DID LB COUNCIL TAKE A STAND ON PENSION REFORM OR JUST PASS THE BUCK TO THE LEGISLATURE?By LBReport.com
The Long Beach City Council has voted 7-1 to put the city on record against retroactive increases in pension benefits. The action Tuesday night revised City Hall’s legislative agenda—that is, its lobbying positions at the state capitol in Sacramento—to reflect this position and should apply pressure upon Long Beach’s representatives in the legislature to implement it.
Council members James Johnson and Gary DeLong put the item on the city council agenda and it passed easily. The 7-1 vote reflected the dissent of council member Gerrie Schipske and the absence for the entire meeting of council member Steve Neal.
Following the vote, Johnson issued the following statement through his office:
“We sent a strong message to Sacramento that no longer should increases in pension benefits be given for work performed 10, 20, or 30 years prior.” He added, “Without pension reform, both taxpayers and employees will suffer as vital services are cut and layoffs increase year after year to support unsustainable benefits. Tonight, we took a step towards structural reform that can deliver what Long Beach needs for the long term—safe streets, clean neighborhoods, and a responsibly balanced budget.”
Schipske, who dissented, issued a statement of her own, saying the council had shirked its responsibility. She called the action “a charade” that “looks like ‘pension reform’ but really does nothing to impact the current or future situations.”