Reveals Big Pension Payouts City Politicians Receive Upon Leaving Office
During a time when the city’s infrastructure is in disrepair and library hours remain slashed, I voted against a proposed salary increase for elected officials and I applaud my council colleagues for joining me in opposition of this irresponsible recommendation.
Voting to increase Council salaries during a time when our roads are falling apart and San Diego families are struggling to make ends meet would have sent the message to San Diego Taxpayers that their elected officials have their priorities wrong.
While the Salary Setting Commission spent the last week arguing that the Mayor and Councilmembers have low salaries (at over $75,000 per Councilmember and over $100,000 for the Mayor), I pointed out that the annual cost of elected official’s benefits is significantly higher than those base salaries.
When accounting for fringe benefits the legislative compensation totals approximately $120,000.
It is also important to note the exorbitantly high amount in yearly pension benefits elected officials receive from taxpayers and the fact that Councilmembers are vested and can receive a pension for life after only 4 years of service.
Before a pay increase is ever discussed, elected officials need to start leading by example and reform the lucrative taxpayer funded pension benefits that they receive.
On his first day in office Councilmember DeMaio refused to enroll in the city’s pension system. This action has saved taxpayers approximately $30,000 per year out of his City Council budget – and DeMaio’s refusal to take a pension equates to him personally turning down between $600,000 and $800,000 in payouts over the course of his lifetime.