San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria Proposes Change in City Pension Law to Permit “Quadruple Dipping” at Taxpayers’ Expense
Former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio blasts the practice as “an outrageous abuse of taxpayer funds”
At a time when the city faces a massive budget shortfall and city politicians are seeking to overturn the 2012 voter-approved pension reform measure, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria has drafted a special law to grant his Chief Operating Officer the ability to “quadruple dip” at taxpayers’ expense. (See attached Civil Service Commission Documents)
Under current city statutes, a government employee who is drawing a taxpayer-funded pension is prohibited from working more than 720 hour per fiscal year as a taxpayer-funded employee. This limitation is meant to prevent the pension abuse known as “double dipping” whereby a city employee is getting a full taxpayer-funded pension while also drawing a full taxpayer-funded salary. The law is also designed to protect the city’s pension fund tax-exempt compliance with Internal Revenue Code regulations.
Mayor Gloria’s legislative proposal, which was submitted yesterday to the City’s Civil Service Commission, would eliminate any limit or cap on the position of Chief Operating Officer for the City. The proposal seems designed to benefit one singular person: Jay Goldstone.
Such a move would allow Goldstone to earn more than half-a-million dollars annually in salary, benefits and pension payouts. As of 2019 the City of San Diego paid its Chief Operating Officer more than $340,000 in salary and compensation.
State government pension disclosure records show that Goldstone is collecting at least three taxpayer-funded pensions currently – in addition to drawing benefits from 401-k plans also funded in part by taxpayer contributions.
“At a time when San Diegans are unemployed due to the pandemic and the city faces a fiscal crisis, it is outrageous that Mayor Todd Gloria would even propose such an offensive change in city laws,” said former City Councilmember Carl DeMaio. DeMaio authored the 2012 Prop B Pension Reform Initiative to stop pension abuses like “double dipping.”
“Jay Goldstone is a very capable individual, but he voluntarily chose to retire multiple times to draw multiple taxpayer-funded pensions,” said DeMaio. “Todd Gloria needs to withdraw the proposal and commit to ending pension abuses rather than making it easier for city workers to draw these kinds of indefensible payouts at taxpayers’ expense,” DeMaio concluded.
Jay Goldstone’s Current Government Pension Payouts
CALPERS: City of Pasadena Pension
$109,793.52/year (as of 2020)
SDCERS: City of San Diego Pension
$53,715.12/year (as of 2019)
San Mateo County Pension
$19,563.48/year (as of 2018)