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Guarding Taxpayer Dollars: Fighting for Pension Reform, Balanced Budgets and Eliminating Government Waste Through Competition

Kevin has been a pivotal leader in solving San Diego's financial crisis. When Kevin was elected in 2006, the City was engulfed in financial scandal. San Diego was under investigation by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) for failing to disclose the City's true pension debt in municipal bond offerings. Subsequently, the City was shut out from the municipal bond market, preventing the City from financing road repairs and other capital improvements.

A culture of spend now, pay later, pervaded City Hall. These irresponsible financial practices led to the pension crisis and systemic underfunding and neglect of the City's network of streets and facilities.

Kevin dedicated himself to changing the culture at City Hall, solving San Diego's financial problems and creating an environment of integrity and accountability.

Kevin’s Record of Fiscal Reform:


Co-authored Proposition B, the pension reform initiative. Passed by 65% of the voters, Proposition B will save taxpayers nearly $1 billion by replacing the unaffordable pension system with a fair 401(k)-style retirement plan.

Negotiated a landmark deal to save taxpayers $1 billion. Kevin crafted a bipartisan, five-year deal with the City’s labor unions to lock in pension savings. A five-year freeze on pensionable pay will reduce the City’s pension payments by nearly $1 billion over 30 years.

Pushed for Competitive Bidding to save taxpayer dollars that can be reinvested in San Diego. Kevin is a strong supporter of managed competition, the ballot initiative that allows private sector firms to competitively bid on non-public safety City services. Overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2006, managed competition is a proven method for reducing government waste and saving taxpayers millions of dollars that can be reinvested into public safety and other services. He will implement competitive bidding and the will of the voters to make the best use of your tax dollars.

Protected San Diego taxpayers by improving the City's internal controls and identifying millions in inefficiencies. As Chair of the Audit Committee, Kevin has stabilized the City's finances and helped re-establish the City's credit rating allowing for the City to re-enter the municipal bond market so it can complete more neighborhood projects like street repairs.

Exposed and eliminated ineffective and wasteful bonuses in the City’s Water Department. Kevin oversaw an audit investigation into the employee bonus program. The investigation revealed the program was ineffective and lacked oversight. Employees received credit for simple tasks such as hiring a consulting firm or just completing a report. Because of his leadership, the program ended and more money from San Diego's water and wastewater bills is spent on repairing water and sewer lines.

As Mayor Kevin will:


Craft truly balanced budgets. For years, San Diego politicians spent money and created government programs without adequate financial planning. A culture of spend now, pay later, pervaded City Hall, leading to the underfunding of the pension system and structural deficits that were further exacerbated during the recent economic recession.
Kevin helped San Diego start the process of financial recovery, but this year, Mayor Bob Filner set San Diego back by passing a budget that increased spending by over $30 million and raided reserve funds while using one-time resources for ongoing expenditures. Kevin voted against these unsustainable and irresponsible financial practices and will continue the work of Mayor Jerry Sanders to restore financial integrity to City Hall.

Fully implement pension reform. Kevin will fight to ensure that Proposition B is fully implemented and is not stalled by powerful special interests. Proposition B froze pensionable pay for five years, but this can be overturned if six members of the City Council vote to eliminate the freeze. As mayor, Kevin will work with the City Council to protect the pensionable pay freeze so that savings from Proposition B can be reinvested into critical neighborhood services.

Streamline government operations. Kevin remains focused on identifying and eliminating waste in City departments to increase efficiency and deliver services to San Diegans in a more cost-effective manner.

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