SAN DIEGO -- City Council President Todd Gloria today sent a memorandum to Mayor Bob Filner requesting he replace his current retirement board designee to ensure the board of the San Diego City Employees Retirement System (SDCERS) is able to vote on all critical matters.
Filner is on leave as part of his two-week intensive therapy program after being accused of sexual harassment by about a dozen women so far.
Gloria specifically requested the mayor replace his current designee on the SDCERS board, interim Chief Financial Officer Greg Bych. When Bych was elevated to his current official position in March, he claims he alerted the mayor that he felt the need to recuse himself from voting at SDCERS on matters connected to the five year labor contracts that he was helping negotiate on behalf of the City.
Three months later, the five year contracts were approved, and the SDCERS board considered lowering San Diego’s annual required contribution by approximately $25 million, based on the newly approved long term contracts. Bych was true to his word, felt it appropriate to recuse himself, and was not present for the vote. Approval of the savings failed by one vote.
“Mayor Filner's failure to act when it was possible to save the City $25 million is incredibly frustrating," Gloria said. "This costly mistake suggests the Mayor is either distracted or incompetent."
Without the $25 million savings, several beneficial plans had to be scrapped. The City Council’s plan to fund additional library hours citywide and add two recruits to upcoming police academies evaporated because of the SDCERS vote, and $10 million necessary for approved compensation increases was taken from financial reserves.
“The Mayor’s unwillingness to listen to his staff and his inability to make decisions that benefit San Diegans are baffling," Gloria said. "Current and previous City leaders worked tirelessly to right many wrongs done previously. The City Council will continue to work in the best interests of the City and make the progress San Diegans want. It would be helpful for the Mayor to do the same. It'd be even more helpful if he just resigned.”
Gloria’s memo is below.