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{{tnr}}A '''San Luis Obispo City Charter Language about Retirement Benefits''' ballot question is on the [[August 30, 2011 ballot measures in California|August 30, 2011 ballot]] in {{san luis obispo}} for voters in the City of San Luis Obispo.<ref name=ba>[http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2011/05/18/1605249/slo-voters-decide-union-pay.html ''San Luis Obispo Tribune'', "SLO voters to decide on union pay issues in August", May 18, 2011]</ref>
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{{tnr}}A '''San Luis Obispo City Charter Language about Retirement Benefits''' ballot question was on the [[August 30, 2011 ballot measures in California|August 30, 2011 ballot]] in {{san luis obispo}} for voters in the City of San Luis Obispo.<ref name=ba>[http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2011/05/18/1605249/slo-voters-decide-union-pay.html ''San Luis Obispo Tribune'', "SLO voters to decide on union pay issues in August," May 18, 2011]</ref> Measure A was '''overwhelmingly approved'''.<ref name=results>[http://920kvec.com/SLO-Election-Reveals-Big-Defeat-for-Police-and-Fir/10782789 ''920 KVEC'', "SLO Election Reveals Big Defeat for Police and Fire Unions," August 31, 2011]</ref>
  
If Measure A is approved, it will amend the San Luis Obispo City Charter to eliminate the existing requirement that the City Council hold an election and obtain voter approval before it can terminate its contract with the state's retirement system (CalPERS) or negotiate another contract with reduced employee benefits. Measure A, if approved, would amend Section 1105 of the city charter to say, "The City Council may terminate or amend its contract or negotiate another contract to provide improved or reduced employee benefits only in accordance with state law and as permitted by the Board of Administration of PERS." The amended Section 1105 would keep its current language that acknowledges the obligation of the City of San Luis Obispo to comply with PERL and other existing and future state laws, but final authority over approval of all contracts between the City and CalPERS would be vested in the city council, rather than in the electorate.<ref>[http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2011/08/13/1717204/slo-binding-arbitration-measures.html ''San Luis Obispo Tribune'', "Opposing campaigns come out slinging on Measures A and B", August 14, 2011]</ref>
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Measure A was on the same ballot as [[San Luis Obispo Repeal of Binding Arbitration, Measure B (August 2011)|Measure B]], an effort to repeal binding arbitration in the city.  Measure B was also overwhelmingly approved.<ref name=results/>
  
The vote on the measure will be conducted on a [[mail-in]] basis.<ref>[http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2011/05/10/1596469/police-union-slo-binding-arbitration.html ''San Luis Obispo Tribune'', "Police union wants to cuff SLO’s hands", May 11, 2011]</ref>
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Measure A amends the San Luis Obispo City Charter to eliminate the requirement that the City Council hold an election and obtain voter approval before it can terminate its contract with the state's retirement system ([[CalPERS]]) or negotiate another contract with reduced employee benefits. Specifically, Measure A amends Section 1105 of the city charter to say, "The City Council may terminate or amend its contract or negotiate another contract to provide improved or reduced employee benefits only in accordance with state law and as permitted by the Board of Administration of PERS." The amended Section 1105 keeps the language that acknowledges the obligation of the City of San Luis Obispo to comply with PERL and other existing and future state laws, but final authority over approval of all contracts between the City and [[CalPERS]] is vested in the city council, rather than in the electorate.<ref>[http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2011/08/13/1717204/slo-binding-arbitration-measures.html ''San Luis Obispo Tribune'', "Opposing campaigns come out slinging on Measures A and B," August 14, 2011]</ref>
 +
 
 +
The vote on the measure was conducted on a [[mail-in]] basis.<ref>[http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2011/05/10/1596469/police-union-slo-binding-arbitration.html ''San Luis Obispo Tribune'', "Police union wants to cuff SLO’s hands," May 11, 2011]</ref>
 +
 
 +
==Election results==
 +
 
 +
{{Short outcome
 +
| title = Measure A
 +
| yes = 7,848
 +
| yespct = 73.95
 +
| no = 2,764
 +
| nopct = 26.05
 +
}}
 +
 
 +
:: ''Official final election results from the [http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Assets/CR/Elections/083011_CityofSLO_Special_Election/FinalOfficialElectionResults.pdf San Luis Obispo elections office] as of 2:26 p.m. on August 30, 2011.
  
