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Pension Costs Reach 69% of City Payroll, Says DeMaio

Councilmember Carl DeMaio says that the City's annual pension payments have zoomed to more than $231 million or an astounding 42% of City payroll. "When factoring in the cost of all city retirement benefits, taxpayers are servicing a cost of more than $370 million annually, or a staggering 69% of City payroll," says DeMaio in a statement on his website that will be printed in the Transcript tomorrow (Jan. 20). In his State of the City speech Jan. 13, Mayor Jerry Sanders heaped scorn on those who advocate "pinning our hopes on pension take-backs that courts have said are illegal." But DeMaio says the City can reduce pension costs "through reforms that achieve actuarial savings (managed competition, salary freezes, reductions-in-force, etc.) and achieving savings in other parts of employee compensation to pay down accrued pension liabilities (increasing employee contributions, eliminating supplemental pension contributions, etc.)." The City has been picking up a share of employees' pension contributions; giving supplemental pension contributions to some employees, and giving terminal leave benefits by which employees keep accruing service benefits after they retire. All these should be reformed, along with the notorious double-dipping Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP).

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Councilmember Carl DeMaio says that the City's annual pension payments have zoomed to more than $231 million or an astounding 42% of City payroll. "When factoring in the cost of all city retirement benefits, taxpayers are servicing a cost of more than $370 million annually, or a staggering 69% of City payroll," says DeMaio in a statement on his website that will be printed in the Transcript tomorrow (Jan. 20). In his State of the City speech Jan. 13, Mayor Jerry Sanders heaped scorn on those who advocate "pinning our hopes on pension take-backs that courts have said are illegal." But DeMaio says the City can reduce pension costs "through reforms that achieve actuarial savings (managed competition, salary freezes, reductions-in-force, etc.) and achieving savings in other parts of employee compensation to pay down accrued pension liabilities (increasing employee contributions, eliminating supplemental pension contributions, etc.)." The City has been picking up a share of employees' pension contributions; giving supplemental pension contributions to some employees, and giving terminal leave benefits by which employees keep accruing service benefits after they retire. All these should be reformed, along with the notorious double-dipping Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP).

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Comments
112

69% of the budget is doable.

In fact, I think the new library, new Chargers stadium and convention center expansion can also be wringed out of the budget.

We just won't have any services left anywhere else.

KFC Sanders has been a disaster for this City-and I hope most people realize that now. He was a HUGE mistake.

Carl DeMaio needs to run for Mayor. Him or Donna Frye. Only those two, or maybe Mike Aguirre or Pat Shea (or SurfPuppy!). No one else need apply.

Jan. 19, 2010

Response to post #1: Yes, as long as taxpayers are shelling out $370 million annually for pension-related costs, they might as well kick in another $60 million to service stadium subsidy bonds. Live and let live. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 19, 2010

It will be interesting to see what the rest of the city council does, particularly those bought and paid for by the unions or who have a conflict of interest with their own pensions. Mr. DeMaio provides several options that can be implemented to eliminate the worse pension abuses and possibly start the city emphasizing serving the public instead of serving the bureaucracy. Without drastic reforms, insolvency may not be too far away.

Jan. 19, 2010

The Great San Diego Recession is far from over and we have no political leadership that is allowed to solve it.

Jan. 20, 2010

Response to post #3: Technically, insolvency may already be here. Politically, it won't be recognized yet. Frye and DeMaio are the only two councilmembers paying attention to the grave financial situation -- indeed, may be the only two who understand it. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 20, 2010

Response to post #4: Unfortunately, it is looking more and more like the Great Recession is not over -- in the U.S., California, or San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 20, 2010

Mr. DeMaio provides several options that can be implemented to eliminate the worse pension abuses

The options DeMaio outline are not new or novel, in fact they go as far back as 2004 when a blue ribbon task force published a 50 page fact finding paper on the pension issue and outlined everything DeMaio has outlined;

http://www.sandiego.gov/pensionreform/pdf/finalreport.pdf

The problem is very simple-#1) gov employees "retire" WAY too early (age 50 vs age 67 for SS), and to compound that early "retirement" they #2) receive way TOO much in pension benefits (90% vs 25% in SS).

Both factors, the early "retirement" and the amounts paid, standing alone, are unsustainable.

Jan. 20, 2010

Response to post #7: Agreed: City of San Diego employees retire too early with excessively generous benefits. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 20, 2010

This isn't a city, it's a pension plan with a few services sprinkled into a vast regulatory structure. The city should file bankruptcy and wipe out all existing pension agreements, credit rating or no. Same with the State of CA.

Jan. 20, 2010

Is there someway that we can allow the employees to continue to retire at age 50, but their pension doesn't kick in until 65?

Jan. 20, 2010

To paraphrase Joe Wilson and putting it into the context of Carl DeMaio; He lies.

Now let’s take a look at some other issues and examine the truthfulness of Mr. DeMaio's five recommendations.

The required payment of $231M is based upon a June 30 valuation of the SDCERS investment pool. Since June, the stock market has soared recovering more than 60 percent as of December 31st. SDCERS' actuaries have NOT recalculated and WILL NOT recalculate until June 30, 2010's valuation by plan rules, rules set by the City Council in ordinances they enacted.

  1. Finish reforming Pensions Mayor Sanders specifically did not change public safety retirements because he knows he must compete for qualified workers. Wasn't it just a few years ago when seasoned employees were leaving in droves? It costs .5 Million dollars to train a cop and we were and still are more than 200 officer short of the budgeted strength approved by the City Council.

  2. Offsets Pension pickups or offsets were offered by the city in lieu of pay increases. Those pickups reduced retirement benefits. A fact you left out.

  3. Other City Plans City workers were promised SPSP, Supplemental Pension Security Plan for agreeing to leave Social Security in the early 80's. Many city employees have not earned credits to receive social security payments like private sector workers.

CONTINUED....

Jan. 20, 2010

CONTINUED..

