City adopts pension reform

SOLANA BEACH — As part of the consent calendar at the Aug. 25 meeting, City Council established wage and compensation packages and future pension benefits for its three employee groups.
“Our city of Solana Beach is the first local agency in our region to accomplish across-the-board comprehensive pension reform for all employees,” Mayor Tom Campbell said before the vote.
“Many members of the public have some concerns about the pension system for municipal agencies. Our employees stepped up to the plate,” he said.
“They worked with the city manager, who worked with the City Council and we were able to put into place agreements for all three of our groups.”
Campbell said all miscellaneous employees, marine safety management and firefighters will eventually be paying 100 percent of their share of the pension contribution.
“Each group has a slightly different schedule as to how it’s going to be phased in,” he said. “Immediately the firefighters will be picking up 100 percent of theirs. Our miscellaneous groups and our marine safety … will be phased in over a three-year program.”
The city also instituted a two-tier pension system “that will save the city a lot of money into the future,” Campbell said.
The mayor said it’s important for the public to understand that the city is a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which includes state-mandated regulations and benefits.
“We have some things that we can choose from, but we can’t just go making changes if we wanted to get rid of this plan and adopt another plan,” Campbell said. “We have to pick from what they provide us. And what we’ve been able to do is to come up with some real significant reforms that’re going to save our city a lot of money in the future.”
Speaking on behalf of his council colleagues, Campbell thanked city staff members and “all the employee groups for their efforts and their understanding.”
City Council members worked to reach an agreement with employees during several closed-session meetings and in May announced they had unanimously approved an agreement.
All items on the consent calendar are to be approved in a single action unless pulled for discussion by a member of the public or the council.

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