 
==Support==
 
==Support==
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===Arguments in favor===
 
===Arguments in favor===
  
Arguments in favor of Measure A include:
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Arguments in favor of Measure A included:
  
 
* "Pension costs are out of control. Five years ago, San Luis Obispo spent $4.9 million on pensions. Last year, we spent $7.9 million. In five years, without corrective action, the City will spend at least $10.5 million, 20% of our General Fund. That’s more than we currently spend on our Fire Department, Public Works, or Parks & Recreation."<ref name=vg>[http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Assets/CR/Elections/083011_CityofSLO_Special_Election/VoterGuide.pdf ''Voter Guide'', "Arguments for and against Measure A"]</ref>
 
* "Pension costs are out of control. Five years ago, San Luis Obispo spent $4.9 million on pensions. Last year, we spent $7.9 million. In five years, without corrective action, the City will spend at least $10.5 million, 20% of our General Fund. That’s more than we currently spend on our Fire Department, Public Works, or Parks & Recreation."<ref name=vg>[http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/Assets/CR/Elections/083011_CityofSLO_Special_Election/VoterGuide.pdf ''Voter Guide'', "Arguments for and against Measure A"]</ref>
Line 28: Line 42:
  
 
* "Can you retire at age 50 with an annual pension worth up to 90% of your highest year of earnings? San Luis Obispo police and firefighters can. If not 50, can you retire at 55? All other city employees can. Can you retire with a pension over $100,000 a year? Fifteen city employees already have. In the past seven years, pension costs have quadrupled – rising from $1.7 to $7.9 million. The city needs pension reform. Without it, pension costs will continue to skyrocket and bleed the city budget, requiring additional cuts in basic services."<ref name=vg/>
 
* "Can you retire at age 50 with an annual pension worth up to 90% of your highest year of earnings? San Luis Obispo police and firefighters can. If not 50, can you retire at 55? All other city employees can. Can you retire with a pension over $100,000 a year? Fifteen city employees already have. In the past seven years, pension costs have quadrupled – rising from $1.7 to $7.9 million. The city needs pension reform. Without it, pension costs will continue to skyrocket and bleed the city budget, requiring additional cuts in basic services."<ref name=vg/>
 +
 +
===Donors===
 +
 +
"Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility," which supported Measures A and B, raised $35,108 through August 15.<ref name=donors>[http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2011/08/19/1723905/slo-unions-raising-more-arbitration.html ''San Luis Obispo Tribune'', "SLO unions raising more than opponents in campaign against measures A and B," August 20, 2011]</ref>
  
 
==Opposition==
 
==Opposition==
Line 41: Line 59:
 
===Arguments against===
 
===Arguments against===
  
* "Measure A is a mean-spirited political maneuver to potentially restrict benefits to our public safety workers. The SLO City Council wants sole authority to dictate and change pension benefits and take away your right to vote on retirement benefits available to our first
+
* "Measure A is a mean-spirited political maneuver to potentially restrict benefits to our public safety workers. The SLO City Council wants sole authority to dictate and change pension benefits and take away your right to vote on retirement benefits available to our first responders, firefighters, police officers and city employees. By changing current law in which voters decide on future pension policy changes, the city will be gambling with its ability to be competitive and able to attract, train, and retain the critical public safety officers and other personnel that makes our community such a remarkable place to live and work. Moreover, giving the City Council sole authority to dictate changes in pension policies and taking away voters’ rights to decide issues which will affect our city’s future budgetary health sets a dangerous precedent."<ref name=vg/>
responders, firefighters, police officers and city employees. By changing current law in which voters decide on future pension policy changes, the city will be gambling with its ability to be competitive and able to attract, train, and retain the critical public safety officers
+
 
and other personnel that makes our community such a remarkable place to live and work. Moreover, giving the City Council sole authority to dictate changes in pension policies and taking away voters’ rights to decide issues which will affect our city’s future budgetary health
+
sets a dangerous precedent."<ref name=vg/>
+
 