  1. Annual Leave This is red herring. Yes it’s true some labor groups still have access to terminal leave. It's also true these are earned days of leave. This means if an employee takes a vacation they are paid and earn pension credits while on vacation. So if an employee took a vacation six months before retiring they earn those days of service. IF and this is a big if the city is following the law and its own rules, monies are set aside to an escrow account to pay these benefits. In other words this already is a budgeted expense and another DeMaio red herring.

  2. DROP Everyone wants the DROP analysis to be completed. Until is it we are all speculating. Our Rube chooses to be incendiary but he does it cautiously because he is keenly aware DROP may actually be saving the City money. Read his words careful he says, “…Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP) -- which could open the door to significant taxpayer savings.

Not will but "could". Ever the politician even the RUBE know how to speak out of both sides of his mouth. The Rube has created a loophole for himself when the study reveals a cost savings.

He goes on to complain about, “a legal dispute with the pension board has held up the elimination of the DROP program for several groups of city employees.” The Board believe it was acting lawfully following rules set up in the Municipal Code, one enacted and passed by the very City Council that our Rube sits on.

Let’s remember and state the record clearly:

It was the City’s own Attorney who CHOSE to DELAY actions regarding new employees and DROP by a previous council. He did it, if we choose to believe him, for tactical reasons during a trial that the City Attorney eventually lost. Is that City Attorney held responsible for not carrying out the Council will? No, our RUBE want to deflect responsibilities to SDCERS.

As a current City Council member Mr. DeMaio's redirection of blame through revisionist history to SDCERS is just plain wrong. It was, and still is, the City Council’s responsibility to ensure its attorney follows through on the Ordinances it passes.

This one act by Mr. DeMaio alone is reprehensible, combined this with all the other spin, and San Diegans should be sickened by such behavior.

The citizens of San Diego are sick and tired of their elected representative lying, omitting or distorting the truth to further their own personal career or agenda. DeMaio has both. He will let nothing get in his way or stop him from attaining it, not even the truth.

Jan. 20, 2010

Response to post #9: Pat Shea first proposed bankruptcy back in 2004. So did his wife, Diann Shipione. They were right. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 20, 2010

Response to post #10: Why do they get to retire at 50? Police and firefighters try to make a case for that, and it is a weak case. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 20, 2010

Response to post #11: The stock market soared 60% after March, but remember equities are only a portion of the retirement funds. It seems to me I saw a figure that the SDCERS portfolio was only up 10% on Nov. 30. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 20, 2010

Response to post #12: DROP is NOT saving the city money. Period. Second, that story about Aguirre holding up the DROP actions was one cooked up by the current mayor, whose rectitude is non-existent. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 20, 2010

Everyone wants the DROP analysis to be completed

Mike Aguirre did a study on DROP-and up until that time it had cost the City $400 million. And that was 2 years ago.

Glad to see JW and his alter ego JF are back to posting their support of the undefensible pension scams again.

I have an idea- if you are unhappy with your sheriff's deprt pay or benefits please feel free to go get a job in the real world.

The pension jig is up-the gravy train has been derailed. I also would NOT count on that 6 figure pension either Captain.

Jan. 20, 2010

The citizens of San Diego are sick and tired of their elected representative lying, omitting or distorting the truth to further their own personal career or agenda. DeMaio has both. He will let nothing get in his way or stop him from attaining it, not even the truth.

By JustWondering

DeMaio refused to take his city pension as a council member-he DENIED that benefit to SAVE the City money. Can YOU say that JW?? Since you're slinging so much mud why not tell us what YOU have done to save the city pension money.

Actions talk, false accusations walk.

Jan. 20, 2010

Response to post #17: We haven't heard much from JF or JW of late. I see SurfPuppy has been lying in wait for them. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 20, 2010

Response to post #18: You could give a point by point refutation of JW's analyses above -- not that you haven't done that before. But we may have some new readers who want to see the conflagration erupt again. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 20, 2010

re: #20: ...As well as some old spectators. Let's watch the Pup and the Jays do their usual fight over control of that high pressure hose! ;)

Jan. 20, 2010

Let's watch the Pup and the Jays do their usual fight over control of that high pressure hose

The J's can see that Sanders is a knucklehead, with his ridiculous comments about building a new stadium, bulding a new library, expanding the convention center-the whole time we are in the red so many millions you can't even keep track of the costs anymore.

Now, once the J's understand that the taxpayers are not their sugar daddy the world will once again be at peace and in harmony.

Jan. 20, 2010

City workers were promised SPSP, Supplemental Pension Security Plan for agreeing to leave Social Security in the early 80's.

Not true.

The City left SS for a defined benefit pension plan-THAT was the reason for leaving SS, the SPSP had nothing to do with it. And the reason was because the City said they could pay less into the DB pension plan, while providing better benefits to the employees.

We have seen how it worked out-great for the City employees, a disaster for the taxpayers.

SPSP was just another way to spike their pensions.

Jan. 20, 2010

Don, your blogs about current events, especifially including changing political powers are proving it's time we reviewed the motivations of basic human nature around the world, in America, California and San Diego.

It's been far too simplistic for us to focus our macroscopes on corruption, greed, incompetence, immorality, etc. when the 21st century has already presented us with world, national, state and local problems we haven't seen in such combinations before.

One overwhelming reality is everything about life on earth is changing far too fast for far too many peoples, with rapidly declining resources that are causing reductions in quality of life for every group, tribe, nationality, whatever, out of control fear mongering, hate and hypocrisy that is fooling far too many people regardless of educational level, religious belief and political affiliation, etc.

It's becoming an everyone for themselves, me first world more than ever before because the levels of competition for remaining resources, quality of life, etc. are escalating far too rapidly and we are devolving back to humanity's lowest levels of cooperation, love, compassion, mutual respect, personal responsibility, etc. since Jesus was crucified for trying to teach us morality, peace on earth goodwill to men and the golden rule to save us from ourselves.

The worst case reality today is that all of our social, religious, educational, political, economic institutions have failed and we need to fight back or surrender to hell on earth.

Our leaders and our communications are sensationalizing everything to the point where it appears that we can't figure out how cooperate at all anymore even if we can still prevent the fall of civilization.

