Metro Endorsement: ‘Yes’ on Measure B

A bold red countdown ticks on the elections page for the city of San Jose’s website, informing voters just how many seconds, minutes, hours, and days stand between now and the June 5 primary election.

The countdown indicates a sense of urgency, and no issue facing the city is more crucial to the city’s future than pension reform. In just the last decade, the city’s required contribution to cover the costs of retiree benefits has more than tripled to $246 million, which is almost a third of the entire general fund’s revenue.

Mayor Chuck Reed’s efforts to curb city employee retirement benefits will be his legacy, and despite some reservations with his clumsy bedside manner as well as Measure B’s wording on disability qualifiers for public safety officials, the “pension modification” measure should be approved by voters. Measure B is the best bet to start restoring vital city services that have been cut.

A decade of budget shortfalls finally resulted in the first-ever layoffs of police officers last summer, and the thinly staffed department doesn’t even respond to alarms anymore. The budget shortfalls have also caused the partial closure or delayed openings of libraries, community centers and a $90 million police substation. The city’s roads are among the worst in the nation. Meanwhile, pay cuts have been imposed on city employees because pension negotiations have gone nowhere.

Measure B would not retroactively take back pensions already accrued or harm current retirees. It would require a greater contribution on the part of city employees, establish new rules for new hires (a.k.a. “the second tier”) and suspend cost-of-living increases, which on that last point almost everyone living in San Jose has had to do in the last five years.

There will be an immediate judicial review of Measure B if it passes, and while the arguments against certain portions’ legality could have some merit, the measure as currently worded is not near as draconian as its first draft.

Also, Measure B is structured in a way that a judge could throw out certain parts without scrapping the entire plan. The unions are correct in stating that their benefits were negotiated for fair and square in the past and that past City Councils should bear much of the burden for their poor forecasting.

But termed-out politicians don’t shoulder the costs, citizens do. In times of financial crisis, all parties must come together and make sacrifices for the common good.


  1. I think the social security is unsustainable and everybody who will receive this entitlement should pay 53%of their take home pay. I want ballot measure for that!

    I want the person who wrote article to respond to that!

    Those politician you are talking about is still here! Chuck Reed!

    This ballot measure is unconstitutional, it is “employment slavery.”

    • “But termed-out politicians don’t shoulder the costs, citizens do. In times of financial crisis, all parties must come together and make sacrifices for the common good.”

      Isn’t that correct.  If this measure passes, the City may shoulder the costs of defending something that they know will not hold water.  Judges will decide the fate of this and the city, and it’s unions will not be able to negotiate on anything for years to come. 

      Reed and company may fit the description above.  I guess we will have to wait and see what the courts say.

      I will say this:  Every union in the nation will be pitching in to fight the City of San Jose until the bitter end.  And that will surely cost the City of San Jose a lot of money.

      Win or lose, the citizens of San Jose have already lost because of the toxic environment created by this ballot measure. 

      God help us all.

  2. “Meanwhile, pay cuts have been imposed on city employees because pension negotiations have gone nowhere.”

    Negotiations have gone nowhere because the City refuses to negotiate.  Unions have offered huge concessions that would go beyond solving the problem without the costly, almost certainly illegal, ballot measure.  But the Council is stonewalling, hell-bent on Measure B.  Save even more taxpayer money by telling the City to go back to the table.

    “The unions are correct in stating that their benefits were negotiated for fair and square in the past and that past City Councils should bear much of the burden for their poor forecasting.  But termed-out politicians don’t shoulder the costs…” 

    Forget about termed-out politicians; how about holding Reed accountable for voting for these benefits every time, saying that they are vested rights that can’t be taken away.  (Yes, he said that.)

    “In times of financial crisis, all parties must come together and make sacrifices for the common good.”

    The employees have sacrificed greatly with a 15% compensation reduction over the last two contracts, and substantially heavier work loads due to reduced staffing.  And they have offered to sacrifice even more… But no one is listening.

