After analysis showed what was supposed to be a cost-neutral program that would keep police officers from retiring was in fact costing The City millions of dollars, the Board of Supervisors decided not to continue the program past June 30. If it did, the City Controller said it would cost The City about $6 million more annually.
DROP was approved by voters in February 2008 with the passage of Proposition B. The measure included a provision that would the program would sunset in three years if the board did not extend it.
The Police Officers Association had campaigned to keep the program going, arguing that without it, the department would run into a serious staffing problem.
Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who is running for sheriff, was the only member of the board who advocated for extending the program. While Mirkarimi said the evidence was “incomplete” if the program was cost-neutral or not, his talking points might have been more about picking up some public safety backing this November than anything else.
But Mirkarimi’s position was blasted by Supervisor Sean Elsbernd who seemed nearly in disbelief that his colleague would suggest there was any gray area.
“The numbers, the documentation isn’t there? All the information you need is right there,” Elsbernd said, noting the City Controller’s report and documentation from the city’s retirement board. “There is no debate here. It is not cost neutral. Extending it any longer, spending any more on this would be just a waste.”
Elsbernd said that the $6 million could be spent on so many other needs facing The City.
Mirkarimi’s motion was shot down in a 10-1 vote.