February 18, 2005

Editorial

Our Strong Mayor Has Solution to Pension Fiasco: Blame the Workers!

We can’t help but be skeptical whenever our political leaders gather and propose their answer to problems created by them. Their solution always seems to depend on the workingman having to bear the brunt of the solution. This is once again evident in San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy’s new get-tough stance with the Unions as one solution to the Pension Fund fiasco.

If we take a look back at all the problems associated with the Pension Fund, nowhere in the mix will you find city employees to blame. These are hard working people who barely make enough to live in San Diego where the cost of living is high and going higher daily. The cost of homes, food, gas, who can forget the gas and electric shock of higher rates, high health care costs, to name a few. Yet, if the mayor had his way, these hard working people will not see a pay raise for two years and/or see their pay reduced by 3.2% and having to pay more for their benefits. And as for new employees, well forget it, they will be getting nothing.

When we look at the Pension Fund fiasco, on the verge of bankrupting the city, we find a city council that approved Charger ticket guarantees, a Padres stadium deal, and a city council that liberally borrowed from this fund to pay for these extravaganzas. Add to it, a Pension board that appears to be more self-serving, than serving city employees whose money they are entrusted with. Yet, nowhere in the Mayor’s new get-tough stance, does he address any of the problem areas and/or solutions. The Mayor’s solution is to tax the workingman to relieve the rich man’s burden.

We wonder why the Mayor didn’t come out and state that they were suspending all talks about a new Charger football stadium until the city was on solid financial footing. Why did he not take executive action to disband the Pension Board and fill those seats with new Board members who will work to solve the problem? Why doesn’t the city council look at those bonds they need to sell in order to fund the Petco project and rethink those? And more importantly why doesn’t the city council become introspective and look at the way they have been doing business. It just hasn’t worked.

We are not so foolish as to not realize that it will take a broad spectrum of support to rectify the financial problems facing the city, but for the Mayor to come out and place the burden on the working people, upfront, is just plain wrong.

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