We can and must do better, but how do we start overcoming our failure modes under the current conditions of political, economic and moral chaos we have already allowed ourselves to devolve into?

Jan. 21, 2010

As Don mentions we may have some new readers to his blog. So to give some of our new readers a little history into the veracity of BillyBobHeny, Johnny Vegas or as he is known these days Surf Puppy. This person has changed their blog name repeatedly over the years but never their tune. The distortions are extreme and rarely, if ever truthful. For example,

In Comment #23 above he says:

"Not true. The City left SS for a defined benefit pension plan-THAT was the reason for leaving SS, the SPSP had nothing to do with it. And the reason was because the City said they could pay less into the DB pension plan, while providing better benefits to the employees."

Well if we take just a few minutes to do a little research and read this PDF http://www.socialsecurity.gov/history/reports/pcsss/Valerie_Vanderweghe_Statement.pdf

Now it just might be me, but I suspect the truth about SPSP is in this document, not the fabrications spewed onto this blog by Surf Puppy.

Jan. 21, 2010

Response to post #21: Just what San Diego needs now. A hose spewing water in all directions. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 21, 2010

Response to post #22: There is about as much probability of JW and JF admitting that their pension benefits are excessive as there is of the world being at peace. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 21, 2010

Response to post #23: Let's hear from JF and JW on this one. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 21, 2010

Response to post #24: It almost seems hopeless. Yesterday's NY Times had a story about how young people spend their time each day. Out of 10 hours and 45 minutes, 4.29 hours is spent on TV, 2.31 on music/audio, 1.29 computer, 1.13 video games, 38 minutes print and 25 minutes movies. And I doubt that the 1.13 on computers is spent on research. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 21, 2010

Response to post #25: Our readers have to judge the veracity of SurfPuppy, JW and JF. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 21, 2010

The City's defined benefit plan has been in place for a long, long, time. It was only in 1981 when then City Manager Ray Blair, and Mayor Pete Wilson, cooked up the idea of leaving the Social Security System and Medicare to save the city millions in matching contributions. They offered the employees SPSP as an enticement to vote for their plan.

You see, instead of paying 7% to social security and another 1.5% to Medicare the City offered SPSP where it would only pay 3.05%. Additionally, the city, through its Retirement System, would have "access" to hundreds of millions of dollars. If they stayed in Social Security they lost control of the money immediately.

To eliminate fears about losing retiree health care and enticing a yes vote for the proposal, the City promised retiree health care in lieu of Medicare. Then, instead of funding it via the general fund, the city illegally used so-called "investment profits" from its own Retirement System to fund it. They even gave it a special name..."the waterfall". We know there is no such thing as investment profits, investment returns from good years are designed to smooth out investment returns from bad years. So today the funding ratio has dropped and the the bill is due. Those reckless management decisions over the past 30-40 years are back. It's ironic, those decisions were made so long ago but are nearly the exact time horizon, 30-40 years, that retirement system use for their planing.

Sadly not a single manager, nor politician who made those or initiated those decisions or actions is held accountable. But everyone is screaming for their pound of flesh, all from the backsides of hard working employees who were doing their jobs 30 and 40 years ago.

I find it very difficult to stomach the revisionist histories whether they are from Carl DeMaio or our prolific poster, Surf Puppy. A.k.a. Billy Bob Henry and Johnny Vegas, especially when those posts that are purported as truth.

Today, proof of such claims are easily found and verified using the very tool he uses to spread fabrications . So Don, as I have stated before, and as you defined in previous threads, Surf Puppy is an Internet Troll. A person looking for attention who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages, with the primary intent of provoking others into an emotional response.

Jan. 21, 2010

Another non biased view that San Diego is pretty much done-stick the fork in us (I suggest the J's read the last two sentences very carefully);

San Diego Already Bankrupt

San Diego is already bankrupt, they just don't know it yet. There is no way it can fund its pension liabilities.

I commend Councilwoman Donna Frye. She should run for mayor.

Tax hikes and fees are not the answer. The core issue is unsustainable pension benefits. The system is broke. Toying around with little cuts here and there will not help. And as bad as things look now, they will look even worse after another stock market plunge.

Unions in general are attempting to hold the status quo as the day of reckoning rapidly approaches. The realization phase for unions will be brutal.

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2010/01/escalating-pension-crisis-will-bankrupt.html

Jan. 21, 2010

response to #1

"Carl DeMaio needs to run for Mayor. Him or Donna Frye. Only those two, or maybe Mike Aguirre or Pat Shea"

hope they run before they get into the "good 'ol boy" system

Jan. 21, 2010

Response to post #31: You're up, SP. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 21, 2010

Response to post #32: City Attorney Goldsmith is saying that bankruptcy would be folly because pension commitments could not be changed, and legal expenses would eat up any gain. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 21, 2010

Response to post #33: Running for mayor with a platform that reform San Diego finances is a one-way ticket to a smear job orchestrated by the establishment. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 21, 2010

Response to post #29:

Let's hope the "38 minutes print" are spent learning, thinking and coming up with good ideas from reading warnings like your column, and the "1.29 computer" hours are spent on protecting and improving their future quality of life.

Or else their future is well and truly screwed by what remains of the "haves" as more and more of them descend into the existence of the "have nots."

Jan. 21, 2010

Response to post #37: Yes, if that time on computers and reading in print is cerebrally oriented, then there is room for optimism. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 21, 2010

That's correct between 100 and 300 million in Attorney's fees. So Lawyers get rich off the City's years of mismanagement.

The most telling line from Goldsmith's speech.

"I haven't found a case in the history of this country in which a municipality has been allowed to void or dissolve pension benefits in a bankruptcy."

$300 Million to lawyers... I'd take my chances on our economy recovering and let SDCERS do its work over the next 30 to 40 year time horizon.

Jan. 21, 2010

City Attorney Goldsmith is saying that bankruptcy would be folly because pension commitments could not be changed, and legal expenses would eat up any gain.

