Here’s a photo I took of San Diego mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio and supporters collecting signatures for San Diego City pension reform at a supermarket in Del Mar Heights Sunday, Sept. 25.
After months of procrastination, I finally gave my signature there. So thank you, San Diego Firefighter Willie Alegre and colleagues, for helping galvanize my decision.
Over at San Diego CityBeat, the journalists of course oppose the measure. But one of their staffers made a revealing statement in the comments it appears the others accept: This issue will be decided by whether it qualifies for the ballot. If it qualifies, passage is assured. (I’d link to the CityBeat piece, but the site isn’t accessible now. I’ll put in a link when it is).
The CityBeat interpretation is that that the pension reform measure will pass if it qualifies for the ballot because it’s too complicated for voters to understand. (A nice way of saying the voters are stupid and gullible).
The other interpretation is that voters understand that San Diego’s pension system needs reform to restore the city to financial health.
In my opinion, opponents made a critical mistake by running ads on conservative talk show programs such as the Mike Slater show. The ads only reminded listeners that the pension reform initiative was out there.
And the content of the ads weren’t likely to go over well with listeners. Public safety officers, police, firefighters and lifeguards, are supposed to put the public safety above their own lives. Yet here comes a firefighter implying he puts his own financial security over public safety.
“Be fair and be safe. Refuse to sign,” Alegre said, ending the commercial with chilling menace.
This goes way beyond politics. It’s a threat to the public safety, from someone sworn to protect the public safety. And it dishonors the brave public safety officers who perform their duty, not for financial gain, but because it’s the right thing to do.
If the pension reform measure gets to the ballot, as now seems likely, opponents will have only themselves and their threats to blame.
(DISCLAIMER: This is my opinion, not necessarily that of my employer, the North County Times).