It was a little embarrassing seeing our city officials falling all over themselves to tout a proposal that does not adequately address out-of-control employee benefit costs that threaten our most basic public services.
Financier Warren Hellman even went as far as to say he was “very pleased” with the outcome. However, Hellman stated earlier this year that the pension reform working group must come up with $300 million to $400 million in annual savings. This sentiment was echoed at the time by Mayor Ed Lee, who also said The City could be bankrupt in five to 10 years.
Given the reported pension savings of $60 million in 2012-13 in the proposal, it might be fair to surmise that Hellman is not as good a negotiator with other people’s money as he is with his own?
The Recreation and Park Department has demonstrated its disregard for revenue needs by giving the Stow Lake Corp. a notice to vacate just as the peak rent revenue season is about to begin. With the present lessee moving out and the new lessee ramping up during this peak summer business period, a substantial portion of rent revenue to The City will be lost, never to be recovered.
If Recreation and Park had any real concern for its revenue needs, it could have delayed the concession transfer to Oct. 1, the start of the slow-revenue period. Instead, it elected to shoot the San Francisco taxpayer in the foot.
As a city worker, I am pleased to see that the public employee unions and mayor are continuing to work together to find fair solutions to the economic crisis that was caused by Wall Street’s excesses. Teachers, nurses, firefighters and engineers work hard every day earning fair wages and contributing to their own retirement. They each deserve a secure and fair retirement.
Meanwhile, Adachi’s unilateral attack petition continues regardless of the mayor’s consensus and continued worker givebacks. City workers have already made concessions to help preserve vital public services with a 5 percent reduction in pay. City workers are stepping up again, offering to pay up to 12.5 percent of our salaries to fund our pensions. In addition, the mayor’s consensus plan ends pension spiking and caps public worker pensions.