Adachi submits ballot measure to reform San Francisco's pension system 

Dueling pension measures are in store for voters this November after Public Defender Jeff Adachi dropped off more than 70,000 signatures Monday to place his reform effort on the ballot.

Adachi’s submission comes as Mayor Ed Lee’s pension measure — which was drafted with The City’s labor leaders — will undergo a hearing today by the Board of Supervisors.

While Adachi said he would drop his effort if the Lee measure was amended by the board to achieve more savings, it doesn’t appear that will happen. Adachi said his measure saves $50 million more a year than Lee’s, and more adequately addresses The City’s rising pension costs.

“San Franciscans across The City are coming together to say we need to do pension reform once, do it right, and not kick the problem down the road,” Adachi said.

Adachi dropped off 72,640 signatures to the Department of Elections to place his measure on the ballot on the last day to do so. Adachi had to collect 46,559. The department has 30 days to verify the signatures.

Supporters of Lee’s initiative are concerned about having dueling pension measures on the ballot — either neither will pass or Adachi’s might pass with more votes and lead to lawsuits from the labor groups who opposed it.

While Adachi’s signature-collection campaign was a success, another failed.

Potrero Hill activist Tony Kelly had spent the past three weeks attempting to collect more than 7,000 signatures to place an ordinance on the November ballot that would open up San Francisco’s garbage industry to competitive bidding. Currently, Recology has a monopoly on The City’s trash business. Kelly was unable to collect enough signatures, but he said he will attempt to place the measure on the June 2012 ballot.

Kelly blamed Recology, which launched an aggressive campaign against the signature drive, for his failed effort.

Sam Singer, a spokesman for Recology, said Kelly and his cohorts have no one to blame but themselves. 

“There is only one reason this ballot measure failed to gain support: it never had any in the first place,” Singer said.

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