tv [untitled] June 29, 2013 5:00am-5:31am PDT
>> welcome to our special rules committee meeting for thursday june 27,2013. i am supervisor norman yee and will be chairing this meeting. to my left is supervisors cohen. to my right is supervisor breed. the clerk today is linda wong. the committee would also like to acknowledge the staff at sfgtv, jessie larsen and jennifer lowell who record our meetings and make transcripts to the public online. madam clerk are there any announcements? >> yes mr. chair. please
silent cell phones and. >> can you call item one. >> to amend the charter of the city for retiree health care trust fund for retiree health care cost for employer subtrust are fullied. allow for disbursement are greater than 10% and the payroll cost even if not fully funded. for the guidelines recommended by the controller with the city's governement accounting standards board actuary and by the mayor and to the retiree health care trust fund board permit by a participating employer governing board and make the control of
the city treasurer and the executive director of the san francisco employees' retirement system or the designees members of the retiree health care trust fund board. >> thank you. joining us in the rules committee is supervisors farrell and he will be speaking on item one. supervisor farrell. >> thank you chair yee and colleagues. i am back today to discuss the charter amendment i introduced a number of weeks ago to solve the retiree unfunded liability here in san francisco. i talked a lot last week so i'm not going to belabor the point. the goal is switch to a fully funded model in san francisco. i think it's the right thing to do for the retirees and the
financial perspective in san francisco and as we grapple with growing and retirees here in san francisco and plan securely as a city and solidify the governance of the structure of the trust fund. it's going to do a few things. first it will result in major cost savings for the city of san francisco and income investment and compound and used ultimately to pay the benefits over time. in 30 years have a significant decreased burden for our general fund and for me personally and i know a number of folks in the audience one of the most satisfying factors of this charter amendment and how it was constructed we're not requiring any additional contributions from employees. we're not reducing benefits for retirees and within
approximately 30 years we're going to eliminate a 4.4 million dollars liability off of the books here in san francisco. to me it's a win-win situation. we accrued this liability in several generations and if we can solve it it's the right thing to do for the city. i want to thank so many people in constructing the ballot measure and have an impact in the future. local 1021 and the associations and firefighter's association and thank you tom and the san francisco chamber of commerce and the san francisco district of merchants and protect our benefits and claire and i see everyone back there. thank you very much for your support and continuing to come out and i think as most important thank you to the
board of supervisors, supervisor yee, supervisor breed, supervisor chiu and i will keep this short. i look forward to have this in front of the voters and colleagues i certainly ask for your support today. >> thank you supervisor farrell. colleagues are there any questions? okay. yeah. since we were able to hear this -- actually it was two weeks ago -- >> so colleagues what is in front us. we had it last week. we introduced the amendment and technical adjustments and confirm how the different city departments who might opt into the trust fund would be -- what jurisdiction they have over their assets so we have to take be public comment again on this item but that's what we have
before you today. >> thank you and we had an opportunity to ask questions last week that's why you're not seeing a lot of questions. at this point is there any public comment on this item? you have two minutes. state your name and position. >> good afternoon. i am rebecca rhyme and with the municipal executive association and i want to know this is an example of the story that doesn't get told about government working together with employees and retirees and the citizens to do the right thing for right reason. good public policy that is good for public employees. we committed to this process in 2008 to deal with retiree health care and pensions. this is part of making sure that employee benefits for public employees are sustainable. in this case it's about making sure the money is used as intended and available when needed and these
are on-going efforts that keep the promises and for programs and resources. i am grateful to supervisor farrell for bringing us in early, asking for input, listening when we talked about the steps we already taken and acknowledging them, and i want to say i think it's part of a much larger discussion that includes transparency and accountability from the providers and health care reform and structure and it's really about getting maximum value for every dollar that we spent so the municipal executive's association support this is and again our appreciation for the supervisors for taking it on. thank you. >> bob miss cat executive director of local 1021 and the labor council committee
representing all of the city employee unions and just to follow up on that we want to thank supervisor farrell for reaching out and having the discussions with us. i will point out that in the past we have supported measures that have increased contributions for city employees and those cases where it made factual sense to do so. we invested heavily in passage of ballot measures that raise our contribution rates because it was a necessary part of the solution. in this case the facts showed it's not necessary. the alternate plan as supervisor farrell and others have developed will solve the problem without increasing cost to public employees and we are appreciative when the solution to a problem like this is fact based and not political because it could have had political implications and supported for all the wrong reasons for a solution not based on facts so
we're appreciative of that. we try to take a long-term view what is best for the city's long-term financial health and align that with what is good for employees as well and the two go hand in hand and we see this as an important step forward not only on good financial strategies for the city but also another example of our ability to function together in a competent fashion. thank you. >> good afternoon supervisors. sharon johnson retiree from the city and county, and vice chair protect our benefits and former member of health system and i just have one concern, and it's the same concern they brought up last week, and that is about the part where once the board makes a recommendation to the --
