A revised proposal from San Diego City Councilwoman Donna Frye and Councilman Todd Gloria attempts to steal the thunder from their opponents and already got the city’s top politician to sign on.

Frye and Gloria’s new proposal is called the “Reform Before Revenue” ballot measure, appropriating the name from a coalition of Republican and business interests that had organized against their proposal. Mayor Jerry Sanders quickly released a statement approving the ballot measure.

The main difference from Frye and Gloria’s earlier efforts is that the city will not collect a half-cent sales tax increase until a series of seven cost-cutting reforms have been met. A panel of three retired Superior Court judges will decide if the milestones have been reached. These reforms include eliminating certain pension perks, known as terminal leave and employees pickup, and implementation of the outsourcing plan known as managed competition.

Then the city will collect the tax while negotiating with city labor unions on a series of more difficult reforms, including reducing the city’s retiree health care liability. The city will collect the tax for two years if the reforms aren’t reached or five years if all the triggers are met.


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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