Here’s the statement just released by Council President Scott Peters regarding the judge’s decision severely scaling back City Attorney Mike Aguirre’s pension case:
Judge Barton’s ruling validates that the great majority of benefits Mr. Aguirre sought to repeal are legal, leaving only a small fraction of the savings he promised us. Even if Mr. Aguirre could persuade the court in the coming months to grant those savings, the amount recovered would be dwarfed by attorney’s fees and other costs.
Every day we spend waiting for a ruling on the legality of benefits costs the taxpayers money, money that could be spent on deferred maintenance and public safety. Today’s ruling demonstrates what a waste of time and effort this trial has become. As soon as the City Council reconvenes in January, I will call on the City Attorney to bring this failed experiment to an immediate end.
Real progress comes at the bargaining table, not in the courtroom. In 2005, the City worked with our employees to make real reductions on the pension deficit, and to eliminate for new employees many of the most troubling benefit problems. It is time for the City to sit down with its employees and together craft a strategy that protects taxpayers as well as employees.