Hi All! Here's my version finally. I like Matt's better, but mine is just an alternate version. His is more pithy too. Mine originally came in at 311 words, so it had to go on the chopping block numerous times to squeeze words out. It's now at 295. Please review and make suggestions for improvement. I will start working on the control sheets in the meantime, and I believe Starchild will also put out a version in the final hours. 25 versions or more of these arguments will be submitted today at the Department of Elections, hopefully without commotion.
We think this measure is well-intentioned, but it has
several flaws that concern us:
1. The whole point of setting up a Retiree Health
Care Trust Fund was to put money away for the future so these costs would
eventually be self-funded and no longer a drain on the current taxpayers. Measure A undermines the fund by removing the
2020 hands-off date from the City Charter and allowing the fund to be tapped
whenever retiree health care costs exceed 10% of the City’s total payroll
costs. Since payroll costs in the
2013-2014 budget are $1.3 billion and retiree health care costs are estimated at
$151 million (http://blog.sfgate.com/cityinsider/2013/05/21/proposed-ballot-measure-takes-on-retiree-health-care-liability/),
all it would take to dip into the fund this fiscal year, if this measure
passes, is the Controller’s recommendation.
2. The inclusion of this sentence on pages 4 and
5 in the measure: “In the event that the
contribution rates set forth above do not cover the entire Normal Cost, the
Employer shall contribute the balance into the RHCTF.” This unfairly places the burden of likely
health care increases on the Employer—which is really all the taxpayers. Including this provision in the City Charter
may be difficult to change in the uncertain future.
3. The situation at CCSF with a looming possible
closure and drain on the sub-trust fund, if many of CCSF’s employees retire
early and start drawing health care benefits immediately, poses an additional
uncertainty. Now is not the time to
change the City Charter—it could always be done as 2020 draws closer.
Please consider the possible unforeseen consequences of
changing the City Charter and adding inflexible language that locks in benefits
that favor government employees over those who pay the bills—the
taxpayers. Vote NO on A.
Libertarian Party of San Francisco