San Diego City Councilwoman Donna Frye released details of her proposed November ballot measure Tuesday afternoon that pairs a half-cent sales tax increase with a series of reform measures.

The city would increase the sales tax by a half-cent for the next five years, but the tax would automatically be repealed by November 2012 if certain reform targets aren’t met. The targets include a series of nine cost-cutting measures that have long been discussed at the city. They are:

  1. Eliminating terminal leave pay for city employees. (Terminal leave allows city employees to stay on the payroll rather than being paid a lump sum of accrued vacation upon their departure.)

  3. Eliminating the city’s pick up of any portion of employee pension contributions.

  5. Selling the city’s stake in the Miramar landfill if it saves money.

  7. Bidding out the remainder of the city’s information technology services.

  9. Implementing the outsourcing program known as managed competition by December. At his sole discretion the mayor can initiate competitions for waste collection, print shop and publishing, auto and fleet maintenance, landscaping and facilities and operations and maintenance.

  11. Complete a study that would determine whether the Deferred Retirement Option Plan costs the city money.

  13. Establish a second-tier pension plan for city firefighters similar to the city’s police officers.

  15. Create a third-tier 401(k) pension program that would result in greater savings to the city than its current plans.

  17. Negotiate cost reductions in retiree health care.

I’m working on getting reaction from council members and various interest groups.

The City Council would need to call a special meeting to take up Frye’s proposal if it wants to meet an Aug. 6 deadline to put the item on November’s ballot.

Update: The memo is posted and linked above.


Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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