  3. “The city’s roads are among the worst in the nation.”

    Some of that is due to maintenance.  However, is it just me, or is someone doing a really bad job of making sure that manhole and other utility covers are flush with the roadway? 

    Some of these manhole covers are as bad as potholes.  You shouldn’t have to weave around manhole covers.  This can’t be blamed on a shortage of manpower.  This should not be happening.

  4. Going to do some SJI style html formatting.

    It’s time to start thinking of compromises here. Just a few of the city of San Jose debts, $2bn in retirement debt + $4bn in RDA debt equals $6bn in debt.

    I’d have to look at the budget to see how much we’re paying off each, but that outlook alone is pretty grim. A $10m a year surplus would only pay that off in 600 years. Leaving that debt to my kids?  Try my kids, kids, kids, kids, kids, kids.

    Still though, I will vote no on Measure B.  Yes, we need to reform pension, but it needs to be done legally.  Parts of measure B try to retroactively change pensions, and the one good point I heard from the con-B side (Ash Kalra) is that retroactive pension reforms have been tried in other cities, and have been shot down in a blazing glory of flames afterwards (not Ash’s exact words)

    So some folks have milked it.  We all know this.  We’re just going to have to swallow up, and accept that these jerks are going to be suckling the teat of the outdated pension system till the day they die.

    No doubt there are changes that need to be made. 

    -Top of my list is spiking.  Require an employee has to be at a salary level for a minimum of 5 years before it’s applied to their pension. (This is the standard for Federal employees)

    401k for new hires.  Just drop pensions altogether

    Close loopholes that give overtly scammy multiple benefits

    Our benefits are supposed to be better than private sector so we can “attract the best talent!” OK fine, but above average benefits compared to the top level benefits we give now would go a long ways to getting the city back to fiscal responsibility.  So far, neither side can agree. 

    Keep it simple.  3 things.  That’s all you guys (labor/council) need to agree on. 

    And please save the “WELL IF YOU DON’T SUPPORT B WHY DO YOU SUPPORT CANDIDATE X” comments to yourselves.  I don’t use a single issue to judge people.  You just can’t go through life being that narrow minded.

  5. Since other points are sure to be covered, I’ll focus on this one:

    “Measure B WOULD NOT retroactively take back pensions already accrued or HARM CURRENT RETIREES. It would… suspend cost-of-living increases.”

    Not only inaccurate, but insulting. Cost-of-living increases are, by definition, tied to the buying power of dollars, not the ups and downs of the wages of select others. Over the fifty-years of the plan’s existence that group you refer to as “almost everyone living in San Jose” has on many occasions received cost-of-living increases which dwarfed the 3% that, even when inflation was in double-digits, has always been the pension maximum. Strange, but I don’t seem to remember anyone in the media expressing any concern back then, when inflation was robbing pensioners of their buying power.

    Cost-of-living increases are not expressions of the city’s generosity, yet in presenting its opinion here the Metro treats them as if they were Christmas envelopes from generous Uncle Chuck, envelopes that, understandably, shouldn’t be expected when Chuck’s luck runs bad at the track. Wrong! Cost-of-living increases are and have always been an integral component of a public safety pension plan that is itself a component of the compensation package offered as an incentive to prospective hires, and guaranteed as a vested-interest to those already employed. In other words, those cost-of-living increases have already been earned—by decades of labor, no different than is any other annuity that has been earned by way of past contributions.

    Chuck Reed, the mayor who wants to steal from senior citizens, would like everyone to believe that pensions and cost-of-living increases are paid out of the general fund, and that it is those payments that deprive the city of its services (the services he likes to tell taxpayers about, not the hundreds of millions in services provided to parasites). One lie in service to another. Pensions are paid out of the pension fund, a fund that belongs to pension members, not the city. Whatever dollars the city pays into the fund annually is to service an obligation—an obligation to the fund (in exchange for member labor). That obligation is no more the employee’s business than are the city’s giveaways to Lew Wolff. It is the city’s job to diligently manage that obligation, and it is the city that has always reaped the benefits or, now, faced the consequences of its management decisions. This year’s pension bill is the price for doing business in 2012. That it is the fifth year of a recession, or the tenth year of a billion-dollar city hall, or the twentieth year of an open-door invite to the services-devouring poor, or the thirtieth year of crappy city management, or the fortieth year of a downtown ruined by government intervention, has nothing to do with this city’s current employees, let alone those already retired.

