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Wednesday, July 11, 2007 | Mike Aguirre no longer has the bankruptcy threat to brandish. Several courts have ruled against his attempts to roll back pension benefits: They have basically ruled that the city has to pay up. All of the employee unions have stiffed his and Mayor Jerry Sanders’ unrealistic attempts to negotiate roll backs, and shall continue to do so. Aguirre has run out of options except his latest proposal for increasing taxes. Soon, the mayor will come around too, despite his pandering campaign rhetoric. If City Attorney Aguirrre and Mayor Sanders had taken the advice in my lengthy Sept. 24, 2005 letter “Puppets,” they would have been able to avoid millions of wasted dollars and resolved this crisis years ago.
Here is an excerpt from my letter:
To avoid the wrath of the voters, our spineless politicians have long avoided raising fees and taxes to pay for pension funding. Only when forced by a legal ruling to honor city pension benefits, will they do so. When the law forces them to raise taxes and fees, giving them cover from angry taxpayers, only then will we see real progress, after long and foolish delays wasting personnel and millions of taxpayer dollars.
When the Council finally implements that long overdue pension tax levy, along with increased property taxes, higher service fees, and the sale of land assets, then will the fiscal pension crisis be quickly resolved. Raising the city’s income will enable it to afford attractive employee benefits that will long keep San Diego America’s Finest City.
It’s obvious that the unbridled ambitions of too many politicians, including Aguirre and Sanders, have done San Diego’s citizens and employees a great disservice. Let’s now hope that Mr. Aguirre’s proposal convinces the City Council and mayor to raise sufficient taxes, sans his fantasy plea for employee givebacks. San Diego employees have already suffered much in a deep loss of morale and despair, on top of severe salary hits, so now it’s the taxpayers’ turn to pay up in full without further delay.