Mayor Bob Filner knew about the controversial Sunroad deal, Filner’s departed deputy chief of staff, Allen Jones, told Scott Lewis in a lengthy interview Friday – though Jones and Filner have different versions of how it ultimately came together.
Jones, himself a former developer, stands by the deal despite all the outcry: “This is exactly what a business would do if it were asked to give away something of value,” he said.
Jones also confirmed that he left his job because of the way Filner was treating staffers. Irene McCormack, Filner’s communications director, left alongside Jones.
About That $20 Million …
Not helping things for Filner: The city’s pension board voted Friday not to change the city’s pension payment, meaning those $20 million in savings Filner and others have touted lately as a result of five-year labor deals won’t happen next year. The move was a shock and a big discussion erupted on Twitter about the way the vote went down. While it got a majority of votes, it didn’t get the necessary seven, including one apparently from a representative of the mayor himself.
This decision was at the heart of most of the savings first envisioned by the 2012 pension reform initiative and then by the five-year labor deal the mayor and City Council hammered out. By capping pensionable pay, the city was supposed to provoke a recalculation of its annual pension bill. That’s what didn’t happen. And it may force big and unplanned budget cuts.
One More Day to Submit an Idea Tournament Proposal
Community groups have until this Sunday to submit a proposal for the Idea Tournament taking place at this year’s Politifest on Saturday, Aug. 3. The winning proposal will be awarded a $5,000 grant from the Malin Burnham Center for Civic Engagement to put toward their project.