July 12 2012 12:00 AM

Prop. B roll-out delayed until late June

TJZANE
T.J. Zane
Photo by Kelly Davis

While Prop. B's supporters were celebrating victory on June 5, a few folks I chatted with that evening talked about how tricky the measure would be to implement.

"It's a very ugly baby," one City Hall staffer told me. ---

This was underscored at a hearing on Tuesday, July 10, where attorneys for the state's Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) and the city's Municipal Employees Association (MEA), asked a judge to halt the measure's implementation. In a ruling issued July 11, Judge Luis Vargas ordered the city to delay Prop. B's roll-out until at least July 27.

Here's where it gets tricky: City Attorney Jan Goldsmith says Prop. B requires the city to close its pension system to new hires as soon as California Secretary of State Debra Bowen certifies the election. That's supposed to happen within the next few weeks. By law, the city and its labor unions need to meet to negotiate a new retirement plan for anyone hired after Prop. B takes effect. Not only is that expected to be a lengthy process; it's yet to begin.

"We have no proposals, no meeting date, and the City Council will be taking a legislative recess for the month of August," MEA attorney Ann Smith told the judge Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Prop. B's proponents have made much about a quick implementation. Immediately following the election, Goldsmith said there'd need to be a hiring freeze until the details of the new retirement plan were worked out. At the July 10 hearing, he seemed to back away from that position, though he argued that voters were "very clear" that no new employees could be enrolled in the city's pension plan. Without a new retirement plan, and without the ability to enroll employees in the old plan, "we're between a rock and a hard spot," Goldsmith said. He told Smith at the hearing that he'd be happy to start the negotiation process the next morning at 9 a.m. Problem is, he can't.

"He's not the negotiator for the city," Smith told Vargas "the mayor is."

Vargas' ruling asks the parties to return to court on July 27 for a review hearing and encourages them to work something out before then.

"Both parties represent [that] the imposition of the [temporary restraining order] will not halt meet and confer efforts," he wrote. The restraining order also allows time for a state-appointed administrative law judge to hear arguments in a challenge to Prop. B's legality. That hearing starts July 17 and is expected to last six days.

Three of the measure's proponents-T.J. Zane, April Boling and Steve Williams, the president, treasurer and chairman of the Lincoln Club, which spent $415,000 supporting Prop. B-asked the state Supreme Court to stop that hearing. On July 10, the court denied that request.

Calendar

  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28