  6. I’m voting NO on measure B. I vote the City starts to negotiate in “good faith” with City employees and Unions to spare us years of court battles, and millions in legal fees paid for my tax payers.

  7. “Meanwhile, pay cuts have been imposed on city employees because pension negotiations have gone nowhere”.

      False statement and a bald-face lie.  These were NEGOTIATED cuts based on an inflated number given by Chuckles and his posse.  These public safety people VOLUNTEERED the 10.5% cut in pay, because they wanted to PERSONALLY help the City recover some costs.  The numbers were FALSE and misleading……as is your article, your facts, and your premise that the City Management is being honest.  Fact of the matter is…..THEY LIED TO YOU TOO!!!

  8. “So some folks have milked it.  We all know this.  We’re just going to have to swallow up, and accept that these jerks are going to be suckling the teat of the outdated pension system till the day they die”.-Robert Cortese  
      So, thats not judging people?  How do you know how many calls they went to in their career?  How many burning structures they entered?  How many meth-heads they had to take off the street to keep you and your family safe? How many mothers they had to tell that their kids are dead?  Easy money…right?  Next time we have a SIDS death, YOU should come and talk to the hysterical Mother.  You want to think you have all the answers, and the smugness you approach these issues with is laughable.  If you dont like the tree in your front yard, you would burn the entire yard down, with the house on it.  Your type of pyromaniac-politics is what causes severe pendulum swings the other direction over time. Fair, honest and open negotiations are the key to ANY success.  San Jose Management refuses to do this, because there are a few with the same scorched-earth mentality as you.  History will NOT be favorable to them…..
    You like to bring your children into the conversation, use them like a bludgeon to “guilt” City workers into feeling sorry for them… about THEIR children?  And the next generation of Police Officer, Firefighter, City Engineer etc…to follow?  They dont really matter to you…..right?  You think that their jobs are “easy”, or that they are the “highest compensated” in the area.  San Jose is not even close to being the “highest” in any category.  In fact, the medical benefits offered by the City are the WORST in this area.  Maybe I should get a vote   on how much I pay for gasoline…or maybe computer parts…construction costs….all the things that seem to cost just too much.  Lets all VOTE on that, shall we? 
    We are not looking for the “best and brightest” anymore, they really dont want to be here.  No we will just settle for anyone that will STAY!!!  Next, it will be anyone with a pulse…….

    • Wow watchdog, I write in bold “I am voting no on measure B” and you go into a whole rant…

      I think you just saw, “Robert Cortese” and hit fire.  Pete Constant says, “He double dips because he can” and you want to tell me that’s not a problem?

      See, your prejudice clouds you.. and God help us if you’re an elected official or a member of the force, or have ties to either because it’s obvious you come to the table without a clear head.

      You are the epitome of why we need change.  Measure B, no.  Proper negotiations to end spiking, close loopholes, and a new retirement package for new hires, yes.

      • I dont care WHAT you vote on. Its your WORDS that bothered me.  Its the attitude, the arrogance, and the outright hostility you display to City Workers.  Calling hard working, sacrificing public safety people “jerks” is stupid and ingnorant.  And that in itself deserves a “rant”.

        • I called the ones that have taken advantage of the pension system jerks.  Please stop trying to twist what I wrote, as it’s a paragraph or two above this one in black and white.



      • Watchdog>  How many meth-heads they had to take off the street to keep you and your family safe?

        Oh boy, hit a nerve there pal.  Never liked the stuff myself, but I had plenty of relatives and friends that did.