fully funded that the makeup of the 2/3 of the board, the trust fund board, the controller, and the mayor's office can go in and use the funds, and i just think there has to be safeguards made around that. if that safe guard adds to it has to be at least two thirds fully funded sore that body of people who can do this could only do it once every 10 years and no more than that. i think if we are very prudent with around that body of governance that we will provide long time security for our city. we will be taking into account the whole city and city and county's financial well being, and it keeps this house in order, and it also will keep our bond ratings higher, so i would urge you to look at that one piece and make an amendment so
there are safety factor there that will protect the city, the employees and the retirees. thank you very much. >> good afternoon supervisors. i am tom o'conner president of the local firefighters and i am here to support this effort for the unfunded liability and the firefighters we support this measure as we have done with other city measures to make sure we're responsibly paying for the benefits that we receive. the firefighters have worked with the city and we are not asking for additional funds from city workers who are giving more during the difficulties that
arose in 2008. this measure will significantly address our rising unfunded retiree liability and it will save our city and tax payers money in the future and to us and to me this is a monsense measure that deserves wide support from this committee, the full board of supervisors and from san francisco voters as a whole. i urge this committee to support this measure and we look forward to working with supervisor farrell, the board of supervisors, the business and labor and all communities in san francisco as we go forward so thank you very much. >> thank you. >> hi. i am kay walker and i'm a member of pov and a member who did not like this proposition, this legislation. one of the reasons is, and that is on page six that it gives the city apparatus and makes very political the disbursement and i
could read it to you, but also which i may in a second but i only have two minutes, but also the idea that we are always called unfunded liabilities is an accounting term, but it's being used in a demeaning manner along with the fact that city employees are a drain i mean retirees are a drain on the budget. okay. this to me -- it sets up this whole panic that we need to find a way to take this money from other places other than the general fund which is what this is all about. as an expense like wages and streets and whatever this whole dialogue wouldn't have started, but you hadn't considered this an expense so it's being considered in the press as in a demining fashion. i am tired of it.
it's like demeaning senior scpis think that needs to be fought in the court focus we have to and this is going on in terms of social security. >> >> gas bee rules are changes anding the concept of what an unfunded liability. they can be called a lot -- can be determined in various ways but it doesn't have to be, according to the new rules, and i don't know -- i really -- i understand this. i read gssby, a lot of the articles on gasby and confuse employers, this new funding, and they could start panicking and raising the entire amount -- >> thank you. >> that the unfunded liability is -- >> thank you. >> i think -- >> good afternoon supervisors.
my name is claire and i'm a former member of the health service board. i'm a member of pov and vice president of the seiu retirees. i am here to thank all of you again and thank supervisor farrell for bringing us on board early and for helping us to secure our retiree cost -- health care costs in the future. i am here to support what sharon johnson brought up. we had discussions and considerations about maybe strengthening that prudent standard with regard to the gasby actuary and looking at putting in a protection that says the sub fund must be two thirds funded before anything can be considered for withdraw and maybe even to consider adding the timeline as well. that might be a more prudent
safe guard that we really mean we want this safe guarded. we want it protected and limited in the future for whatever the city might need, and we understand that we talked about difficult budgetary times that would perhaps open the door to drawing on these sub funds earlier than sooner and that is basically what we're here to suggest today if there is time for further amendment that amendment be considered and that we have the opportunity to work with you on the wording so thank you very much again. we think that overall this is a very prudent amendment and that it should go forward. thank you. >> thank you. >> i'm so sorry. i have a question. you have an amendment? >> we are requesting further language in the safe guard prior
to be fully funded -- >> what exactly is the language you're suggesting? >> we are suggesting that we consider putting in language that says the sub fund must be two thirds funded according to the gasby actual determination and says it should be fully funded but if there is an yearl withdraw and that is the mayor and the trust fund board and says two thirds funded before considered withdrawal and or put in a 10 year time limit as well that it can be only 10 every 10 years prior to funding of the sub fund. >> and this is in an effort to protect the funds and not drawn down during hard times. >> correct. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. any other public comment? seeing none public comment is now
closed. supervisor farrell, i would like to hear what your thoughts are. >> sure, i think two things to address some of the comments and i appreciate people coming out and those that spoke in favor had suggestions. first of all i am sorry if there is sentiment that is targeting retirees to the negative. to me it's the positive and actually doing nothing but 100% guaranteeing retirees that your health care is provided in the future and not reducing any benefits and i am surprised this is the first retiree i have talked about this and thought it was a negative but this is designed to make sure that political football is not played with your retiree benefits. in terms of questions around the provision, the escape valve if you will and to me this is good government that we have in the most extreme