There has never been a challenge to the actual gov pensions in BK court, so there is no way to tell if that is correct. I highly doubt a BK judge would take pensions off the table if they threatened the viability of the muni.

So Goldsmith is just making wild speculations.

I do think defined benefit pensions could be frozen at their current levels, and defined contributions replacing the defined benefit from that point forward.

Jan. 21, 2010

JW is just another GED cop with entitlement syndrome who thinks if he makes a post then everyone will believe it and it must be true.

The City of San Diego left Social Secrity in the early 1980's and replaced it with a "defined benefit" pension plan, NOT the SPSP, which is a "defined contribuion" pension.

The SPSP pension plan was a SUPPLEMENTAL pension (yes, that is what the first SP in "SPSP" stands for SUPPLEMENTAL PENSION) to the much more generous defined benefit pension plan that SD has for ALL meployees. Yes, SD City employees have not one, but TWO pension plans, both much better than anything in the real world.

The SD City employee does NOT even have to contribute to the SPSP plan. It is purely OPTIONAL. SPSP did NOT replace social security, as our resident welfare queen JW claims it did.

But the SPSP, standing alone, is superior to any plan in the private sector today, add in the regular "Defined Benefit" pension of the City and a SD City employee can "retire" with 140% of their highest years pay-yes, they can actually make MORE money in "retirement" than when they worked.

Of course this is not as good as JW's 3%@50 pension scam, which JW didn't pay for, didn't work for and didn't earn. It was "gifted" to him retroactively, welfare queen style. And if you don't watch your wallet JW will be trying to put his hands in their too, in the form of tax increases.

I am sick of shooting this welfare queens lies out of the water-so if anyone wants to verify that facts-please feel free to do so and report back.

Jan. 21, 2010

Response to post #39: I have trouble believing anything Goldsmith says. But suppose for a minute he is right: that pension grants can't be eliminated through a bankruptcy court. However, a number of steps could be taken that wouldn't be undertaken by a vote-grubbing mayor: jobs could be slashed, salaries reduced sharply, the city's picking up of employee contributions could be eliminated, etc. etc. A bankruptcy court WILL do things that a politician won't do. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 21, 2010

Response to poste #40: Freezing defined benefits at current levels would be a good step, and eliminating them going forward would also help. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 21, 2010

Response to post #41: You have laid down your challenge. Anyone want to step forward? Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 21, 2010

That's correct between 100 and 300 million in Attorney's fees. So Lawyers get rich off the City's years of mismanagement.

By JustWondering

Time to shoot down another one of the welfare queens lies.

$100-$300 MILLION!! in lawyer fees!!!.....dude, I don't know WHAT you're smoking, but you need to lay off of it.

Vallejo has been in BK court for almost 2 years now, they have spent $2 million, or less than 1% of your doom and gloom $300 million whopper. Orange County has spent LESS than $2 million on their pension challenges in court. Your whopper is so far off the mark it is amazing.

You have no credibility-ZERO. Your lies are so far off of planet Earth that it is hard to imagine you would even post them here and expect people to believe them.

$300 million.....oh brother, what a clown.

Jan. 21, 2010

As usual Johnny can't or just won't read and understand. Johnny, those are Goldsmith's, you know a professional peer of yours, words, not mine.

http://voiceofsandiego.org/government/thehall/article_1ceeddf8-061e-11df-ab74-001cc4c002e0.html

But you already knew that. Once again your incendiary comments are designed for one purpose alone.

Don Internet trolls like Johnny a.k.a. Surf Puppy are a discredit to this blog.

Jan. 21, 2010

"I haven't found a case in the history of this country in which a municipality has been allowed to void or dissolve pension benefits in a bankruptcy."

By JustWondering

And if you knew anything about muni BK law (which you don't) you would know that there have only been 3 muni BK's in this state in the last 50 years, and none of the 3 even attempted to go after unfunded pensions.

It is a novel and unprecedented area of law, but one where the pensions would likely be lowered, like all debts are in BK, just like any pension plan taken over by the PBGC- where the most $$ anyone can collect is $54K. That is almost a certainty to happen in my opinion.

So the claim that it has never happened before-because it has never been attempted- is just nonsense. BK judges have ultra wide latitude and discretion to right a sinking ship-and believe me, if unsustainable $100K+ pensions were stopping the righting of that sinking ship, those pensions would get slashed in a heart beat.

Bottom line, this City is in a deficit hole so big nothing but BK will save it. The average household income in San Diego is $37K per year. These people work until age 67 to receive full social secuity pension benefits that are maybe 30% of their highest years salary.

If welfare queen JW and his cronies think for one second that the average $37K San Diego household is going to vote a tax increase on ourselves so him and his cronies can sit back at age 50 and collect 6 figure, multi million dollar pensions (97% funded by taxpayers), well he is even more of a clown than I thought if he thinks that is going to happen.

Another stupid comment that has no foundation or legal support.

Jan. 21, 2010

As usual Johnny can't or just won't read and understand. Johnny, those are Goldsmith's, you know a professional peer of yours, words, not mine.

By JustWondering

Yeah, no kidding welfare queen, I was responding to Goldsmiths comments, not yours loser.

Jan. 21, 2010

Don Internet trolls like Johnny a.k.a. Surf Puppy are a discredit to this blog.

By JustWondering

Do you want some cheese with that whine????

You're the one who comes on here with all the troll comments about me (see post #31) or call me a "discredit" (see above #46), just because I am calling you out on your scams, and I am a discredit to this blog????......please.

I didn't come on here calling people names like trolls-but lets make something very clear here-you keep up your little name calling and I will throw it right back at you. If you are unhappy with anything I post-too bad-I am not here to please you.

If you don't like my comments, then don't read them.

You don't like the blog, post somewhere else.

These blog posts are free speech, speech concerning a serious public issue-public pensions. Public pensions bankrupting everything in sight, and your attempts to silence me by calling me a troll and a discredit are pathetic.

BTW-I am not the only person syaing your pensions are a scam-millions of people are.

