ASAP and renegotiate its Pension funds payout, otherwise our Leaders will sell off our City Services through "Managed Competition", then wait until things are much harder to fix (no pun intended)!

For another great Blog with lots of great comments on this subject see: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20...

I'm real sorry I missed that meeting; when was it noticed?...

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 16, 2010 @ 8:58 a.m.

I will vote yes on D..not because I'm stupid but because we need an actual fix and not paying anything more and cutting services still does little to create positive revenue.

How about cutting the gold plated Cadillac pay and pensions???

Most people I know do not want to pay gold played compensation for silver plated services.....especially when they are down sized....

Prop D is going down, it won't even be close.

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Founder Sept. 16, 2010 @ 9:23 a.m.

Reply #2 Like you I "I find it absolutely ridiculous" BUT I find it "absolutely ridiculous" that voters would still trust their Leaders to save the City budget when most of them are trying as hard as possible to feather their own supporters pockets and now asking US for additional money to do it!

Instead of taking care of City business, they are Taking care of BIG Business!

  • Forget the fear mongering of "nobody will pick up your trash talk"; our City has gotten by for many decades just fine before our Leaders put US into debt. Cutting services instead of cutting Pensions is not the solution!

Our City is going BANKRUPT and all our new employees will be working for much less than City employees that have been around for a while; that is the new reality! Oh all those "new" future employees will be thanking their lucky stars that they even have a job, what with hundreds of applicants, applying for every position...

Prop D will fix nothing except set the stage for more increases ASAP...

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Founder Sept. 16, 2010 @ 9:29 a.m.

Reply #4 I agree with you 100%...

The big Unions will mail millions of dollars worth of glossy flyers but they will live in fear of folks posting the lists of HUGE pensions being paid out because our Leaders have padded their retirements to get their election endorsements!

Forget separation of Church and State

We need separation of Big Unions and elections of Mayor and Councilmembers!

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Founder Sept. 16, 2010 @ 9:44 a.m.

Regarding the Story:

DeMaio is the only Councilmember that has the guts to speak out because he understands the numbers; I hope DeMaio is thinking about running for Mayor!

I'm also glad to hear that City Attorney Jan Goldsmith is savvy enough to at least speak honestly about the retirement system "crash" that is rapidly approaching! He has been great at making sure that the Council understands that they must make decisions instead of passing the buck!

I would love to have him discuss the pro and cons (no pun intended) of the City going Bankrupt ASAP! + Too bad someone from the IBA Office was not also part of the Prop D. Forum, as they should be playing a greater role in shedding some light on our Fiscal problems...

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Founder Sept. 16, 2010 @ 1:12 p.m.

  • San Diego's, Big Money Woes - 10-09-16

What is happening right now in our Great City due to poor Leadership, is such a big pity

All our poorer residents, have now started, to pout as the City announces, yet another, Brown out

Voters are now asking how come our Budget got so neglected and are angry when they learn that's how our Leaders got elected

Seems to get elected, they all needed the Big Unions OK but once in Office, they had to support, giving them lots more pay

Going Bankrupt should be a solution that is easy for the City to do except all our Leaders own Salary and Pensions would then be affected too!

So what solution are our Leaders now suggesting, for being so lax; just that all of US voters, should now approve an increase in our Sales Tax

If you are like me and think that these Leaders have a lot of gall then tell all your friends, don't forget to vote NO on Prop D this Fall!

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MGLAND Sept. 17, 2010 @ 8:32 a.m.

"According to the pension system's most recent estimates, the city's pension payment went from $154 million last year to $229 million this year, and it's projected to reach $340 million by 2016 and $508 million by 2025" This is based on the assumption of a greater than 7% return and no double dip in the economy. Both those assumptions have a high probability of being false Over the next 15 years....the average pension payment will be $359 million or 32% of the general fund budget. Its a death spiral. Financing it is not a good idea. The reform that is needed is to dump the defined benefit pensions. It places the taxpayer (and our kids) at too great a risk of becoming nothing more than debt slaves to the city pension system. Real reforms are needed. Not more game playing and promises Vote no on D

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Founder Sept. 17, 2010 @ 2:44 p.m.

Reply #9 Great factual Post!

I wish the UT and all the TV stations would interview you so you could "explain" why our city has no option BUT TO GO BANKRUPT and then enter into discussions with the Big Unions...

Thanks for your words of wisdom and I hope you continue to post here!

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doughardy Sept. 18, 2010 @ 10:49 p.m.

No on D and No on J. We have to stop enabling mismanagement!

Public employee unions should be banned. Conflict of interest abounds.

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Founder Sept. 19, 2010 @ 8:26 a.m.

Reply #12 Well Said! + I'd add this about that:

  • Ballot Box Rhyme - 10-09-09

Remember this Rhyme , please do, Don't let anyone confuse you

No 23 and Yes 24 Will HELP to shut, BIG CORP's door!

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