This is an archive of a past election.|
See http://www.smartvoter.org/ca/sm/ for current information.
City of Menlo Park
Majority Approval Required
Pass: 8,238 / 71.3% Yes votes ...... 3,311 / 28.7% No votes
Index of all Measures
Results as of Jan 6 3:01pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (21/21)|
65.3% Voter Turnout (226,259/346,516)
|Information shown below: Official Information | Arguments ||
Shall the ordinance entitled "Measure to limit retirement benefits for new City of Menlo Park employees (Except Sworn Police Officers) and to restrict City Council from increasing benefits in the future without voter approval", be adopted?
|Arguments For Measure L||Arguments Against Measure L|
|Dear Menlo Park Voter,
Vote YES on Measure L, if you agree we must protect the future health of our city by reining in the pensions for new Menlo Park City (non-police) employees.
Every major newspaper has reported on the "pension tsunami" - how public pension benefits are unsustainable, are drowning out government services, and creating unfundable future debt. Measure L addresses the problem while still providing generous pensions for our employees.
Pension costs to California cities are skyrocketing because of huge salary increase, retroactive pension increases, and longer life-spans. Worse, if CalPERS, which manages employee pensions for Menlo Park and most California cities falters, we are legally obliged to make up the shortfall. CalPERS is notoriously underfunded. We must start reducing our pension obligations and protect the future fiscal health of our city.
It's fair. It's prudent. It's time. Vote YES for reform!
/s/ Henry L. Riggs, Co-Chair
/s/ John C. Boyle, Council Member
/s/ Andrew Cohen, Council Member
/s/ Charles M. Kinney, Former Mayor
/s/ Alice Hom
Measure L threatens Menlo Park's finances and services:
Vote NO on Measure L
/s/ Gail L. Slocum, Esq. Former Mayor
/s/ Jim Tooley, Chair, MP Parks and Recreation Commission
/s/ Carolyn Clarke, MP Housing Commission
/s/ Michelle Wanberg, MP Library Commissioner
/s/ Kelly Fergusson, PhD, MP City Councilwoman, Former MP Mayor
|We're all concerned about rising employee costs. But Measure L threatens Menlo Park's high quality services to residents by micro-managing city finances and ultimately our ability to attract top quality employees and management. Measure L is not a responsible approach to employee compensation, including retirement benefits.
City council has put a better, more fiscally sound approach in place. City council imposed 2%@60 on regular employees, yes, but in addition requires cost sharing of both the city's portion of retirement contributions (beyond a cap) as well as health care contributions by all employees -- innovations that save taxpayer dollars now, not just in the long term. Measure L passage may negate this progress.
Measure L's flaws could have even further costs:
1) The 2%@60 retirement formula wording in Measure L is flawed, differing significantly from wording under the statewide retirement plan. This means Menlo Park would have to seek judicial interpretation that could force Menlo Park out of the statewide plan for new employees, causing higher administrative costs and lower investment yields.
2) The cost for this judge's decision will be borne by Menlo Park taxpayers.
3) Costs of defending lawsuits challenging the initiative also will be borne by Menlo Park taxpayers. If Measure L passes, city council will vigorously defend the voters' choice, of course. But there are legal arguments that Measure L is both illegal and unconstitutional. These lawsuits will be expensive.
Educated Californians know "ballot box budgeting" harms civic finances. Menlo Park is one of just a handful of California cities with the top AAA credit rating as well as excellent services - let's keep it that way.
Don't be fooled by Measure L's easy sound bites and slogans. It isn't a responsible approach, and in the end, taxpayers will be left holding the bag.
Vote NO on Measure L.
/s/ Kelly Fergusson, PhD Menlo Park City Councilwoman (Former Mayor)
How can one brag of the 2%@60 as imposed on the SEIU by the Council and then claim Measure L, which does the same thing, will hurt our ability to hire?
How can one overlook the many cities that have adopted similar pension limits? Or overlook the highly qualified public and private-sector job seekers who would appreciate the salaries and notoriously generous benefits offered here - even after Measure L passes?
How can one suggest that having citizens vote on pension increases is bad? Council recently increased pensions - retroactively - by 35%, instantly creating decades and decades of debt. This was "Wall Street's fault." Huge debt creation should be voted on - not announced from behind closed doors by the people who stand to benefit from the increase.
Why would anyone suggest that Menlo Park voters would be intimidated by the threat of a union lawsuit - which we're told has little merit - when the future annual cost savings are enormous: 56% of current costs after 14 years?
It's past time for some pension regulation! Measure L will protect our credit rating by restraining future liabilities; it will protect City employees by ensuring promised pensions can in fact be paid; and it will reduce the burden on our children. Vote YES!
(For full rebuttal, see: http://www.menloparkpensionreform2010.org)
/s/ Roy Thiele-Sardina, Co-Chair/W. Menlo resident
/s/ Katherine A. Strehl, Willows Resident
/s/ Leonor Ayyangar, Sharon Heights Resident
/s/ Mary N. Gilles, Allied Arts Resident
/s/ Dan Nelson, Lorelei/Suburban Park Resident