* "Measure A, if approved, will take away your right to vote on the public employee pensions negotiated with all city employees. Current law requires that when City Council proposes changes to pensions that voters have the right to democratically approve or deny their proposal. Now the city council wants to take away your voice and rights to approve their spending plans, including first responders and firefighters."<ref name=vg/>
 
* "Measure A, if approved, will take away your right to vote on the public employee pensions negotiated with all city employees. Current law requires that when City Council proposes changes to pensions that voters have the right to democratically approve or deny their proposal. Now the city council wants to take away your voice and rights to approve their spending plans, including first responders and firefighters."<ref name=vg/>
 +
 +
* According to Erik Baskin, the president of the San Luis Obispo firefighters union, "people will die" if Measures A and B are approved.<ref>[http://calcoastnews.com/2011/07/baskin-people-will-die-if-slo-measures-pass/ ''CalCoastNews'', "Baskin: “People will die” if SLO measures pass," July 10, 2011]</ref>
 +
 +
===Donors===
 +
 +
The San Luis Obispo Police and Fire Association Political Action Committee, which opposed Measures A and B, raised $59,170 through August 15.<ref name=donors/>
  
 
==Text of measure==
 
==Text of measure==
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==Lawsuit==
 
==Lawsuit==
  
A lawsuit was filed on May 3 by the San Luis Obispo Police Officers Association in a bid to keep the measure from going to a vote.<ref>[http://www.newtimesslo.com/news/6018/slo-police-file-suit-against-slo-city/ ''San Luis Obispo New Times'', "SLO police file suit against SLO City", May 4, 2011]</ref>
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A lawsuit was filed on May 3 by the San Luis Obispo Police Officers Association in a bid to keep the measure from going to a vote.<ref>[http://www.newtimesslo.com/news/6018/slo-police-file-suit-against-slo-city/ ''San Luis Obispo New Times'', "SLO police file suit against SLO City," May 4, 2011]</ref>
  
 
San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Charles Crandall ruled that sufficient grounds do not exist to keep the ballot measure off the ballot.<ref name=ba/>
 
San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Charles Crandall ruled that sufficient grounds do not exist to keep the ballot measure off the ballot.<ref name=ba/>

Latest revision as of 08:04, 21 March 2014

A San Luis Obispo City Charter Language about Retirement Benefits ballot question was on the August 30, 2011 ballot in San Luis Obispo County for voters in the City of San Luis Obispo.[1] Measure A was overwhelmingly approved.[2]

Measure A was on the same ballot as Measure B, an effort to repeal binding arbitration in the city. Measure B was also overwhelmingly approved.[2]

Measure A amends the San Luis Obispo City Charter to eliminate the requirement that the City Council hold an election and obtain voter approval before it can terminate its contract with the state's retirement system (CalPERS) or negotiate another contract with reduced employee benefits. Specifically, Measure A amends Section 1105 of the city charter to say, "The City Council may terminate or amend its contract or negotiate another contract to provide improved or reduced employee benefits only in accordance with state law and as permitted by the Board of Administration of PERS." The amended Section 1105 keeps the language that acknowledges the obligation of the City of San Luis Obispo to comply with PERL and other existing and future state laws, but final authority over approval of all contracts between the City and CalPERS is vested in the city council, rather than in the electorate.[3]

The vote on the measure was conducted on a mail-in basis.[4]

Election results

Measure A
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 7,848 73.95%
No2,76426.05%
Official final election results from the San Luis Obispo elections office as of 2:26 p.m. on August 30, 2011.

