City Attorney Mike Aguirre today said he wants the city to change current restrictions that forbid it to use land-sale revenues to help solve fiscal emergencies such as the pension problems.

Many, including labor unions, have long advocated using land sales to help fill the $1.4 billion pension deficit. But Mayor Jerry Sanders said today that Aguirre has notified him that doing so would violate the City Charter.

Aguirre said that the city will need the excess revenues to pay for legal benefits. Even if his legal challenge to benefit increases succeeds, the city attorney estimates that the retirement fund could be underfunded by as much as $1 billion.

“It’s not something we can pay off gradually,” Aguirre said. “We have to break down the debt now.”

Changing the law per Aguirre’s wishes would require a two-thirds vote of city residents, he said.


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