A lot accomplished at LPSF meeting today!

Dear All,

Thank you to those who attended today's meeting and suffered through the grueling ballot initiative recommendation process, which we accomplished thanks to Ron's hard work as Initiatives Chair. Next step, ballot arguments. I will meet Aubrey, and hopefully also Starchild, at the Department of Elections on Thursday to take our chance on some free arguments. We voted unanimously to allocate funds to one paid argument, Jeff Adachi's pension reform, since we figured such a popular measure would have a lot of arguments to compete against ours. Needless to say, donations are more than welcome to allow us to have more than one paid argument.

Ron, thank you also for posting the results on LPSF Facebook. I did not yet check LPSF website. Have you/will you be posting there also?

Regards,

Marcy

Excellent Marcy and the LPSF for all this work.

Can you please provide the version of the Adachi argument that will be submitted for free or paid for list review?

Thanks

Mike

Hi Mike,

I do not have a copy of the argument that was voted on today to be submitted on the Jeff Adachi initiative. If Ron, our Initiative Chair, would like to provide a copy, it would be appreciated.

Marcy

Hi Ron! Thanks for your thorough review of the propositions on Saturday. I am working on an argument against the bond measure for the schools (A) and could use your (or anyone else's) help on one point. You mentioned that the school district ought to be selling off some of their unused properties to raise money for improvements (rather than requesting money from bonds). Can you provide some specifics on this or point to a spot where I could find this information? I think some cold, hard details always add to an argument. Even a sentence or two is fine.

Also, I think we should a sentence to the Proposition D "For" argument saying that we recommend voting for D, rather than C, because it will save about $300M more over 10 years than C. With two competing propositions, the electorate is bound to be confused, so we want to make it crystal clear that D is the better one.

Thanks!
Aubrey

Excellent "sales" point Aubrey…

I am also proposing the connection to the private sector who pay these bills….

Permit a couple of short adjustments to cover both. See below. Other minor changes were made to reduce word count.

[ ] = remove

Red = add

The work "servant" just doesn't work for me. :>)

I'd prefer the term "market" to "Employer" but in any case calling them "bosses" feeds into the socialist view of the private sector as exploitive and non-cooperative

See below.

As submitted with changes…

Proposition D: Retirement Benefits for City Employees

Within the next four years, the money taxpayers must contribute to fund the City pension costs will increase an average of $60 million per year. This is because regardless of how much the cost of funding the pension system raises, (note comma added) the public employees’ contribution [the pay out costs] remains fixed.

The City won’t abandon [the] benefits [of] for retired employees [who have retired], (comma), [or] their dependents, (comma) or [the] surviving spouses of safety employees who died in the line of duty. Proposition D will not reduce any of these benefits. City employees earning $50,000 or less won’t be affected.

When the economy was good, jobs were plentiful and [average] private industry [worker’s] pay was increasing, (comma) San Francisco voters passed Charter Amendments rewarding public [servants] employees with high salaries and pensions. Voters didn’t mind if some [City employees] spiked their compensation [just] before retirement [in order] to receive larger pensions.

Since then the economy has changed for the worse [and there are] with no sign[s] of recovery. The average private sector worker[s in the private sector] whose pay and benefits are set by their employer [bosses], (comma) not by Charter, [have] are [struggled] struggling to make ends meet while also paying for lucrative public worker benefits.

Proposition D levels the playing field by prohibiting spiking. It lowers the pension benefits of employees hired after January 1, 2012 to more realistic and sustainable levels.

No one wants to see City services disappear. Proposition D will save $100M over Proposition C [However,] when it is estimated the City will be forced to cut an additional $243 million in essential services and jobs over the next four years to meet its pension obligations to retirees.

Proposition D is a first step toward increasing the contribution of City employees who can afford it.

Re-written as follows: Word Count 273

Proposition D: Retirement Benefits for City Employees

Within the next four years, the money taxpayers must contribute to fund the City pension costs will increase an average of $60 million per year. This is because regardless of how much the cost of funding the pension system raises, the public employees’ contribution remains fixed.

The City won’t abandon benefits for retired employees, their dependents, or surviving spouses of safety employees who died in the line of duty. Proposition D will not reduce any of these benefits. City employees earning $50,000 or less won’t be affected.

When the economy was good, jobs were plentiful and private industry pay was increasing, San Francisco voters passed Charter Amendments rewarding public employees with high salaries and pensions. Voters didn’t mind if some spiked their compensation before retirement to receive larger pensions.

Since then the economy has changed for the worse with no sign of recovery. The average private sector worker whose pay and benefits are set by their employer, not by Charter, are struggling to make ends meet while also paying for lucrative public worker benefits.

