As one of the successful plaintiffs on the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the city of San Luis Obispo’s rental inspection ordinance, I am pleased with the outcome of our lawsuit at this time. Unfortunately, the city had promised and spent itself into a financial straitjacket.
The city will come back again to try to squeeze more money out of property owners and renters to cover its irresponsible pension costs, as shown by the current unfunded pension liability of $150 million. Having designed and administered pension plans, I can say that the city’s pension and medical insurance benefits are vastly greater than those offered by local businesses. The city benefits should mirror those of the community it serves, not exceed them so greatly.
After all, the city residents pay for the benefits. Isn’t it ironic that the taxpayers cannot afford such benefits for themselves, partly because they pay for the city’s rich employee benefits? The city management has hired itself into a sinking fiscal spiral, which must stop. The solutions are to initiate layoffs with a serious hiring freeze and to meaningfully redesign the pension plan for future enrollees.