We posted the newest actuarial snapshot of the city’s retiree health care deficit yesterday, which reset the government’s obligation to future and current retirees to $1.09 billion.

Here’s how we characterized the numbers in our postfrom last night:

The new figure — which is taken from a snapshot of the cost on June 30, 2006 — represents a mild improvement from the $1.4 billion estimate that was released a year ago.

Council President Scott Peters offered a different interpretation in a statement his office e-mailed moments ago:

“I’m proud that the City of San Diego has taken health care costs seriously, reducing our exposure through labor negotiations, and voluntarily accounting for health care under stricter rules that take effect nationwide next year. Despite the improvements, we all recognize that the deficit is a serious issue. Still, I had to chuckle at your characterization of a one-year 22% reduction in that deficit as a “mild improvement.” If that’s the case, I’ll take mild improvement every time! Please add just a little sugar to that coffee!”


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