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City of San Jose
Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required
Pass: 162,367 / 72.14% Yes votes ...... 62,710 / 27.86% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Results as of Nov 23 2:45pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (582/582)|
|Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text|
To provide fiscal stability, control costs and maintain City Services to residents, shall the Charter be amended to allow the Council, by ordinance and subject to the requirements of applicable law, to exclude any officer or employee hired on or after the ordinance's effective date from any retirement plan or benefit of any plan then in existence and to require that any new or different plan shall be actuarially sound?
Charter Section 1500 requires the Council to provide retirement plans for the City's officers and employees unless an exception applies. Charter Section 1501 currently allows Council to exclude certain persons from any or all retirement plans. The Charter also currently allows the Council to change any retirement plan or adopt different retirement plans for the City's officers and employees. However, the current Charter provisions require that any new retirement plan for most City employees meet certain minimum requirements set forth in Charter Sections 1504 and 1505.
The proposed Charter amendment would allow Council to adopt an ordinance to exclude City officers and employees hired on or after the ordinance's effective date from any existing retirement plans or benefits. Such an ordinance would be subject to the requirements of applicable law. The proposed Charter amendment would also allow Council to establish a retirement plan or plans for such employees that do not meet current minimum requirements set forth in the Charter for City retirement plans.
Currently, only the retirement plans for police and fire employees are required by the Charter to be actuarially sound. The proposed Charter amendment would require that any new or different retirement plan established by the Council be actuarially sound.
Voting "yes" would amend the Charter to (1) allow the City Council, by ordinance, to exclude officers and employees hired on or after the ordinance's effective date from any retirement plans or benefits then in existence and from the current minimum retirement provisions specified in the Charter, and (2) require in the Charter that any new or different retirement plan be actuarially sound.
Voting "no" means that no changes will be made to the Charter's retirement provisions.
/s/ Richard Doyle
The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure W. If you would like to read the full text of the measure, see http://www.sanjoseca.gov/clerk/elections/Election.asp or call 408-535-1260 and a copy will be sent at no cost to you.
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|Arguments For Measure W||Arguments Against Measure W|
|Have you ever wondered why: Your street isn't paved? Your library is closed? Your neighborhood park is rundown? Firefighters are being laid off?
Among the answers: The City of San Jose's pension costs are unsustainable. And they keep going up.
Last year, the city spent $138 million for pensions - more than it spends on libraries, gang prevention, senior programs, and community centers combined. This year, that number jumped to nearly $180 million. In a year when San Jose laid off firefighters, it had to spend more money on pension costs than it does on the entire fire department.
At this rate, pensions will cost San Jose taxpayers $350 million a year by 2015. That's more money than property taxes and sales taxes combined. Legally, pensions must be paid first - whatever money leftover goes towards services like police, fire and libraries.
City pension costs keep going up because most city employees can retire at age 55 on pension payments that over time can be greater than the salary they made when they were working since cost of living increases at 3% continue with the life of the pensions. The City also contributes to lifetime medical coverage.
The Charter requires that the City provide employees with a defined benefit retirement plan, an employer match of 250%, a retirement age of 55, and city guaranteed benefits for life based on final compensation. This is far more generous than most private sector plans.
The Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury says that pension costs are unsustainable (http://www.sccsuperiorcourt.org/jury/GJ.html#reports).
Measure W removes barriers that prevent pension reform. It doesn't take away benefits from our retirees and only impacts new city employees. But it could save millions of dollars moving forward.
Vote Yes on Measure W. The City must regain control of its budget. http://www.SanJoseFiscalReforms.com
/s/ Chuck Reed
/s/ Rose Herrera
/s/ Pierluigi Oliverio
/s/ Patricia M. Dando
/s/ Jean Myers
|During these tough economic times, San Jose politicians are recklessly proposing a misleading measure that, like the current charter, contains no limits on how much the city contributes to employee retirement costs. Measure W is a risky scheme that puts libraries, parks, and public safety services in jeopardy.
Measure W encourages city council members to invent whole new, and possibly irresponsible, pension schemes. Political deals can generate higher and higher costs.
Measure W continues to allow the City council to establish the maximum costs that taxpayers will have to bear. Like the current charter, the measure does not give voters a role in these decisions. Ambitious politicians can increase pension costs at any Council meeting. That's not real reform!
We can't trust city politicians to establish multi-billion dollar retirement funds without any taxpayer safeguards. Just look at their past record of wasteful spending.
Measure W deliberately leaves out all specific details. It has no guarantee of cost savings, no limits on employee pensions, and no protection of the City's General Fund. Measure W threatens funding for police, fire, library, and park services.
At the 11th hour and without public debate, the Council rushed this measure to the ballot. It is filed with vague provisions that will lead to unpredictable costs to the taxpayers.
City retirees do not get social security. Pensions enable city workers to earn a retirement with dignity.
However, we agree that pension reform is necessary. Real reform contains clear limits on how much taxpayers must contribute. Anything less, like Measure W, is irresponsible.
Measure W leaves retirement costs solely in the hands of politicians. Would you give a blank check to the City Council? No? Then vote "no" on Measure W.
/s/ Tom Cochran
/s/ Karl Hoffower
/s/ Stephen L. Kline
/s/ Michele Bertolone
/s/ Annie Dandavati
|Full Text of Measure W|
|That Sections 1500 and 1501 of the City Charter be amended to read as follows:
SECTION 1500. DUTY TO PROVIDE RETIREMENT SYSTEM.
Except as hereinafter otherwise provided, the Council shall provide, by ordinance or ordinances, for the creation, establishment and maintenance of a retirement plan or plans for all officers and employees of the City. Such plan or plans need not be the same for all officers and employees. Subject to other provisions of this Article, the Council may at any time, or from time to time, amend or otherwise change any retirement plan or plans or adopt or establish a new or different plan or plans for all or any officers or employees; provided, however, the Council shall not establish any new or different plan after November 3, 2010 that is not actuarially sound.
SECTION 1501. EXCLUSIONS.
(a) The Council in its discretion may exclude all or any of the following persons from any or all retirement plans, to wit: Persons mentioned in sub-paragraphs (1), (2), (4), (5), (6), and (7) of sub-section (a) of Section 1101 of this Charter; all persons employed or whose services are contracted for pursuant to any transfer, consolidation or contract mentioned or referred to in Section 1109 of this Charter; persons employed pursuant to Section 1110 of this Charter; persons in City service primarily for training, study or educational purposes; persons employed or paid on a part-time, per diem, per hour or any basis other than a monthly basis; temporary employees; persons employed pursuant to any relief or anti-poverty program primarily for the purpose of giving relief or aid to such persons. Also, persons who are members of any other retirement or pension system, other than the federal social security system or any other federal retirement or pension system, and who are receiving credit in such other system for service rendered to the City may be excluded, as to such service, from any such plan or plans.
(b) On or after November 3, 2010, the Council, may by ordinance, exclude any officer or employee hired on or after the ordinance's effective date from any retirement plan or benefit of any retirement plan in existence on the effective date of the ordinance. Any such ordinance shall be subject to the requirements of applicable law.