        Nope, SJPD didn’t take the ones out of my life, ever.  Being beaten by a parent on meth induced rages, screaming at you like Hitler amped up on Nazi chemist produced meth, whipping you with a belt, picking you up by your hair and slamming your head into a wall, every damn week.  Cutting you down with every insult imaginable.

        Yah, so what?  You talk about taking them off the street, well, have you ever had to live through the abuse of being raised by a meth head?

        People wonder why I’m so irrepressible. Because at one point I got sick of it, and at one point I said “Screw this, I’m telling someone!”  Didn’t exactly make my life better doing that either.  Sure, maybe you’ve had to pull a kid out of an abusive home, both parents and kids in tears, but you had to because it was “best for the child”

        Ever been that child?  Got any clue at all what that’s like?  Got any idea what it’s like to be isolated from everyone, friends, family, schoolmates, for years while the courts, your “system” decides what’s “best for the child

        I do, you don’t.  So don’t cry to me about how bad you have it.

        You know.. I said in the beginning of this post.. In bold.. “I will vote no on Measure B.”

        So this long rant you’re doing at me… Is this to try and get me to vote yes on B?  You confuse me.  You cite all these horrible things cops had to voluntarily do for pay.  Nobody paid me to go through what I went through. 

        No, you guys have it easy compared to what I endured.  Even though you’re being a knucklehead, I will still vote no on B

  9. You want to blame some people, blame those on the retirement board who grant disabilty retirements to those like Pete Constant. HOW IN THE HELL DOES HE SIT ON THIS BOARD!  THE SAME BOARD THAT GAVE HIM HIS 50% TAX FREE CHECK.  Yet he can run his photo business, sit “hours” at his council chair. ride his bike to work for photo ops, put on big pounds, and yet his back seems fine.

    Granted this type of retirement gives them a huge 50% tax free retirement, they still get their penisions whick do not affect what the city pays.. 

    We need an indepentant board to reseach their injuries.  I know of several with false claims and I am sure there are many more. When I asked about these people I was told it was confidential, so much for Chuck’s open govenmet!  BUT this measure will not affect them.  This measure will punish current employees and those to come.

    Why punish the other thousands that retire with service retirements who have put a huge part of their checks into a pension and hopefully enjoy life after city service.

    You see the big pensions in the news but most of us make average pensions.  Better to ask what Chuck, Deb, City Attorney and other council members and their co-staff will make when they retire.  This measure is not about public safety like Chuck + 5 like to attack, it effects ALL city employees!

    Ask the council how much they get for free!  Medical, Dental, Vision, take home cars, gas, per-diem and other perks (not told to the public, like trips )and retirement!

    Do the math before you vote!

  10. Looks like every newspaper in the City works for or is owned by Mayor Reed or a Reed supporter. Nothing but absolute lies have been printed by All City papers. The info is public knowledge! People stop being so lazy and start doing some research! This city is being driven into the ground and only the residents have the power to stop this insanity.

    If you think its bad now , wait till the court Battle begins. Millions upon Millions will be spent on this ILLEGAL Ballot Measure……………….only to be overturned in the court system. When this happens im sure Reed ,Constant,Liccardo, Ngyuen,PLO, will blame the evil Unions. better to blame city employees than to accept blame for absolute stupidity

    • As direct proof of the Reed’s inane legal costs to the citizens as he pursues what is well regarded as an unlawful effort, it has been recommended to increase the appropriation for the Fiscal Reform plan to 2.1 million dollars. (Ironic?)

      Additionally, if you read the memo from the City Attorney, you’ll note that under the public outreach portion, the only outreach done was the posting to the website. Of course, the memo is buried in the June 5 agenda and you’d never know to look for it. Nice transparency.

      Oh yeah, then there’s this tidbit on Pete Constant.

      They must be looking for one.

      • Pete is a joke and should be a poster child about what is wrong with the retirement system and our city council.  Changes are needed but not by a ballot measure.

