Sal DiCiccio

City Councilman Sal DiCiccio speaks at a press conference shining a light on the top 50 retirees from the City of Phoenix over the last 10 years. DiCiccio says the city's pension system is unsustainable.

An open letter to our police:

The firefighter union, along with Mayor Stanton, added the words “Police officer and Firefighter” to the ballot description. Yep, they added themselves — and Mayor Stanton made the motion to add them. Why did they do this? So, they could get the sympathy of the public for our dedicated police officers. Yes, they added them just so they could wage a campaign of disinformation. Yes, they did this just so they could scare the families of our dedicated police. Disgusting is what it was.

The firefighter union had to add police in order to move the electorate — police are the only ones that move voters. Firefighters don’t. But, by adding police the firefighters created undue stress for the families of our police.

This was on the heels of the famous vote where the mayor and his team put together a motion to pay our officers more and then at the last moment take it away and vote against their own motion for political reasons. Who was also behind that move? The firefighter union.

These things don’t happen on a whim and without the blessings of the most powerful union at City Hall. But, it was only to the ballot language — which has no legal impact on the actual initiative. The initiative clearly states police and fire are excluded. Additionally, the death and disability is not true either. Those are LIFE INSURANCE plans and not pensions. Lifetime health care (MERP)? Nope, not that either. That is a HEALTH PLAN not a pension. The anti-reform’s own attorney also said that it was impossible for the city to ever leave the state retirement plan PSPRS once you are in. There is no mechanism to opt out once you opt in. What does that mean? It means that police and fire are excluded from this initiative no matter what.

So, this was the first time in city history a ballot description was changed for political reasons. It was the first time Phoenix went to the same level as Venezuela in their elections.

The Republic wrote three knowingly misleading stories about this issue and finally clarified it in a single paragraph in a fourth story.

This is how the politicians with a media looking for a story on an issue that will never happen influence the electorate and scare families.

It has been interesting to be able to watch this all come together.

Kudos to the anti-pension reform group for being able to manipulate the issue and the media. Outstanding accomplishment on this front.

Since the firefighter union wants so badly to be in the initiative, then I will be writing about their abuses of the system and how they have created a financial mess at City Hall. Just like they did with this issue and how they used families.

• Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio represents District 6, which includes Ahwatukee Foothills. Reach him at council.district.6@phoenix.gov or (602) 262-7491.

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