Support

Supporters

Citizens for SLO.PNG

The official voter guide arguments supporting Measure A were signed by:

  • Jan Marx, Mayor of San Luis Obispo
  • Andrew Carter, San Luis Obispo City Council Member
  • Lauren Brown
  • April Strong
  • Dan Hinz
  • Amy Kardel
  • Russ Levanway

Arguments in favor

Arguments in favor of Measure A included:

  • "Pension costs are out of control. Five years ago, San Luis Obispo spent $4.9 million on pensions. Last year, we spent $7.9 million. In five years, without corrective action, the City will spend at least $10.5 million, 20% of our General Fund. That’s more than we currently spend on our Fire Department, Public Works, or Parks & Recreation."[5]
  • "Why are pension costs so high? Because pension formulas are too high. Police officers and firefighters can retire at age 50 with pensions that equal up to 90% of their highest year of earnings. Other employees can retire at age 55. A 30-year police officer retiring today receives a pension of at least $93,000. A 30-year firefighter, at least $70,000. A 30-year administrative assistant, $44,000. There are currently fifteen retired City employees receiving pensions worth over $100,000 a year."[5]
  • "Can you retire at age 50 with an annual pension worth up to 90% of your highest year of earnings? San Luis Obispo police and firefighters can. If not 50, can you retire at 55? All other city employees can. Can you retire with a pension over $100,000 a year? Fifteen city employees already have. In the past seven years, pension costs have quadrupled – rising from $1.7 to $7.9 million. The city needs pension reform. Without it, pension costs will continue to skyrocket and bleed the city budget, requiring additional cuts in basic services."[5]

Donors

"Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility," which supported Measures A and B, raised $35,108 through August 15.[6]

Opposition

No on A and B.PNG

Opponents

The official voter guide arguments opposing Measure A were signed by:

  • Jack O’Connell
  • Erik S. Baskin, President, IAFF L3523 San Luis Obispo City Firefighters
  • Sherri Stoddard, RN, Director Region 3, California Nurses Association/National Nurses United

Arguments against

  • "Measure A is a mean-spirited political maneuver to potentially restrict benefits to our public safety workers. The SLO City Council wants sole authority to dictate and change pension benefits and take away your right to vote on retirement benefits available to our first responders, firefighters, police officers and city employees. By changing current law in which voters decide on future pension policy changes, the city will be gambling with its ability to be competitive and able to attract, train, and retain the critical public safety officers and other personnel that makes our community such a remarkable place to live and work. Moreover, giving the City Council sole authority to dictate changes in pension policies and taking away voters’ rights to decide issues which will affect our city’s future budgetary health sets a dangerous precedent."[5]
  • "Measure A, if approved, will take away your right to vote on the public employee pensions negotiated with all city employees. Current law requires that when City Council proposes changes to pensions that voters have the right to democratically approve or deny their proposal. Now the city council wants to take away your voice and rights to approve their spending plans, including first responders and firefighters."[5]
  • According to Erik Baskin, the president of the San Luis Obispo firefighters union, "people will die" if Measures A and B are approved.[7]

Donors

The San Luis Obispo Police and Fire Association Political Action Committee, which opposed Measures A and B, raised $59,170 through August 15.[6]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

MEASURE A: "Shall Section 1105 (Retirement) of the San Luis Obispo Charter, which authorizes the City Council to enter into a contract with the Board of Administration of the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), be amended to provide that the City Council may terminate or amend its contract or negotiate another contract to provide improved or reduced employee benefits only in accordance with state law and as permitted by the Board of Administration of PERS?"[8]

Path to the ballot

The measure was referred to the ballot by the City Council of San Luis Obispo in a 4-1 vote cast on May 17. Councilman John Ashbaugh is the one city council member who voted against putting the measure on the August 30 ballot.[1]

Lawsuit

A lawsuit was filed on May 3 by the San Luis Obispo Police Officers Association in a bid to keep the measure from going to a vote.[9]

San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Charles Crandall ruled that sufficient grounds do not exist to keep the ballot measure off the ballot.[1]

External links

BP-Initials-UPDATED.png
Suggest a link
  • SLO Truth, website advocating for a "no" vote

References


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