Jan. 21, 2010

Funny...Mr. Goldsmith said the "Country". You know Johnny the entire United States of America....You know where bankruptcy jurisdiction is resides in the Federal Courts.... But you knew that too... cause you're a lawyer, a realtor, a teacher, a butcher, a baker and a candlestick maker.

Additionally we can read and see your grammar skills are as poor as your lawyering skills!

In post #45 above you said,

"Time to shoot down another one of the welfare queens lies."

Since you say you were responding to the statement about bankruptcy lawyers' potential fees. You must have been referring to A LAWYER, who once lead of his own firm; a former mayor; a former state legislator; a law professor; a judge and now City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. So he's the Welfare Queen? Many will vehemently disagree with your flawed analysis.

Have anymore troll-like comments to add?

Jan. 21, 2010

Hey Perry Mason Junior-it doesn't MATTER where Goldsmith was talking about-does it???

Did you read my post-NO challenges have ever been made to gov pensions in BK court-ever-b/c there have been very few muni BK's. But once again you made a 100% false, unsupported, bogus claim. BTW, "Mayor" of Poway?? Please. Goldsmith a law professor?? Hardly. Adjuncts are not "law professors", another BS claim from the king of the BS artist himself. A judge???….you forgot to mention he was an APPOINTED judge.

YOU said the lawyer fees were $300 million, an ABSURD statement on its face.

Oh, and lets not forget you said the SPSP *SUPPLEMENTAL PENSION was not supplemental, but the main pension. Guess you got smoked on that whopper too (this in spite of the fact that the SP in "SPSP" stands for "Supplemental Pension" Savings Plan)

You're a joke, running around like a little whiner when someone calls you out on your fraud.

Oh, and I LOVE this comment;

"Additionally we can read and see your grammar skills are as poor as your lawyering skills!"

To which you and YOUR awesome grammar skills posted;

"You must have been referring to A LAWYER, who once lead of his own firm;"

What does "...who once lead" mean????? Another dumb comment from a dumb GED cop. Throws bricks from a glass house.

These blog comments are not writs filed in the Supreme Court-I am not going to make them perfect for your sorry butt.

Like I said loser-you're a pathetic, GED cop, nothing more, if you don't like the blog go whine elsewhere.

Jan. 21, 2010

(#51) Whew...a world-class meltdown. Bravo.

(#50) Go easy, JW. They apparently don't offer remedial English at Harvard Law School.

Jan. 21, 2010

Oh, great comment russl, so witty you are.

You still seem mad for getting all of your posts deleted.

I forgot-you're a GED cop and firewhiner apologist, my bad.

Jan. 21, 2010

More JW whoppers;

  1. Finish reforming Pensions Mayor Sanders specifically did not change public safety retirements because he knows he must compete for qualified workers. Wasn't it just a few years ago when seasoned employees were leaving in droves? It costs .5 Million dollars to train a cop and we were and still are more than 200 officer short of the budgeted strength approved by the City Council. ====================

$500K to train a GED cop-Bwhahahahahahahha...That whopper belongs right up there with the $300 million for lawyer fees!.....but I guesss when you start with a 10th grade education it may take that much $$$$.

Wasn't it just a few years ago that you were saying Chula Vista was the top paying PD in the county and they had no fiscal problems??? Hmmmm...and now CV is as close to BK as SD is.

I know what you mean when you claim you have to "compete" for "qualified" GED cop applicants, I heard Wal Mart was stealing all of the "qualified" GED applicants for working the night shift! Go home CAPTAIN, your not fooling anyone here.

Jan. 21, 2010

grabs lawnchair and popcorn

Jan. 21, 2010

The city should layoff thousands of employees and then rehire these employees through temporary agencies at reduced wages. The city would then pay the temporary agencies enough to fund the cost of each employee's 401-K contributions and health insurance. Once the employees are shifted from the city payroll to the temporary agencies' payroll the massive pension deficit would disappear.

Jan. 21, 2010

Hey PP, your team got spanked last weekend, I told you they would choke and not to jump on their bandwagon :)

I think it is safe to say that the new stadium deal is not going to be happening anytime soon.

I am now on the NO Saints bandwagon.

Jan. 21, 2010

The city should layoff thousands of employees and then rehire these employees through temporary agencies at reduced wages. The city would then pay the temporary agencies enough to fund the cost of each employee's 401-K contributions and health insurance. Once the employees are shifted from the city payroll to the temporary agencies' payroll the massive pension deficit would disappear.

But JW said we would not get "qualified" GED cop applicants if that happened.

Could JW be telling us a whopper a lie just to pad his already bloated pay and benefit comp package of $200K per year????? Say it aint so!

Jan. 21, 2010

The city should also start contracting out firefighting services on a test basis. The city should replace firefighters at 5 fire stations with outside contractors on a test basis, to see if private contractors can provide the same service at a lower cost. A private contractor could likely hire three qualified firefighters for the cost of a single city firefighter.

Jan. 21, 2010

JW can attack SP all he wants. His pension is going to be slashed, it's just a matter of time. And there's not a damn thing he can do to stop it.

Jan. 21, 2010

No, JWs pension is NOT going to be slashed, and it shouldn't be.

Bankruptcy is no more going to relieve the city of its pension obligations than it relieves private companies of their 401k obligations.

Goldsmith is (probably intentionally) confusing the issue, because in fact municipal BK can invalidate all of its union contracts. That would include voiding the current pension going forward, but would not change what the city is already obligated to pay its past and present employees for time worked through today.

The two things that drive me absolutely batty about the pension mess:

1) The pension multiplier was increased retroactively. That should not be legal (whether or not it technically is) and should have been challenged in court. I don't like it, but I think the city is obligated to pay the higher multiplier for the years it was in effect, but not for the years before it was in effect when no increased payments were being made to cover them.

2) When the crisis first hit in 2004, the pension multipliers should have IMMEDIATELY reverted back to their prior levels for that time forward. It is one thing to pay the extra pension multiplier for the 5,10, (or whatever) years that it was in effect, but it is inexcusable that the increased multiplier has remained in effect for an additional 6 years.

