Good going again, and excellent letter! Though I still say we should be pushing a $100,000 salary cap, not $120,000. It's just an easier round number to campaign on -- plus it saves that much more money for the taxpayers. A piece on the "Usual Suspects" SF political site a while back identified $100,000 as an important threshold for city officials' salaries:
"After a year in office, Supervisor Fiona "Horse" Ma is asserting her independence. She spent a year feeling her oats and getting acquainted with her colleagues. Now, she's broken ranks by voluntarily taking a 15 percent salary cut off in her $112,500 salary. Ma and her colleagues are going into a budget year with a shortfall approaching $300 million and a likelihood that the mayor and supervisors will again ask city workers to take a pay cut or defer salary and benefits.
"The supervisors should be politically smart like Ma, and get their salaries below the $100,000 threshold. A salary above the threshold is an inviting political target for repeal or an albatross around the necks of incumbent supervisors seeking re-election this year.
"Take, for example, Jake McGoldrick. The incumbent District 1 supervisor (the Richmond District) looked ridiculous defending his salary while whining and deriding the voluntary pay cut of "multimillionaire" Mayor Gavin Newsom. McGoldrick a city renter but also an Alameda landlord with a wife on San Francisco's payroll should show some leadership as others have done, among them Ma, Assessor-Recorder Mabel Teng, City Administrator Bill Lee and interim Police Chief Heather Fong all of whom took a pay cut."
The Examiner also published my earthquake centennial letter on April 22 (online at http://www.examiner.com/a-86083~Letters__April_22nd_23rd__2006.html). They made a few small changes, but preserved the main thrust of it.
Yours in liberty,
<<< starchild >>>
Yesterday the SF Examiner had this OP/ED on the un-funded liabilities for the City employees health plan for retirees. I used that as a basis for an LTE to have the City institute a salary cap and the Examiner agreed.
This is the nicely done OP/ED on the un-funded liabilities:
Here's my salary cap LTE :
If the figures by Nathan Nayman in his guest column are correct, [“City budget problems are tip of iceberg,”4-26] the unfunded health plan liability of retired City employees is the iceberg and the City is the Titanic. With 43 labor contracts being renewed, it’s time to clamp down on City pay and benefits. Currently, 40% of the $5 billion City budget goes to pay and benefits averaging $75,000 for City employees while private industry averages $50,000.
The City needs a salary cap on pay and benefits, with City employees picking up a larger share of co-pay instead of the taxpayers. Set the mayor's pay and benefits at $120,000, and scale down all other city employees from there. Stop the massive abuse of overtime, like the SFPD blowing through $10 million in half a year while patrolling hot spots.
Stop digging into city taxpayer wallets to give public employees benefits the taxpayers don’t have for themselves.
Chair, Initiatives Committee
Libertarian Party San Francisco
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