Jeff Smith noon, March 8
Why Financial Reform of Near-Bankrupt City May Be Impossible: Aguirre Jeered Yesterday by Business, Labor Moochers
The City of San Diego is bleeding financially because of corporate welfare mendicants who suck money out of the coffers, and City workers who enjoy excessive salaries and benefits. The treatment given City Attorney Mike Aguirre, who is trying to curb both kinds of abuses, yesterday made the point. At noon, Aguirre, along with his reelection opponents, spoke before the Republican Party's Lincoln Club, the single biggest assemblage of corporate welfare recipients and cheerleaders in the area. Aguirre was jeered when he talked about the Chargers, who are still seeking welfare from a near-bankrupt city. That evening, Aguirre appeared before a meeting of the Democratic Party, seeking its endorsement. Members of the Municipal Employees Association jeered him loudly. These City employees average more than $65,000 a year in salary, more than $20,000 above average private sector pay. Also, they retire after 30 years with 120 percent of their pay in working years. Some retire in their mid-50s. Union members have raucously shouted down attempts to rein in their excessive remuneration, just as big business still lobbies for pro sports and real estate developer handouts. Aguirre got 59 percent of the Democratic vote, 1 percentage point short of the 60 percent needed. Scott Peters, although he is obsequious to labor, got 41 percent.