          Pete screwed the system and citizens of San Jose.  The board cannot just give away 50% tax free disability retirements. Retire but why should it be tax free?  His channel 11 interview was a joke, basically saying I double dip because I can.

        Proud workers retire when they can but should not be punished by Chuck when they have worked so hard and expect a monthly check when they do so.

    • Considering that Mac Tully, publisher of the Merc is also Vice Chair of Membership of the SV Chamber of Commerce, the campaign arm of our mayor’s folly, we now have our explanation as to why the Merc has taken a very hostile position against public employees.

      At the very least this is an ethical breach of conduct.  At most, it is unlimitedand unrecognized campaign contributions in the form of free advertising through their editorial department.

  11. SJI / Metro – really!  I cannot agree with a single one of your recommendations!  Is chuck and the SJMN paying you or are you just plan anti union.  Give me your opinion on Prop 29 because I an voting no on it as well.

  12. Such superficial analysis (taken virtually directly from Merc News)is insulting to the readers. 

    Honest analysis would show exactly what the unions offered in negotiations to resolve the pension issue so the reader could make an informed decision about whether B is necessary.

    Honest analysis would reveal that the “second tier” does not exist and cannot exist without IRS approval and many agencies have been waiting years for such approval. 

    Honest analysis would show that because there is no second tier, Measure B requires the employees to bear the brunt of the unfunded liability resulting in anywhere from 40-53% pay cuts.

    Honest analysis would show that the pension problems are inflated because the City has shortened the amortization period suggesting that all of the obligations would be payable in 5 or 10 years.

    Honest analysis would show that the City has over 400M in the budget for “other” expenses without every itemizing other.

    Honest analysis would show that the City has the resouces to pay for all of the City’s primary functions if they would shift money from he 2B budget from special, pet projects. 

    The lack of analysis to allow readers to understand the issue and weigh the pros and cons themselves shows the lack of quality of journalism that now exists. Truly unfortunate.

  13. is every newspaper in this city under the control of city hall. as for termed out politicians chuck reed is one of the people that voted for the very same retirement benefits you make reference to and he’s not termed out unfortunately. if you want to place blame for budget short falls then point the finger in the right direction. Chuck has been part of some very bad decisions, how about the new city hall that went way over budget and also the millions they spent on furniture.those are just a few examples.
    the truth is since Chuck made such bad decisions about our benefits maybe he should resign.

  14. Can someone point me to that portion of the City’s current or proposed budget that shows this $246M cost?  Afterall it is being advertised as an actual impact on the GF budget. 

    If this is a third of the entire GF revenue, then it seems like it should stand out pretty clearly.

    • It does not appear. They do not break the budget down to reveal how that number is derived.

      In looking at the budget documents here are some interesting tid bits:

      1) Over 400M budgeted to “other” with no explanation on how this “other” money is to be used for the benfit of SJ.

      2) The overall city budget is 2.5B.  The general fund is only 882M or 1/3 of the entire budget so the overall impact of employee expenses (salaries, and benefits which include retirment) on the City is about 17% of the entire budget.

      3) The 22.5M deficit anticipated for next year is budgeted for, so there is no deficit for next fiscal year as improperly reported. 

      4) The City will transfer $2.9M to the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency from the General Fund to pay for some of its debts. 

      5) The RDA is expected to have 16.9M deficit in 2012-13.  The poor management of this agency by the Council has now put the City on the hook for RDA debt. The General Fund is on the hook for almost 192M of RDA debt.

      6) 818K has been added to the budget for “fiscal reform” and 200K for outside counsel.  They have already spent 1.8M on fiscal reform legal fees and have just approved an additional 300K.

      7) They have given 250K to the San Jose Downtown Association and approved giving similar amounts in the future to mirror what the RDA did.  Why is a private organization receiving City $ when there is a fiscal emergency?