Jan. 21, 2010

Spanked? The Packers almost came back to win that game. It was a hell of alot better than losing to the Jets. :-D

F*** THE TITANS! REMEMBER THE JETS!!!!!

Jan. 21, 2010

Spanked? The Packers almost came back to win that game. It was a hell of alot better than losing to the Jets. :-D

F*** THE TITANS! REMEMBER THE JETS!!!!!

Hahahah...no, I was NOT referring to the Packers, I know they are YOUR team.

I was being sarcastic and referring to the Chargers[less] (since you're their #1 FAN......), hence the comment that a new stadium is now out of the question, which is a good thing.

That Chargers game was very, very painful to watch. They had won 11 straight and had played so well the second half of the season to have such a total and complete collapse in the very first playoff game- against an inferior team they should have destroyed.

Jan. 22, 2010

Hey Johnny instead of spewing your outright lies....how about reading our City Attorney's Legal Opinion and thoughtful analysis. You'll find it at this link:

http://docs.sandiego.gov/legalopinions/LO-2010-1.pdf

Take your time, breath, it's more than sixty pages.

Jan. 22, 2010

Hey JW, instead of spewing YOUR lies, how about admitting that the SPSP is a "supplemental pension" (as in a supplement to the DB) to the defined pension benefit plan, and that the city did NOT opt out of Social Security to establish SPSP-like you said in post #11 (and I quote);

  1. Other City Plans

"City workers were promised SPSP, Supplemental Pension Security Plan for agreeing to leave Social Security in the early 80's. Many city employees have not earned credits to receive social security payments like private sector workers."

Jan. 22, 2010

BTW-a Jan Goldsmith "legal opinion" is just that, an "opinion", it is not the law.

If there is something you want us to focus on in that 60 page book, cite the page #.

And while you are hunting down the cite, consider this;

"Darrell Steinberg should well remember Sept. 10, 1999. On that date, the then-assemblyman from Sacramento voted to issue tens of billions of dollars of state debt to government employees on a gamble that the stock market would rise forever at a rapid rate. The bill — SB 400 — granted massive, retroactive and ongoing pension boosts to state employees and bet that the cost would be paid for by the stock market. If not, it would come out of state budgets. The state lost that bet, and big. Pension costs have risen 2000 percent since 1999."

(wow, 2000 percent since 2000-who would have guessed??), more;

"The 1999 gamble was so big and so reckless that it threatens funding for every program except K-14 education unless the Dow Jones gets all the way to 600,000 by 2049 and 28 million by the end of the century. Any way you look at it, the 1999."

DOW 600,000K!!!!!!!! No problem!

http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_14231409?nclick_check=1

Jan. 22, 2010

Here is a good quote that I think most everyone outside of gov employment would agree with;

"Taxpayers understand that pensions are a part of a public workers’ remuneration for doing their jobs. But, they want the retirement packages to be fair. One-hundred and two-hundred thousand dollar pensions, lasting 30-40 years, doesn’t sit well with people who will only rely on Social Security and small returns on investments. Retiring at age 50 or 55 doesn’t appeal to people who figure they will never be able to retire to maintain a decent standard of living."

http://foxandhoundsdaily.com/blog/joel-fox/6280-pensions-finally-making-front-page

Jan. 22, 2010

If I can paraphrase you from some your nearly 4,000 previous comments as Surf Puppy, Johnny Vegas and the infamous BillyBob Heny...do your own research pal.

Jan. 22, 2010

No one said Mr. Goldsmith's opinion is the law. Why would jump to such an irrational conclusion?

Mr. Goldsmith is the City's Attorney. His opinions will carry the weight of credibility, not your wild claim and phony statements. His advice, as their attorney will be relied upon by the Mayor and Council as they make their decisions going forward. Not your diatribes, my friend, like it or not.

Jan. 22, 2010

Finally Johnny let's go back and read comment #51 above. In part you wrote:

"Oh, and lets not forget you said the SPSP *SUPPLEMENTAL PENSION was not supplemental, but the main pension. Guess you got smoked on that whopper too (this in spite of the fact that the SP in "SPSP" stands for "Supplemental Pension" Savings Plan)

You're a joke, running around like a little whiner when someone calls you out on your fraud."

The only joke of a person here is you Johnny... go to Appendix G, page 49 of Mr. Goldsmith's analysis and opinion. Read the facts my friend, stop posting lies.

Page 49, Appendix G of the Goldsmith's opinion reads:

“In January 1982, the City Council, with the agreement of City employees, created the Supplemental Pension Savings Plan [SPSP or Plan], as a replacement for Social Security. San Diego Resolution R-255609 (Jan. 4, 1982). SPSP is not a benefit under the retirement system as defined by article IX of the Charter. It is a benefit provided and administered by the City. “

It further states: ”The Plan has been established pursuant to the City of San Diego’s withdrawal form the Federal Social Security System and to the Federal Government’s mandate of a Social Security Medicare tax for all employees not covered by Social Security hired on or after April 1, 1986, with the purpose of providing eligible employees a convenient method of saving and to provide supplemental pension benefits. “

Jan. 22, 2010

Don, I understand the intent of this blog and the guidelines you use for the free exchange of ideas. However, when posts contain bald-faced lies, ones perpetrated by a person who in many past posts claims to be an attorney, it's over the line.

I know you believe the City's pension problems are very real. I agree they are. Nevertheless, allowing outright misstatements of fact to go unchallenged would never passed an Editor's review.

Jan. 22, 2010

Ahhhhh. Gotcha SP. I had to go back and re-read what you wrote. Didn't notice the stadium comment. I was in a hurry at the time. You're right. It was a total collapse. I also LOVED it. Especially how we had thunder and lightning for four days following Sunday. :-D

Jan. 22, 2010

His opinions will carry the weight of credibility, not your wild claim and phony statements.

By JustWondering

Hahah...you mean like your WHOPPER GED cop lies that the City got out of social security to establish the SUPPLEMENTAL PENSION savings plan????????? Hahahaha.

More of your GED whoppers blown out of the water.

