The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today to put a pension reform measure on the November ballot, one of two proposals on the issue likely to end up in front of the city’s voters.
The measure, proposed by Mayor Ed Lee in collaboration with various labor and business leaders, seeks to make San Francisco’s city workers pay more toward their retirement benefits, would cap the benefits they receive, and raises the retirement age, among other changes.
Another measure prepared by Public Defender Jeff Adachi that calls for more extensive contributions from the workers was submitted to the city’s Department of Elections last week with more than 72,000 signatures, much more than the roughly 46,000 needed to get on the ballot.
Last week the board unanimously approved Supervisor Sean Elsbernd’s amendment to the mayor’s measure to make the competition between the measures winner-takes-all to avoid legal wrangling over whether aspects of each proposal could be enacted if both were approved by voters.
Elsbernd said before today’s 11-0 vote in favor of putting the mayor’s measure on the ballot that it is “the right step forward for the city.”
Lee released a statement following its approval commending the supervisors for their decision.
“After months of discussions with labor, business, community and city leaders, I am confident our consensus pension reform measure is comprehensive, fair, balanced, and responsible,” he said.
Adachi has criticized the mayor’s proposal as not going far enough to address the rising costs of the pensions, saying his own plan would save the city $1.25 billion over the next 10 years.
Lee estimates his plan would save $800 million to $1 billion over the same period.
The Department of Elections is expected to announce in the next few weeks whether it has certified the signatures for Adachi’s proposal.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News