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Newport may vote on controlling pension hikes

August 15, 2007

Newport Beach voters could decide on a charter amendment to give them power over city employee pension hikes if the City Council opts to put it on the ballot in 2008.

Councilman Keith Curry on Tuesday proposed a ballot measure that would change the city charter so voters would have to approve increases in employee pension benefits.

Pensions and their soaring costs have been a source of woe for government officials, who have to stay competitive to keep employees. Curry said he doesn't expect city employee unions to support the proposal, but added, "I don't want to get to where we have these fights like they have in Orange County," referring to a spat between county Supervisor John Moorlach and sheriffs deputies over whether a retroactive pension benefit deputies received was legal.

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— Alicia Robinson

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