The Grand Republican Pension Compromise has been reached.
Pensions for all new San Diego city employees except police officers will be replaced with 401(k)-style plans and more importantly for the city’s current pension deficit, it caps current employees’ base pay for five years, according to ballot language filed with the City Clerk late Monday.
The measure is an accord that followed weeks of negotiations between a group led by Mayor Jerry Sanders and Councilman Kevin Faulconer and another led by Councilman Carl DeMaio and two business groups. The Union-Tribune had the story this morning. Proponents claim it will save $363 million over five years starting in 2013 and $2 billion over 30 years.
It’s another proposed solution to the pension issue that has defined city politics since 2002. Since he was elected in 2005, Sanders has reduced benefits for new hires, but has been less successful in addressing the more legally thorny issue of current liabilities. The city’s current pension deficit is more than $2 billion.
More details will emerge after a press conference at 12:30 p.m. today. But for now, it’s hard not to see this as a huge win for DeMaio. The pensionable pay concept pushed in his pension reform plan — something called illegal by Sanders’ camp recently — won out in the negotiations. That’s something that Faulconer, a potential rival mayoral contender to DeMaio, will have to accept.
Further, it’s difficult to see how other likely 2012 Republican mayoral candidates — District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher — won’t have to endorse the measure, too.