      8) The City describes the Fiber Optic Fund as a “Special Revenue Fund accounts for
      the repayment of a loan from the Sewage
      Treatment Plant Connection Fee Fund for
      the installation of a fiber optic conduit
      system owned, by the City.” They do not tell you that the General Fund borrowed the $ and is on the hook for the debt service and is paying 2.2M for this loan this year.

      9) $35M is being transferred from the General Fund for other non-general fund projects. Mostly this is for the debt service on the City Hall (15M of the total 22M for one year of debt service) and the retirement obligation of the redevlopment fund employees (11M)—Why don’t they have to pay their own obligation like the city wants to do for its own employees?

      10) the city attorney and the city manager are getting an increase of 10% to their budgets while all other departments are taking hits.

      11) The city council and mayor’s unclassified staff (i.e. appointees) take in 3.7M in salaries!

  15. just finished watching a comercial for “Yes on B ” featuring Julie Constant , who Im sure is Petes other half. It is truely pathetic and sickening to have some potato head start talking about “saving the kids” by voting yes on measure B. This measure has nothing to do with children or education. it is only about corrupt politicians trying to destroy the working class in San Jose. I have truely learned to despise this city and what it has become. this Mayor and council have changed this city forever . I was born and raised here …………..and cant wait to get the He—out of here

  16. The Exodus has begun………………………lets see how it feels to have no Police presense anywhere. let see how many more 2 alarm or greater this city can take (60 so far this year) , lets see how many more people will pay the ultimate price,lets see how this city functions when all the experienced workers leave , or when people do get hired here , what will the city do when they leave for greener pastures. This city will become a training ground that individuals will come get experience and leave. This dispicable Mayor has made it so most employees would rather leave than to continue to work under these conditions. this Mayor even thou he likes to point out “outrageous pensions” Never tells the public that any other city the size of san jose has 3 to 4 times as many Police Officers/Firefighters. and that san jose is consistantly in the top 25 busiest P.D./F.D. in the country. truth is no other city has come close to doing what our public safety has done for us…….and now thanks to Reed most of them are looking to leave this god for saken city. The worst is yet to come ,  this illegal ballot measure will cost the residents of san jose millions upon millions only to be beaten down in court.the residents will be on the hook for ALL associated costs( even thou Im positive this city will blame the Unions for all issues facing san jose)

    • You really should find employment elsewhere.  You can be the most talented guy on the planet, but if you feel the way you do, it’s all for naught.

      • The fact of the matter is all of us are feeling that way.  It is extremely discouraging to be treated with distain, as scapegoats for a fiscal problem that is not our fault, and repeatedly lied to by our employer, especially after agreeing to huge concessions, in good faith.

        • This reminds me so much of the air traffic controller strike.  I kept reading about the pressure, stress, the toll the work took on the controllers having to deal with life and death every minute, and blah, blah, blah.

          Guess what?  Those jobs turned out to be pretty good jobs, even after the union was busted.

        • s randalll

          your so full of BS.  Vote and watch your city go down the tubes.  It is already swirling the toilet.

          Pete even had his wife spitting out crap.  What the hell goes kids have to do with this.  Chuck has his puppets out in full force.

          “Just finished watching a comercial for “Yes on B ” featuring Julie Constant , who Im sure is Petes other half. It is truely pathetic and sickening to have some potato head start talking about “saving the kids” by voting yes on measure B”

          (from anoter poster}  This has no effect on kids,  just anoter Constant BS plea.  What a joke!

        • I don’t understand what that’s supposed to mean, but you aren’t winning the hearts and minds of the people here in San Jose.

          I’m an old man.  I’m easily bullied.

      • We aren’t talking about “feelings” here s randall we are talking about facts. The mayor has distorted facts and lied to employees and lied to the public about all things pay/benefit/pension related. The media including the Merc, the metro, SJ Inside, KLIV/KRTY have all been willing accomplices in helping the mayor deceive the taxpayers.