Proposition D levels the playing field by prohibiting spiking. It lowers the pension benefits of employees hired after January 1, 2012 to more realistic and sustainable levels.

No one wants to see City services disappear. Proposition D will save $100M over Proposition C when it is estimated the City will be forced to cut an additional $243 million in essential services and jobs over the next four years to meet its pension obligations to retirees.

Proposition D is a first step toward increasing the contribution of City employees who can afford it.

Mike

Dear Aubrey;

The reference to schools which could be closed was in if I remember correctly an SF Weekly article I do not remember when it ran. I guess an archives search at the SF Weekly may find the article. The second best guess would be the SF Bay Guardian.

Ron Getty

Hi Ron, Marcy, & All! I called the Department of Elections to get an update and ask a few questions. Some good news and bad news. First the bad. All the proponent arguments have, as expected, been pre-empted by the Board of Supervisors, so we can forget about trying for the lottery for D (better pension measure). It will have to go as a Paid Argument or not at all. Shame on Sean Elsbernd as he is the designated opponent of D. As for B (road paving bond), that one has an official opponent in one of the supervisors (which is a good thing), but it means that one will have to go as a Paid Argument also or not at all. As for A (school bond) and G (sales tax increase), there are no official opponents for those measures, so at this late date, it looks like we have a chance for the lottery for those two. As of this morning, they had 4 submitted arguments against A and 6 submitted arguments against G (for the lottery).

We do not need to waste words on the title, just list the letter of the proposition on the control form. And a control form does need to accompany each argument we submit, so if we submit one argument 20 times with just a word or two changed in each one, then we must submit a control form with each one. For the paid arguments, "the true source of funds" verbiage does not count against our word count.

So we have a bit of a reprieve on D, which doesn't have to go in until Monday morning August 22, as a paid argument. I have written an argument against B, but since it's not due until Monday, I will work on it some more on the week-end and then post it. I will contribute to the payment of this one as a paid argument, if others will also do so. I have downsized my argument against G, which was way over the word count, and it now comes in at exactly 300 words. It is due on Thursday morning, so please help to improve it. (I attached it, hopefully correctly.) I will work on A, which is also due on Thursday, tomorrow night and see what I can produce.

Aubrey

Thank you for all the work! We have approved money for Prop D from the treasury (cost will be around $700). I am donating $50 from my own pocket towards another paid submission, since LPSF can only spend the approved $700. If we can cut words down to a bare minimum, and if others feel strongly about our representation on the pamphlet and donate we could have 2 paid arguments. (Cost is $200 fee plus $2 per word, for those not familiar with this process).

Marcy

I'm in for $50 in support of Aubrey's prop G statement below.

I'll also be filing a separate statement in support of Prop D....working on it now.

Mike

If the Board of Supervisors was really serious about helping the children and senior citizens of this city, they would be lowering taxes and fees, not proposing this outrageous ballot measure raising the sales tax rate. Sales taxes are the most regressive of all taxes and hurt the poor the most.

What have our city officials done to inspire confidence in how they spend taxpayer money? Here are a few examples.

Voters approved a $106M bond measure in 2000 to rebuild 19 libraries, but the construction was so poorly mismanaged and there were such huge cost overruns and long delays that five of the projects had to be abandoned. In 2007 the voters were asked to authorize another $50M to finish the job they had already paid for in 2000.

In 1999 the voters approved a $299M bond measure to "Save Laguna Honda" for the elderly. Twelve years later the project is still unfinished, four years behind schedule, and now costs an extra $200M. It now holds only 780 beds, whereas before the construction it held 1,200 beds. Furthermore, the city has been transferring younger, dangerous mentally ill patients to Laguna Honda so it may not even end up being the haven for the elderly that the voters were promised.

San Francisco Transportation Agency spent $100K for services from a public relations firm even though it already has a press office.

Premium pay is often paid to city employees as "bonus pay" simply by earning a certification for special skills, which are a required part of the job that they should already have.

City officials spent $29,000 for a poll to see if voters would approve a bond measure for street repairs (Measure B).

Please do not give our city officials any more money to waste. Vote no on G.

Dear Aubrey and All Others;

Attached is a revised Prop G ballot argument reduced down to 255 words

Ron Getty

Thanks for the shortened version, Ron! Starchild has a good idea of adding something about the police and firefighters and also adding something about the source (I believe it was an article in the SF Weekly--I will check that later) to add legitimacy to our argument, so we will be altering our argument again. That word count has been going up and down alot--at this point, we'll just strive to make it the most convincing argument possible.

Thanks for your input!
Aubrey