Originally published March 14, 2013 at 6 a.m., updated March 14, 2013 at 8:29 p.m.
San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and former City Councilman and mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio talked about the future of pension reform Thursday morning.
A breakfast forum this morning brought back a familiar face from last fall’s mayoral election. Ex-City Councilman and mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio joined City Attorney Jan Goldsmith at a San Diego County Taxpayers Association breakfast forum. The topic was one of DeMaio’s favorites: pensions.
The men joined San Jose City Councilman Pete Constant and attorney Timothy Davis, a negotiator for the city over employee pensions.
Although Proposition B was approved by San Diego voters in June 2012, it has since stumbled into some blockades.
The state’s Public Employment Relation Board ruled against the measure, so now San Diego must now take the measure through PERB's review and then it will likely head to the state Courts of Appeal. Goldsmith says the city can already begin implementing pension reform now, but Mayor Bob Filner has said he will only wants to implement it if it's approved by the court. Either Filner or the City Council could take action to stop the measure from spending more time in court.
The appeals with the state could take years. DeMaio made pension reform the centerpiece of his campaign, so he seemed to relish the chance to continue the pension discussion this morning. When asked when we can finally stop talking about pensions, DeMaio said, well, not yet.
“If you don’t have a mayor and a council committed to solving the problem with that framework, you give them a tool and they say, well we won’t use the tool," he said. "Then we’re not going to get pension reform. And so it’s not just Prop B, it’s Prop B properly implemented by our elected officials. And that needs to be our focus for the next several years.”
Some have said City Attorney Jan Goldsmith gave bad legal advice to former Mayor Jerry Sanders because he didn’t recommend staying away from the Prop B campaign. And Goldmsith got pretty heated when moderator Scott Lewis, the CEO of Voice of San Diego, brought that up.
“There is nowhere in the entire country, ever, ever Scott, anywhere, where a elected official’s involvement in an initiative has either been criticized or found to bind the city or found to be an unfair labor practice," Goldsmith said.
Lewis also asked DeMaio if he plans to run for Congress. DeMaio flatly ignored him.
This story has been updated to clarify pension reform's current legal status.