It looks like we might sort of have a mayoral election this year.
Former Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña has decided to run against Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Saldaña spoke with me in advance of her decision for a wide-ranging Q-and-A that addresses her reasons for leaving the Democratic Party to become an independent and her plans. She said she’s running to highlight income inequality and give voters a clear contrast to Faulconer – the only GOP mayor of a top 10 city.
Saldaña also addressed in detail her interactions with former Mayor Bob Filner. Recall that Saldaña had told Democratic Party leaders about Filner’s behavior with women in advance of the 2012 election. But she didn’t go public with the information until after his sexual harassment scandal began making waves and she had even endorsed him in the 2012 campaign. I asked why and she said she was a sexual assault survivor herself.
Saldaña said she’s well aware her bid against Faulconer is a long shot. She’s hoping to get him to debate her. As if to underscore how much of a challenge it’s going to be, recently released campaign numbers from Faulconer shows he raised more than $1 million last year.
Earlier Monday, two leaders on the left – Democratic Party Chairwoman Francine Busby and labor honcho Mickey Kasparian – went on KPBS’ Midday Edition to lament that the party hadn’t fielded a mayoral candidate. But Busby hinted that a progressive, presumably Saldaña, was planning to throw her hat in the ring.
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Monies from the citizens initiative and/or the infrastructure bond will be funding backups for the coming pension shortfalls.imho
The San Diego City Council will consider on Monday two proposals to fortify the budget against unexpected spikes in city contributions to its employee pension system.
The mayor's office has proposed establishing a pension payment stabilization reserve account, equal to 8 percent of the average of the last three years of city contributions to the San Diego City Employees Retirement System. That would equate to about $20.8 million.
Several members of the City Council, however, have balked about tying up the money for one use. Councilman Todd Gloria proposes to increase a general fund reserve account instead.
Most of the city's contribution to the pension system comes from the general fund, which pays for basic services like public safety and libraries. The average city payment the last three years has been $259.9 million, according to a staff report.
The amount the city pays into SDCERS in a given year depends on a variety of factors, including the performance of the pension system's investment portfolio and the discount rate — a determination of expected risk- free future returns.
The SDCERS board recently lowered its discount rate, so the city will have to pay more into the system in the next fiscal year than was originally expected, leaving less money available for city services.
A recent report from the city's Independent Budget Analyst said both pension reserve proposals were fiscally prudent. The budget analyst also suggested that the City Council could adopt both ideas, creating a smaller pension reserve account and boosting the general fund reserve with what's left over.