We’ve heard that this city is tired of the services on which we all rely – fire and police, sanitation, street repair – getting cut year after year. It’s because we’re running out of money. It’s because our politicians made bad deals based on numbers they didn’t understand. It’s because they made false promises to hard-working men and women. What’s their solution? Cutting more of your services, and raising your taxes. These are nothing but Band Aid solutions. They’re temporary. They won’t fix anything.
They’re afraid and unwilling to tackle the root causes of our budget crisis – unsustainable pension benefits that cost taxpayers $1.3 billion last year and will eat up one-quarter of our General Fund by 2016. Only fixing our pension system gives us enough money for the services we need and deserve
To fix our pension system, I propose a pension buyout plan – the first of its kind in the country. It’s a plan that would give city workers money today instead of nothing tomorrow – which is what could happen if we continue to slide towards bankruptcy. Under my buyout plan, we’ll cut our unfunded liabilities and give us a debt balance that’s manageable. To do this, we’ll need to raise the capital to pay our workers today. And we’ll need a Mayor who not only understands finance and budgets, but also has the resolve to get this done immediately. I pledge that by the end of my first term, I’ll have our budget on a sustainable path.