SF leads the way

Steven Greenhut: It’s ironic that the city of San Francisco — a great city that is nevertheless known for its wacky, left-wing politics — has been in better shape than far more conservative areas in terms of pensions. That’s because the city charter long required a public vote for pension increases — something only recently followed by OC and San Diego (closing the door after the horse left the barn). Now public defender Jeff Adachi is pushing ahead a ballot initiative to rein in pension costs. Adachi appears to be one of those genuine progressives — someone who recognizes that pension costs for wealthy public employees is consuming budget dollars that should be earmarked for the needy. Good for him. If pension reform passes in SF, then it should be able to pass everywhere. Then again, as someone who covered politics in the state’s most Republican big county, I can guarantee that Republicans are so beholden to law enforcement and firefighter unions that reform is tough going in those places also.

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