Assemblymember Beall Wants San Jose Pension Initiative Delayed

February 09, 2012

News Report Casts Doubts on Mayor’s Employee Pension Figures

SAN JOSE – Assemblymember Jim Beall on Thursday called for the delay of a June ballot initiative aimed at obtaining deep concessions from public safety employees and other city workers, following news that San Jose’s pension costs may actually be $350 million less than projected by the Mayor’s office.

“It’s time to stop and conduct a thorough and accurate analysis of the San Jose’s pension obligations,’’ said Beall, who served 14 years on the City Council before serving in the state Assembly.

“The City Council and the voters need to know what the reality is before the city puts a divisive measure on ballot to permanently amend the city charter. We do have a problem but we can work together to solve them.’’

According to a KNTV report, the city’s actual pension obligation in 2015 is approximately $300 million – less than half of the reported $650 million used by the Mayor’s office to make its calculation of the city’s future financial picture. Basing its decisions on a figure that now appears to be highly inflated; the city has laid off firefighters, police officers, and other workers in a drive to cut costs.

“I’m worried about the many hard-working people who were needlessly laid off by the city in this tough economy,’’ Beall said. “Let’s stop the initiative measure and get accurate numbers, otherwise too many families could be hurt.’’

Contact: Rodney Foo, 408.282.8920