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Old 10-23-2010, 07:40 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 24,564,899 times
Reputation: 9173

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Quote:
Originally Posted by californio sur View Post
What is all this Texan interest in San Francisco? Is life so boring in Texas that you are compelled to worry about San Francisco's fiscal shape or is there another reason Texans seem preoccupied with California?
This story received national coverage. I don't routinely read SF Weekly. And poor fiscal management in general fascinates me, as do voters that let it happen.

Oh - my brother in law lives in San Francisco. So I like to pay attention to some topics in San Francisco.

That's why I come here sometimes. It has nothing to do with Texas being boring. Some things in Texas aren't too exciting though - like city budgets, and that's fine with me.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
31,575 posts, read 53,003,006 times
Reputation: 14493
SF politicians like elected officials everywhere are simply a reflection of their constituency.

I suppose we shouldnt be surprised that SF politics is so closely watched by people across the country. It gives Conservatives something to talk about and boy do they.

Even in NJ, heck even in NYC, people tell me that SF seems way out there.

I have realized that SF is not really out there, just really ahead of its time.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
16,116 posts, read 20,113,627 times
Reputation: 8203
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazznblues View Post
A recent article in the Austin newspaper says about $27M. Not $324M. Twenty seven million. San Francisco spends three hundred twenty four million NOW. And the costs will skyrocket to half a billion by 2015. That's if the pension spiking is no worse than it is today.

The average pension earned by an Austin employee is $34,200 per year. Austin employees contribute 8% of their pay into the pension plan. They have been paying in at that rate since 1999. Workers retire at an average age of 57 with 20 years of service. San Francisco has almost 2400 retirees who earn over $75K per year. The Austin pension board apparently decided to act now to address the funding shortfall before it gets worse. It seems San Francisco hasn't woken up to it yet.

Austin looks to alter pension rules

I like the line in the SF Weekly article that says "San Francisco is a vending machine for salary and benefits."
The average pension in Austin is well below the poverty level in San francisco. Since the housing bubble burst there are row houses going for under one million dollars. Why would you be so worked up about what's going on in San Francisco?
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Austin Texas
474 posts, read 738,781 times
Reputation: 531
18montclair - It should be reasonable to assume the elected leadership of San Francisco reflects its constituents.

This issue says:

- the constituents believe in very good pensions, salaries, and benefits for city workers; the voters wishes should be respected
- the constituents think the funding for the pensions should come from the city budget, not the workers themselves
- the constituents trust the mayor, the supervisors, the union leaders, and the finance people to manage the city budget
- city workers can retire earlier and with more money than is typical in other non-California municipalities
- the city doesn't need to do anything now to address the explosive growth in pension costs
- they aren't worried that other city programs will be cut to pay for the pensions and benefits
- they don't believe pension spiking is real
- they are OK with big new taxes in the next few years to pay for all of this
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Old 10-23-2010, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
31,575 posts, read 53,003,006 times
Reputation: 14493
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazznblues View Post
18montclair - It should be reasonable to assume the elected leadership of San Francisco reflects its constituents.

This issue says:

- the constituents believe in very good pensions, salaries, and benefits for city workers; the voters wishes should be respected
- the constituents think the funding for the pensions should come from the city budget, not the workers themselves
- the constituents trust the mayor, the supervisors, the union leaders, and the finance people to manage the city budget
- city workers can retire earlier and with more money than is typical in other non-California municipalities
- the city doesn't need to do anything now to address the explosive growth in pension costs
- they aren't worried that other city programs will be cut to pay for the pensions and benefits
- they don't believe pension spiking is real
- they are OK with big new taxes in the next few years to pay for all of this
Yes, so whats it to ya?

Taxpayers in Austin or in the whole of Texas for that matter arent shouldering any of the cost of running SF in any way, shape or form, trust me on that one. In fact, SF pays far more than its fair share in federal taxes as it is.

Your emphasis on pension and the need for reform is well taken, but its hardly a SF-centric issue, its an issue all over the country and SF is actually in MUCH better shape than some places. Ive heard of cities spending as much as 80% of their budgets on retirement. That's absurd and I think we agree that we need meaningful reforms that don't hold municipalities hostage to unfair pension contracts.

Also, part of the reason why SF has such a HUGE budget(about $7 Billion) is because SF operates both as a city and a county and so the city takes on the issues that cities handle but as well as all layers of govt usually designated as a county function.

Like the county hospital, like county jail, etc. Oh, and SF also has its own version of Universal Health Care called Healthy SF. Its been quite successful and I would like to serve as a model for other places to follow.

So if SF wants to do these things because they believe it improves the quality of life of its residents, then I say more power to them.
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Old 10-23-2010, 05:08 PM
 
Location: San Leandro
4,576 posts, read 7,607,571 times
Reputation: 3248
I would trust an Sf crack dealer before an SF politician. At least the crack dealer has a plan.
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