Like so many cities, San Francisco is experiencing tough fiscal times and cutting back on many programs and services. Unlike a lot of cash strapped municipalities, its residents are revolting against rising public employee costs:
77,000 San Franciscans signed a petition to place a measure on the Nov. 2 ballot that would do what generations of politicians haven't: bring a modicum of sanity to the pension and benefit programs of San Francisco government employees. If passed, Proposition B would require all city employees to contribute up to 10% of their income to their pension plans, and to pay half of the health-care premiums of their dependents. This will save San Francisco at least $120 million a year, at a time when its pension tab is $400 million per year, up from $175 million in 2005.
These numbers help explain why:
A typical San Francisco resident with one dependent pays $953 a month for health care, while the typical city employee pays less than $10. In 2009, San Francisco's deputy police chief earned $516,000 in cash compensation and retired with a $230,000-a-year pensiona package that could cost the city $8 million over the balance of his life.