Friday, June 10, 2011

Real pension reform with Adachi's plan

I was pleased to sign the petition to get Jeff Adachi's pension reform on the city's ballot yesterday. There are people gathering signatures at supermarkets all over the city. Be sure to ask them for the pension reform petition, since they often have petitions on other issues.

Adachi's argument for his plan:

My reform plan would save taxpayers between $93 million and $143 million a year according to the city controller’s office.  By City Hall’s own admission, the Politicians' Plan[Mayor Lee's plan] will only save $56 million in the fiscal year 2012-2013. Meanwhile, the City will be paying nearly a half billion dollars in pensions. From there, the gap between the money saved by the Politicians' Plan and the money owed by the City only gets greater. And the greater the gap, the greater share the Politicians' Plan demands of taxpayers.
 
Responsible pension reform requires that the burden is shared equally by City employees and taxpayers. If the City contribution to the pension fund goes up, then both City employees and taxpayers should pay more. If it goes down, City employees and taxpayers can pay less.
 
The Politicians' Plan is not responsible pension reform. At a certain point in their plan, every dollar needed to cover City employee pensions is paid for by taxpayers and not by City employees. This means that your taxes will go up at the same time that funding is being taken away from services like MUNI, parks and elderly care. That’s not fair to the taxpayers of the City or to the people who depend on these services every day.
 
The Politicians' Plan was crafted in a back room by the same people who got us into this mess. Last time they cut side deals that resulted in a $170 million bonus being paid to retirees in 2011 despite the $360 million budget deficit. Taxpayers didn’t just have to cover the cost of pensions and a stock market crash, they also had to pay extra for a pension bonus hidden in the 2008 ballot initiative.

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Progs oppose a bank on Divisadero

City progressives are now asking us to oppose a branch office of the JP Morgan Chase bank on Divisadero in the former Cheese Store location. Why? Dean Preston says in Beyond Chron that banks should be rejected because they qualify as "chain stores" and "formula retail," just like Burger King or Walmart. Quintin Mecke---who never met a "progressive" issue in SF that he didn't endorse---agrees in the Bay Guardian. (Can Fog City be far behind?) 

But is there any such thing as a mom-and-pop bank? Aren't all bank branches in SF part of chains? Is there a local, mom-and-pop business competing with JP Morgan Chase for that space? Where do Dean Preston and Quintin Mecke bank? Mecke is on Assemblyman Ammiano's staff here in SF. Does Ammiano pay him in cash so that he doesn't have to soil his PC hands by using a bank?

Is it better to have an empty storefront---of which there are already too many on Divisadero---than have a bank in that location?

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