• Special Council Meeting: Wait for the judge

    Given a choice to proceed directly to the ballot with the citizens’ initiative on rescinding the “3@50” retirement or to wait until June 26 and be guided by the judge’s decision on some items he left up in the air, the Pacific Grove City Council at a special meeting on March 12 chose the latter action. The vote was 5-2 with Robert Huitt and Dan Miller dissenting.

    Huitt said that if the current city council were to bring a piece of legislation out that was as ambiguous and uncertain and invited such endless litigation, they would certainly face impeachment. But he also believes that the people should make the choice, so he wanted to go to the ballot and not wait until the June 26 decision. Pointing out that the proponents of the initiative said they never intended to try to get the money back from the retirees, Huitt asked, “The why do it? The more they talk about it, the worse it gets.”

    Miller wanted to go to a vote of the people and drop the cross complaint at once.

    But the other five councilmembers were prepared to wait until the judge makes his decision and then put it on the ballot, as the judge ordered them to do, pending what he says about the legality of the measure.

    Mayor Kampe pointed out that the City is some $600,000 invested in legal and other fees on the question of pension reform. He poo-pooed suggestions that the City negotiate, saying, “There is no basis for the retirees and CalPERS to have a dialogue with us.” He asked, if the estimates are that the city would gain some $6-7 million in a “clawback” of employees’ retirement benefits going back 12 years, the cost to do so is far more.

    On June 26, the judge will announce his decision on the other matters. The City has until July 31 to put the measure on the ballot, and can pull it off the ballot up to 83 days before election day.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on March 12, 2014

    Topics: Front PG News

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