High-ranking face slashing under new Peskin legislation

Dozens of attorneys employed by San Francisco and several top members of the Police Department’s command staff could be among those pink-slipped under proposed legislation that would cut $13.8 million in city salaries.

The resolution, authored by Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, is aimed at helping The City close a $338 million deficit projected for next fiscal year.

In March, Peskin said he was looking to ax city workers who earn more than $150,000 annually in base pay.

This week, Peskin introduced his legislation, which, if approved, would send 84 city workers packing.

District Attorney Kamala Harris’ office wouldlose the most attorneys, 21, under the legislation; 20 would be cut from City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s office and 15 from Public Defender Jeff Adachi’s office. Each of the attorneys up for pink-slip consideration earns a base salary of $163,098.

Herrera said that although he understood that The City is facing “tough budgetary times,” the legislation “isn’t going to be necessary in regards to my office” because the budget for the City Attorney’s Office for next year reduces spending by 16 percent without attorney layoffs.

Peskin said his aim was spending reductions and that the cost cutting from within The City’s legal offices “doesn’t have to come in the form of bodies.”

He was, however, more firm about getting job cuts from the Police Department’s command staff, which he said “has been incredibly bloated.”

The legislation would eliminate three positions from the Police Department’s command staff, which currently has 13 officers who are ranked above captain, according to Peskin.

The legislation mandates the elimination of two of the five commanders, who each earn $167,700 annually in base pay, and one of the six deputy chiefs, a position that comes with a base salary of $206,336 annually.

Other salary cuts include 20 jobs from the Department of Public Works with base salaries ranging from $156,156 to as high as $174,148 annually. The positions include 10 managers and seven engineers.

DPW head Ed Reiskin was critical of the proposal, saying it lays off people who run the department and major projects.

“[DPW] is a $185 million corporation, and you can’t run a corporation of this size without decent managers,” said Reiskin, adding that there are “more strategic ways to reduce costs.”

Also on the chopping block are two managers and three deputy directors in the Department of Telecommunications and Information Services who earn base salaries between $152,605 and $176,703.

In addition, Mayor Gavin Newsom has asked all city departments to reduce spending by 16 percent in their budget submissions. The mayor has until June 1 to submit to the Board of Supervisors a balanced city budget for approval. In March, a spokesperson for the Mayor called Peskin’s proposal a “hamfisted approach.”

jsabatini@examiner.com

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