circumstances there is optionality for -- to use some of the funds of the retiree trust fund but to be clear how that would go about is not only as was mentioned the political discussions in terms of mayor, two thirds of the board of supervisors, the retiree health care trust fund board, that again has its fiduciary duty to the retirees of those assets and i believe the controller as well as the actualal and someone out of the political system and not to mention the controller as well, not to mention the board members of the trust fund that have different duties than we do. i understand if we just put in there that the mayor and the board of supervisors could change the rules i would not support that. this to me is the extreme safety valve that we could have in my opinion of it being pull side extremely rare
and only in the most dire circumstances or scenario and it's a rare possibility but good to have it in place if something happens down the road but again colleagues from my perspective and we have talked about this with a number of folks the opportunity is so slim and so rare that i don't view it as a risk at all to be clear, approval and i appreciate the comments but that is certainly my perspective. >> thank you. supervisor cohen. >> thank you very much. i actually wanted to hear from the controller, mr. ben rosenfield about some of the -- the last woman that spoke about two thirds funding and gasby changes in rules opposed to being fully funded 10 years over time. could you -- it's a broad statement i just made. i actually didn't ask a question
but maybe you can give some background on two thirds versus fully funded and what that means and how it relate to the proposal that supervisor farrell put before us? >> sure. ben rosenfield controller. as i understand the comment was made it's suggested that the kind of escape valve as described could be triggered only once the funds reach two thirds fund status. i think the implication of that -- assuming all assumptions are met, we expect the shift from zero percent to 100% and roughly occur in that period and reach two thirds funded and if those assumptions are met around year 20-25 and that would effectively say there is no possible modifications to the rules regardless what happens with medical inflation, with health care in the u.s. or in
california, with any of the assumptions that are being made here. if any of them behave drastically different than we expect there is no ability to amend the rules absent going back to the voters and i think what this escape valve that requires multiple parties recommending and approving acknowledging that fundamentally we are using assumptions for protections it's difficult to estimate what will change in the u.s. health care industry in the next 30 years and acknowledging there is need for flexibility in the measure. >> thank you very much. >> in listening to the possible or suggestion of further amending this i realize, and your comments were well taken supervisor farrell. i feel
like what you put together was well thought out, and like any pot of money you guarantee 100% but in reality it doesn't happen, and i think that the escape valve that you put in is prudent. i don't anticipate that, is something that the committee will choose to do year in and year round; however, i know a few years back no one would have predicted the economic downturn so those things happen in life and we need to make sure we're prepared for that, so i'm inclined to support your amendments as presented today, so colleagues can we have a motion to move to the full board?
>> so moved. >> is there a second? without objection so moved. thank you very much supervisor farrell. madam clerk item two. >> item number two motion reappointing supervisor eric mar to the association of bay area governments executive board for a term ending june 30, 2015. >> okay. this is for the reappointment. okay. is there any public comment on this item? seeing none public comment is closed. colleagues any thoughts? can we move this -- have this motion go forward to -- this appointment to the full board with recommendations? there is a first. is there a second? is there a second? >> second. >> thank you. motion is moved
without any objection. madam clerk item three. >> item number three motion appointing supervisor jane kim to the association of bay area governments executive board for a term ending june 30, 2015. >> is there any public comment on this item? seeing none public comment is now closed colleagues any thoughts? can we move this? thank you. is there a second. >> second. >> thank you with no objection motion passes. i think -- can we have a little pause? i was expecting supervisor -- either supervisor chiu or supervisor wiener might want to come in here. >> would like me to give their office a phone call?
>> okay recess is over. [gavel] . there. madam clerk could you call items four and five together? >> yes mr. chair. item four ordinance amending the municipal elections code to specify that it will not have the legal text that exceeds 100 pages. item five amending the elections code that the voter information pamphlet will not include the legal text of any ballot measure that exceeds 20 pages. >> okay. supervisor -- president chiu is here to join us and he will speak on this item. president chiu.
>> thank you mr. chair. thank you colleagues for consideration of this item and let me first thank supervisor wiener for his consideration of a very similar item. turns out great minds were thinking alike dealerring with an issue around a inordinately large handbook this year and we will likely to save the city 1.7 million dollars with the proposals that we have and i would like to recognize supervisor wiener's aid that is here and i recognize our colleague is in budget committee and has a conflict today so colleagues the legislation that i have introduced and the legislation that supervisor wiener introduced both had the same goal of reducing the amount of material that is required in the ballot handbook to each of our half a million voters and in the instance of what is coming up this fall and november 2013
could save the city up to this amount and we had a debate about the washington lukts luxury condominium project and increase the height on the waterfront. the ordinance was five pages but included 500 pages of technical and environmental reviews. since we knew a ballot that big was possible i tried to amend the legislation to reduce the number of pages as part of the handbook to avoid the possiblivity phone book size pamphlet printed at taxpayer expense and have grafs and analysis and redundant memorandum that wouldn't inform anybody but unfortunately at the time the developer wanted the full text included to make it harder to gather signatures. i