November 22nd, 2010 (All day)

Coalition Announces Commitment to Advance Fiscal Reforms

San Diego – Councilmember Carl DeMaio and representatives from leading local and state-wide business and taxpayer advocacy groups announced the formation of a coalition dedicated to fundamental reform of the finances and pension system in the City of San Diego.

"Our coalition led the effort to defeat Prop D -- and now we are ready to help take significant city financial reforms to the ballot box," noted TJ Zane of the Lincoln Club of San Diego County.

"I am pleased that an outside coalition stands ready to help city leaders achieve reform – but also welcome the coalition’s pledge to take reform to the ballot should the Mayor and City Council fail to enact reform themselves,” commented Councilmember DeMaio.

In releasing a statement of unity, the Coalition suggested city leaders follow several “guiding principles for reform” including: resisting tax and fee increases, making mid-year budget reductions and reforms, expanding managed competition sooner to more functions, and reforming bonuses and specialty pays in labor contracts.

The Coalition recommends a heavy dose of pension reform noting “City leaders must reform pension costs not only in the long term, but in the immediate term.” To achieve that, the Coalition recommended city leaders cap “pensionable pay,” implement a defined contribution plan and other more affordable pension tiers, and require city employees pay a fair share of pension costs.

The Coalition offered both a carrot and a stick, pledging to support the Mayor and City Council if they embrace reforms, but also warning “should the Mayor and City Council not achieve substantial and measurable progress on reforms to city finances, our coalition stands ready to qualify, support, and wage a campaign to pass ballot measures to impose reforms on city leaders through a public vote.”

The coalition announcement comes two weeks after DeMaio released his Roadmap to Recovery Plan and days after the Mayor embraced the notion of enrolling new city employees in a defined contribution pension plan.

“With his Roadmap to Recovery Plan, Councilmember DeMaio has offered an innovative, proven, and powerful plan to reform public sector pensions – a plan that we believe will become the model for addressing the looming pension crisis in local and state governments across the country,” concluded David Spady of Americans for Prosperity.

Organizations signing on to the coalition statement: Lincoln Club of San Diego County, Americans for Prosperity, California Restaurant Association – San Diego, Building Industry Association, Republican Party of San Diego County, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility, San Diego County Tax Fighters, Asian Business Association, National Tax Limitation Committee, Associated Builders and Contractors, and Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction.

View full "Statement of Unity" on 5 Guiding Principles for Reform

View full Press Release