New SD Mayor Gets Pension Proposal on November Ballot

March 28, 2006 ( - The San Diego City Council has agreed to place two of Mayor Jerry Sander's campaign proposals on the November 7 ballot.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the council voted 7-1 to put the proposals to outsource more city jobs and to make future pension increases subject to voter approval on the ballot.   The council also agreed to put off most of the details of the two measures until September.

Labor leaders had demanded more particulars and more time for negotiations, according to the Union-Tribune.   The council asked the mayor to continue meeting with unions to work out the mechanics of how the proposals would function if voters approve them, and also asked for an “implementing ordinance” in 180 days.

Council member Donna Frye said she did not necessarily support the proposal, but wanted voters to weigh in on the issues.   Frye was defeated by Sanders in a mayoral race last year in which the troubled pension system was a key issue (See Sanders Defeats Frye in San Diego’s Mayoral Race).

The council meeting followed 35 negotiation sessions over a month and a half that Sanders held with the city’s five labor unions to reach consensus on the text of the measures.   After the negotiations, Sanders changed his pension proposal to include a sunset provision of 15 years, and changed the other proposal to say that members of a review board set up to evaluate whether a plan to outsource jobs should be accepted over a city department’s proposal would be barred from having conflicts of interest.

In spite of the concessions, union presidents were still not happy with the proposals.

After the meeting, Sanders said his measures may have a better chance of success because the council placed them on the ballot.   “This has the backing of the council, which says . . . to the public, this is important.”