        Be careful what you wish for be it pension reform measure b style or experienced cops or firefighters leaving because they don’t have the proper attitude.  Why do I say this to you? Well as I write this, SJPD Graveyard shift is patrolling a city of more than 1million people with 64 officers. there are four different Armed Robberies working with shots fired in two if them , one shots fired call unrelated to the robbery calls , 3 major injury traffic accidents wirh one that may be a fatal , and dead body call.  It is only 2345hrs on 5/29… Oh there are 16 calls pending and cant be answered because there aren’t enough officers available to respond. Hope you don’t have an emergency tonight because its busy here in the real world. (and yes I am ready to respond to what ever comes up I just won’t do it alone – my safety is more important to me my wife and kids than yours especially when I know how you feel about us.)

  17. Actually, the unions weren’t busted.  They still exist, working to ensure that air traffic controllers are treated fairly.  And when the employees participated in a strike, and were subsequently fired, it happened evenly across the country.  Since other municipalities in California have solved their unfunded pension liability problems collaboratively, and are offering substantially better compensation, San Jose will suffer.

  18. S Randall

    So not only do you want blood, sweat & tears from City Employees, you want them to win your hearts too? Never mind That most of Public Safety has missed family births, deaths, anniversarys,weddings and other important milestones in a persons life. Never mind that most did this willingly , because it was their job, and they did it to the best of their abilities. Nevermind that the citizens of this City have blindly believed this @@#$ of a Mayor, without ever once doing their own research. nevermind that most of Public Safety would have spent their entire careers here , loyal to this City. But alas it is Impossible to be loyal to someone who is trying to steal up to 53% of your salary, EVEN BEFORE PAYING TAXS & MED. /DEN. !!!!
    PUblic Safety here in San Jose Is the finest in the country…………BUT GET READY, because those that can leave will leave for greener Pastures , and those that do stay will do the best they can within reason. NO ONE in their right mind is going to go out on a limb and risk injury or death, why would they ?? with this ballot anyone who is disabled can be fired ! is that fair?
    Lets see how you fair when the quality of candidates plummets after   “measure B”

    • What you need to realize is how a lot of the other residents of this city are getting by.  I had a good job in technology until I got older.  I have not had a job for almost 4 years now.  Facebook, Google and the rest of them may be hiring, but they’re not hiring old farts like me.  And it’s not just this old fart that are being put out to pasture, I know lots of others just like me.  Too many.  I put put money into an IRA and 401(k), so I think I’ll get by, but I know a lot of others that didn’t, or that spent or borrowed against their retirement savings.  BTW, I’m now paying over $1,200 a month for health insurance with a $10K deductible.  It’s gone up over 70% since I got it, but I keep it, because I know people that can’t get health insurance due to preexisting conditions.  Hopefully I can make it to Medicare age before it goes up another 70%, or maybe I’ll take my chances and drop it.

      I agree with a lot of what you say about how this city has mismanaged its finances.  The airport, the city hall and all the redevelopment you mention.  However, that’s water under the bridge.

      What I see is a city that will have to cut back on its retirement expenses.  You can’t expect people to support the kind of inequality that we’re seeing in city pensions.

      I won’t vote to tax myself more.  If things get bad, I’ll be forced to move too.  It probably won’t be to anywhere that’s you’re likely to find new employment though.  It’ll likely be some shack in the Valley, or maybe dump in Nevada.

      • S Randall :
        But you still expect Public Safety to put themselves in Harms way to protect you and the rest of the ungrateful public? People who choose to go into public safety do so with the understanding that if they must sacrifice their life they will , and if they are disabled that they will be taken care of.How many time have you put your life on the line?I can guarantee you this, public safety is going to think long and hard about taking ANY kind of risks. Why would they when this initiative will allow them to be fired instead of receiving disability. It works both ways , if you dont care about them, then they wont care about you

  19. In your world, the starving child is fortunate that he’s alive so that he can starve. Fortunate is subjective as is your high sense of entitlement.

    Good luck to you in the new Oakland

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