Lightner seeks retraction from rival in November election
By Pat Sherman/Staff Reports
La Jolla’s city council representative, Sherri Lightner (D-District 1), called for Republican challenger Ray Ellis to issue a retraction to a statement his campaign released Aug. 1 regarding her voting record on Proposition B, claiming the information contained in the release is false.
“Ray Ellis is lying about my voting record, plain and simple,” Lightner said in a statement. ”The voters of District 1 deserve better than an untruthful smear campaign.”
The San Diego City Council voted on issues related to the implementation of Proposition B on June 11, June 25, and July 30 of this year. Each time Lightner voted the same as the initiative’s co-author, Councilmember Carl DeMaio, to support the measure.
The release sent by the Ellis campaign praised San Diego Superior Court Judge Luis Vargas for ruling Tuesday, July 31, that San Diego can begin eliminating city pensions and implementing 401(k)-style retirement plans for most new hires, as mandated by Proposition B, a pension overhaul approved by two-thirds of voters in the June 5 primary election that replaces pensions with 401(k)s for all new nonunion hires.
On Monday, the City Council voted 6-1 to establish an interim 401(k) plan in which the city would provide a 3.75 percent match for every new nonunion employee’s salary.
In his release, Ellis said,”My opponent, incumbent politician Sherri Lightner, has already voted to derail the implementation of Comprehensive Pension Reform, disregarding the voters and jeopardizing the savings from Proposition B.”
Matthew Donnellan, a spokesman for the Ellis campaign, said the candidate’s release actually referred to Lightner’s June 26 vote to deny outside legal council to defend Proposition B from challenges by the city’s labor unions, not her earlier votes.
The City Attorney’s office could face a potential conflict of interest by defending Prop. B.
“The voters of San Diego overwhelmingly passed Comprehensive Pension Reform, and Ms. Lightner had a responsibility to defend Proposition B,” Donnellan responded, via e-mail. “Ms. Lightner failed the taxpayers and put a billion dollars of savings from Pension Reform at risk.”
The city has been sued by the state’s Public Employment Relations Board and its unions, which claim officials violated the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act by not negotiating terms of the initiative before putting it on the ballot. They contend that Prop. B was actually a city-sponsored measure since Mayor Jerry Sanders and Councilmen Carl DeMaio and Kevin Faulconer were among its chief supporters.
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