Pension Reform: Headed to A Ballot Near You

San Jose City Council votes to send pension reform to the June ballot.

By Jenna Susko and Julie Putnam
|  Friday, Apr 27, 2012  |  Updated 6:59 AM PDT
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Pension Reform: Headed to A Ballot Near You

Pension reform in the city of San Jose is now in the hands of voters.

Today San Jose City Council voted 8-3 to approve pension reform for the June 5, 2012 ballot.

It’s the seventh version of the ballot measure that comes after eight months of negotiating with unions.

The vote comes on the heels of an NBC Bay Area investigation that revealed the mayor may have used an exaggerated number to sell pension reform.

Public comment lasted nearly two hours today.

Some supported the ballot measure, saying long-term reform is needed, but the majority who took the podium microphone spoke-out against the measure.

Citizens expressed concerns over litigation bills if the proposed ballot measure passes.

Others demanded answers about the accuracy of retirement cost projections used by the mayor and asked the council to delay putting pension reform on the ballot until complete information is provided about those projections, insisting the public should have all the facts.

The mayor says no matter the exact price tag, pension reform is urgently needed, arguing, the current pension program is not sustainable.

Other councilman supporting the measure spoke in a press conference prior to the vote, highlighting the burden the current pension system would place on future generations.

As for the projections used by the mayor when talking about pension reform, seven state lawmakers are asking for an audit of the city's finances and future retirement cost projections.

Tomorrow a state audit committee will decide whether to approve that request.

Meanwhile, five council members are also asking questions. The city manager says she will have answers at the end of March.
 

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