The Morning Report
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OK, so I know you’re probably a little fatigued with this pension stuff. We understand, we’ve been spending a good portion of our adult lives on it. Last year was the big blow up, lots of big headlines and other big stuff like criminal charges and the like.

Now we’ve got a new mayor and all the court cases are starting to work through the court system at a glacial pace. It’s probably easy not to care or be interested at this point.

But don’t forget what’s at stake – as much as $500 million and the personal retirement funds of more than 10,000 people.

The trial officially kicks off today, with opening statements expected from City Attorney Mike Aguirre and union attorney Ann Smith. Former City Manager Jack McGrory, who oversaw the first of two pension deals that are blamed for the pension woes, is expected to be the first witness called by Aguirre.

If Aguirre prevails, the city’s $1.4 billion pension deficit could be cut by as much as a third. That would lighten the city’s annual budget load. Remember, the real issue with the pension problem is the growing strain the deficit puts on the city’s annual budgets.

If Aguirre loses or only succeeds in wiping away a small layer of the debt, the city will be left to finding other means to cover its obligations to employees.

Our writer Evan McLaughlin is there and will be reporting back regularly. Stay tuned.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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