Jan. 22, 2010

Don, I understand the intent of this blog and the guidelines you use for the free exchange of ideas. However, when posts contain bald-faced lies, ones perpetrated by a person who in many past posts claims to be an attorney, it's over the line.

I know you believe the City's pension problems are very real. I agree they are. Nevertheless, allowing outright misstatements of fact to go unchallenged would never passed an Editor's review.

By JustWondering

Oh my, the GED cop who has more whoppers than Burger King needs some cheese with his whine.

Jan. 22, 2010

Keep it up Captian, you're two subpoenas away from me, and we will see who has the last laugh here.

Bring it on little loser GED Boy.

Jan. 22, 2010

“In January 1982, the City Council, with the agreement of City employees, created the Supplemental Pension Savings Plan [SPSP or Plan], as a replacement for Social Security. San Diego Resolution R-255609 (Jan. 4, 1982). SPSP is not a benefit under the retirement system as defined by article IX of the Charter. It is a benefit provided and administered by the City. “

The "Suuplemental Pension Savings Plan" is just that, it is SUPPLEMENATAL PENSION you moron.

It is not even MANDATORY-it was NEVER meant to replace social security.

It is SUPPLEMENTAL ADDITION to the defined benefit pension, it was NOT to replace SS, and you can tell your WHOPPER lies here all day long, but they are still whopper lies.

BTW-do you won a house???...I am going to need to know so I can know where to file my judgement lien against you GED Boy-which I predict is just around the corner.

Jan. 22, 2010

(#75) What would the charge be, exactly? Libel against an anonymous person?

Jan. 22, 2010

russl-Since I don't really give a s*** about JW and SP's beef enough to read all the previous bantering, read this and you'll have your answer: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/20...

Reply # 13

There's a reason why the admins delete some of my posts. ;-D

Jan. 22, 2010

Great comeback russl.

No one is anonymous with IP addresses and email accounts, I guess you are too stupid to know that.

We will see how stupid JW is (well we already know-pretty stupid).

Jan. 22, 2010

Good point, Pete; thanks, but I'm not so sure that would constitute libel. Anyway, SP still hasn't stated what the charge is. Johnny?

Jan. 22, 2010

Good point, Pete; thanks, but I'm not so sure that would constitute libel. Anyway, SP still hasn't stated what the charge is.

Who said anything about charges???

I just made a statement to JW, and as you just found out russl, no one is anonymous here. Not you, not JW, no one.

But you should remember this-two people can play hardball. It is unfortunate that JW is going to find this out the hardway-but he will learn one way or the other.

Jan. 22, 2010

Q. "Who said anything about charges???"

A. "Keep it up Captian, you're two subpoenas away from me, and we will see who has the last laugh here."

Jan. 22, 2010

"The IRS considered their standard government defined pension plans acceptable substitutes for Social Security, so the cities could opt out. It was a one time offer, and most cities jumped on it with the full support of the employees' unions."

"So did San Diego politicians. But in addition, city officials arbitrarily chose to provide a second full pension for "their" general employees – the SPSP plan. In a nutshell, it's a full matching 401k-type plan, in which the employee's contribution is matched by taxpayers."

There you have it-the DB pension was what the IRS allowed San Diego to opt out of-the SPSP was just a freebie on top of the DB-SPSP was never the pension that the City left SS for.

BTW-the SPSP is NOT vested and has already been ELIMINATED for many City employees-leaving ONLY the defined benefit pension.

http://www.foxandhoundsdaily.com/blog/richard-rider/san-diego%E2%80%99s-triple-pension-scandal

Jan. 22, 2010

Subpeonas are not charges. But this is between me and JW, not your sorry butt.

Jan. 22, 2010

"Subpeonas are not charges." Correct, but they contain charges.

Jan. 22, 2010

"Subpeonas are not charges." Correct, but they contain charges.

No they do not "contain charges".

But this is between me and JW, not your sorry butt.

Jan. 22, 2010

I see. You're presenting him with subpoenas that don't contain charges. Thanks for clarifying that.

Jan. 22, 2010

But this is between me and JW, not you.

Jan. 22, 2010

Fine then. But if the charge isn't libel, then I can't imagine what it would be. If it is, then you would do a huge service to those of us whose academic degrees don't measure up to yours by sharing what you know on the matter of libel and "anonymity" in the age of Internet publishing. Thank you. This doesn't concern me, but it does concern the present forum.

Jan. 22, 2010

Fine then. But if the charge isn't libel, then I can't imagine what it would be. If it is, then you would do a huge service to those of us whose academic degrees don't measure up to yours by sharing what you know on the matter of libel and "anonymity" in the age of Internet publishing. Thank you. This doesn't concern me, but it does concern the present forum.

But this is between me and JW, not you.

Jan. 22, 2010

And again I say fine, but you could still enlighten us. Thanks.

Jan. 22, 2010

Hey, if you are interested in the law, including libel, Google is your friend.

Jan. 22, 2010

re-takes seat in cheap lawnchair and calls the popcorn lady over

Miss Daniels?

Jan. 22, 2010

No worries folks it just a scare tactic.

Johnny already knows truth is an absolute defense to defamation. My posts are linked to solid documentation and the legal opinion, analysis and conclusions of the City Attorney. Nothing more, nothing less.

Truth is the great equalizer in any libel or slander suit. It is what the plaintiff's lawyer fears the most; that what his client's accuser says is true. It does not matter that the defendant made the statement out of malice or out of bad faith, so long as the statement is true. Washer v. Bank of America (1948) 87 Cal.App.2d 501, 509; Campanelli v. Regents of Univ. of Calif. (1996) 44 Cal.App.4th 572, 581; Rest. 2d, Torts § 581A; Francis v. Dun & Bradstreet (1992) 3 Cal.App.4th 535, 540 (credit report, even one causing harm, is not defamatory if true); Ellenberger v. Espinosa (1994) 30 Cal.App.4th 943, 953.

Of course there's also of our 1st amendment rights. All I've asked Don to do is keep it fair when obvious misstatements are made.

