On June 25, 2009, the SDPOA was in Judge David Oberholtzer's court fighting to preserve DROP for its members. I wrote about the hearing and subsequent conflicting press releases and views (Confused? Join the Club!) of what Judge Oberholtzer ruled. What we did know was the judge stayed the changes imposed by the City until July 27, 2009, and ordered the City and SDPOA back to the table to discuss changes to DROP. These talks were futile and nothing changed regarding positions and the views each side had regarding DROP and Retiree medical.
Fast forward to today, August 14, 2009, and what do we know today? The impression left with those of us following the court fight was the judge would issue a written ruling that would clarify (Hopefully) what it was he said back on June 25, 2009. I check on a regular basis for the written opinion from the judge and NOTHING. We are coming up on 50 days and nary a peep from the court. So the question begs to be answered; what is going on?
This issue has become such a political hot potato it is beginning to appear even the judge, who is suppose to be "NON-POLITICAL" when wearing the robe and making decisions, has been caught up in the politics of San Diego. Is Judge Oberholtzer waiting for the wind to change before issuing his ruling? Is he waiting for the Union Tribune to get rid of Chris Reed and Karin Winter before publishing his opinion/decision on the issues? It cannot be that difficult to put to paper what was said in court on that fateful June day. The issues are well known and the law really not that difficult to decipher.
The only explanation I can come up with is the judge is playing politics with the issuing of his decision. Waiting for the clouds to form off the coast in hopes of shielding the ruling from the light of day; maybe in hopes of avoiding another onslaught of diatribes from the Union Tribunes gang of fools (minus the biggest fool of them all; Bob Kittle)? Whatever the reason, it is time to get off the stick and publish for all to see what was actually said about these issues and allow us all to see what the actual ruling is. Good or bad we need to see the ruling so we can all decide next steps. It is clear the City has no desire to meet and honestly discuss reasonable changes and fixes to DROP or the Retiree Medical issues surrounding the "Pre-1986" employees. This decision is necessary to allow the SDPOA and other employee groups to make plans for moving forward. Maybe that is the political issue?
Whatever the reason, the City of San Diego has become a joke. The politicians, courts, and attorneys who have gotten rich fighting idiotic fights have all created an atmosphere of anger, fear and distrust. The employees and their unions have grown tired of being the whipping child for the short comings and incompetence of those who prefer to spin half truths and miss-inform the taxpayer to telling the truth and working toward reasonable solutions. Now judges are refusing to make timely decisions and the appearance is they are gauging public opinion and the political winds before issuing their rulings. What a sad state of affairs for San Diego and its employees.