Phoenix Votes Down Pension-Reform Measure

By Stina Sieg
Published: Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 1:13am
Updated: Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 7:35am
Stina Sieg / KJZZ
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, who vocally denounced Proposition 487, waited with more than 100 firefighters and family members for election results.

A contentious pension-reform initiative in Phoenix was defeated in Tuesday’s election.

Proposition 487 was supported by some conservatives but opposed by public safety workers. It would have moved new Phoenix employees away from the current pension plan and onto a 401(k)-style retirement system.

Opponents said the measure could have had many unintended consequences, such as blocking the city from participating in public-safety pensions.

Phoenix firefighters were among the groups that strongly spoke out against Proposition 487. Firefighters such as P.J. Dean celebrated loudly when voters shot it down.

“We’re just delighted that the citizens of Phoenix have rallied behind their first responders and the other employees of Phoenix to realize that this was a very toxic initiative that had a lot of negative consequences, and it truly was a David-versus-Goliath-type of situation,” he said.

But supporters of Proposition 487 say the fight for pension reform is not over, vowing to find a viable solution to change the city’s pension system.

The city of Phoenix has an unfunded liability of more than $1 billion.

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