Editor: The following press release was received from Councilmember Kevin Faulconer’s office on the issue of Mayor Bob Filner’s City budget – just approved Monday, June 10th, by a 7 – 2 vote of the Council. Faulconer was one of the votes opposed. We publish the statement verbatim, including the headlines.
Faulconer’s Labor Deal Ok’d to Save Taxpayers $1 Billion While Mayor Filner’s Budget Delays Tens of Millions of Dollars in Neighborhood Services
Today, the City Council approved a historic labor agreement after tough negotiations led by Councilmember Kevin Faulconer. The five-year agreement will save San Diegans nearly $1 billion by implementing the five year pensionable pay freeze called for in 2012’s “Comprehensive Pension Reform” ballot initiative (Proposition B). Faulconer’s motion to approve labor agreements with the City’s six employee groups was backed by a bipartisan and unanimous City Council.
“Today we took action to implement the will of San Diego voters. As a direct result of the savings generated by this landmark agreement, the City can increase hours at all San Diego libraries, create a police officer retention program, increase police academy size and conduct a citywide assessment to begin repairing local sidewalks,” said Faulconer. “This agreement is a win for San Diegans and local taxpayers.”
The agreements gained approval by union leadership and rank and file employees over the past two weeks. Today’s vote was the final step in approving the labor deal. By implementing the five-year pensionable pay freeze in a single five-year agreement instead of one year at a time, the City can realize $10 million in net savings this year.
Faulconer contrasted the benefits of the labor agreement with the missed opportunities in Mayor Filner’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget, which the City Council also voted on today.
“The Mayor’s budget is a missed opportunity that will have a real and negative effect on San Diegans. Mayor Filner’s budget increases government spending without first eliminating bureaucratic waste or restoring critical neighborhood services,” said Faulconer. “His budget skips 84 miles and millions of dollars of scheduled street repaving, locks in government red tape by ignoring voter-approved managed competition, and raids the City’s savings account at a time when the Mayor’s erratic actions put the City at risk for lawsuits.”
“The Filner administration had the chance to repair more roads and restore neighborhood services that were reduced in recent years. Unfortunately, while Mayor Filner talks about fighting for neighborhoods, his budget reveals he doesn’t put his money where his mouth is,” Faulconer added. “This budget does not reflect the priorities of San Diegans – paving streets, restoring neighborhood services and eliminating waste – so I cannot support it.”
The City Council voted to approve the budget with Faulconer and Councilmember Scott Sherman voting no. Faulconer recently proposed alternatives for a better budget in his budget priorities memo (attached). He has called for a vote to reaffirm the City Council’s commitment to managed competition, scheduled for the June 25, 2013, City Council meeting.