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End of An Era at S.D. City Council


Aired 4/19/09


 Half of San Diego’s city council members are termed out, and this week marks their final week on the job. The four council members are the last of those whose votes in 2002 led to a billion dollar pension deficit. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.



Scott Peters, Tony Atkins, Brian Maienschein and Jim Madaffer are part of the council declared negligent by the SEC, for failing to disclose the city’s billion dollar pension deficit to investors. 

It remains to be seen how their future political careers will be affected by their votes to increase pensions while continuing to underfund the pension plan.


Peters has already secured a place on the Port District, and Atkins may run for the Assembly when Lori Saldana is termed out in 2010. Maienschein and Madaffer have not yet declared their future ambitions.


However all these elected officials are eligible to start drawing a life time city pension as soon as they retire. Unlike the general city employees, they don’t have to wait till they are 55 or 60, though there is a penalty for early withdrawal.


All - except for Peters - have purchased 5 extra years of service .


According to the city retirement system’s pension calculator, Maienschein is eligible for about $2 thousand a month. Madaffer and Atkins, who have each served nearly 20 years at city hall, can draw between $3 and $4 thousand a month each.   


Alison St John, KPBS news.


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