Board Must Halt Pension Measure Legal Action: Judge - NBC 7 San Diego

Board Must Halt Pension Measure Legal Action: Judge

A move to block the San Diego's Comprehensive Pension Reform initiative from going to the voters was rejected Tuesday by a Superior Court judge



    Another judge has ruled that a state agency has no place trying to halt San Diego's controversial Prop B initiative from appearing on the June ballot.

    Judge Luis Vargas on Tuesday ordered the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) to stop their legal proceedings and cancel a supoena issued to the initiative's authors.

    In response to the ruling, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said the board will have to take legal action after elections -- not before.

    "Once it's a citizen's initiative, PERB doesn't have any jurisdiction over it," Goldsmith said in a press conference. "The people of San Diego should vote for this up or down, based upon the policy it proposes."

    Bid to Halt SD Pension Measure Fails

    [DGO] Bid to Halt SD Pension Measure Fails
    Councilmember Carl DeMaio and San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith react to the recent courtroom challenge that will allow residents to vote for pension reform. Gene Cubbison reports
    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012)

    Goldsmith added that if city had proposed something like Prop B, then PERB would be authorized to step in.

    The court filing brought by PERB found the city in violation of state labor laws in the process of moving the pension measure to the ballot.

    Last month, San Diego Superior Court Judge William Dato said there's no established "case law" that allows him to block an initiative from going to the voters on the basis of the state PERB's findings.

    Voters May Not Decide on Pension Plan

    [DGO] Voters May Not Decide on Pension Plan
    A state labor group has questioned whether the Comprehensive Pension Reform Initiative can even make it on the ballot in June.
    (Published Monday, Feb. 13, 2012)

    Prop B, formerly the Comprehensive Pension Reform Initiative qualified with a record 115,000 voters' signatures. It would aim to replace traditional pensions with 401(k)-style retirement plans for all future city employees except police officers.

    It also calls for the city seek a five-year salary freeze from current workers.

    For a brief overview and timeline of Prop B's path to the ballot, click here.

    The city's largest labor union, the Municipal Employees Association (MEA), had complained to the PERB that the mayor and city officials were improperly involved in crafting and promoting the measure, as a means of circumventing required collective bargaining procedures.

    The MEA will file an appeal with the 4th District Court of Appeals, according to the association's head, Michael Zucchet.

    For more on the issues facing this year's mayoral race, check out our Decision 2012 page here.