As for Johnny tactics... Two can play at almost any game my friend. As Johnny stated...[y]ou're two subpoenas away from me, [too]. We will see who has the last laugh...

Jan. 22, 2010

That's right you little GED idiot. Keep it up.

You're little coward butt can run, but can't hide.

Jan. 22, 2010

Of course there's also of our 1st amendment rights. All I've asked Don to do is keep it fair when obvious misstatements are made.

We are not talking about 1st Amendment rights, and you know that because I told you so in the private message I sent you.

And if you think you're going to try to silence me on your scams, I have news for you, that won't happen.

I am going to continue to shoot your lies down, like SPSP was to replace SS, DROP is cost neutral, and all the rest. YOUR lies won't fly here, I am going to shoot them down day in and day out like I have for the last 4 years, and you're threats won't change that.

Jan. 22, 2010

Hey Johnny here's the SDUT's take of Mr. Goldsmith's opinions. Maybe this one will suit you better.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/weblogs/all-in-favor-politics/2010/jan/22/goldsmith-issues-his-first-interim-report/

Jan. 22, 2010

Funny that's exactly what Lexis-Nexis is for...research and analysis.

Jan. 22, 2010

Funny that's exactly what Lexis-Nexis is for...research and analysis.

"Cut and paste" is not research.....but it appears you have learned your lesson.

Jan. 22, 2010

I would also caution you to think twice before you take the legal advice of someone who wears a dead squirrel on his head.

Funny thing is DeMaio says many of the unvested benefits that Goldsmith lists as vested are not vested, like SPSP.

And again, his “opinion” is not law. A much more valid and reliable evaluations of what benefits can be eliminated, like your fraudulent 50% retroactive pension increase (which you didn’t pay for or earn) are currently on appeal at the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal for CA, and that will be real law, not an opinion from a guy who wears a dead squirrel on his head.

And to answer the retroactive question in post #61, if the OC pension lawsuit is successful, then the government employees who have retired with a 50% retroactive pension they didn’t earn will no longer get it, and possibly have to pay back the portion they were paid.

Jan. 22, 2010

Here, SDDT for JW to read and learn;

http://www.sddt.com/Commentary/article.cfm?Commentary_ID=195&SourceCode=20100119tzb#

Finishing the job of pension reform By Carl DeMaio Tuesday, January 19, 2010

  1. Eliminate Supplemental Pension Contributions: Many employees actually receive a "second" pension package known as the "Supplemental Pension Savings Program" (SPSP). Within one month of assuming office, I proposed to eliminate this duplicative program that requires city taxpayers to match a mandatory 3 percent of salary for city employees -- and further match as much as 6 percent of a voluntary contribution. I was thrilled when we were able to negotiate the elimination of this perk for one labor union. However, two other unions and senior management continue to receive this program. City leaders should finish the job of suspending the SPSP program entirely.
Jan. 22, 2010

Don't have a problem with it Johnny...

If the City wants to end the SPSP saving plan it can do so the meet and confer processes by following the law as suggested by Mr. Goldsmith, with or without his hair piece.

BTW just because Carl calls it a pension plan does not make it so. He's been wrong many times before with information about the pension system and compensation. There's no doubt in my mind he'll misrepresent something in the future if it fits his agenda or furthers his goals of becoming the next Mayor of San Diego.

Hopefully he won't stoop as low as he's done in the past and take responsibility for his mistakes rather then blaming his staff as he's done in the past.

Here are a couple of examples of what I am referring to.

http://legacy.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20050518/news_1n18carlside.html

Or this by Chris Reed... I loved this one and Chris' analogy to Al Gore's invention of the Internet.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/weblogs/americas-finest/2008/may/06/carl-demaios-version-of-al-gores-claim-to-have-inv/

Jan. 22, 2010

re: #93: ASPCA...You rang?

Certainly, sir, we'll be right over to take care of it:

I'm holding up a dog biscuit.

Got your attention, SP?

Now listen up Puppy dawg, you need to SIT! Stop threatening JW. You've been out of line to the tune of one too many threats to him, including messaging via the Reader, which is the equivalent of pawing someone's leg with a muddy shaker.

I love me some SurfP, but no one likes a pup who barks too often, and for no reason. Stick to facts, not threats, and all will be respected. You'll get more beggin' strips, too ;)

Jan. 23, 2010

Here's another example of Carl's zeal and agenda to paint employees as villains. We all know everyone loves story with heroes and villains. We just want the so-called hero to get the facts correct. His record on being accurate isn't stellar.

WARING TO VIEWERS! THERE IS A MUGSHOT OF MR. DeMAIO AT THE LINK BELOW. VIEW AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2009/feb/17/1m17fringe222314-demaio-inflated-benefits-true-cos/

Jan. 23, 2010

Response to posts #45 forward: I have been in Chicago at a funeral and missed responding those posts. But it looks like my role as a catalyst would be superfluous, anyway. There are good posts here. Keep going. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 23, 2010

Glad to have you back, sympathies for your loss.

Jan. 23, 2010

Response to post #107: Back with heavy heart and obligations. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 26, 2010

Carl DeMaio goes to the ends of the Earth to spew forth his message. The problem, sometimes he just wrong. Here is an update from the Voice of San Diego on the bankruptcy in Vallejo. Many municipalities around the state have been keeping an eye on this one. And, if I might add, Jan Goldsmith's statement about Bankruptcy Courts not touching Pension Benefits is still holding true. Here is the link:

http://voiceofsandiego.org/government/thehall/article_e315a262-12b9-11df-b99f-001cc4c03286.html

Feb. 6, 2010

Response to post #109: How things are going in Vallejo is a subjective matter. Some say, with good reason, that the unions are not doing so well there. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 7, 2010

No I tend to think of it as the pendulum swinging more toward center where it wants to rest. After years of being on the short end, then in more recent times at the long end, it is coming back to center. Finding a reasonable balance point somewhere in the middle would, in the long run, be better for all involved.

Feb. 8, 2010

Response to post #111: It may be too late to have the pendulum in the center. Best, Don Bauder

Feb. 10, 2010

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