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Updated Oct 19, 2013 - 11:20 am

DiCiccio blasts Stanton over pension spiking issue

PHOENIX -- Members of the Phoenix City Council are continuing their war of words over pension spiking by city employees.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said if the council approves recommendations made by a city subcommittee, it will put an end to the practice.

"It eliminates the pension-ability of phone and car allowance," Stanton said. "It eliminates future accrual of sick leave."

But one city council member doesn't believe it. Sal DiCiccio said those recommendations will let city employees continue to include things like unused sick leave to boost their pensions until July of next year, and will cost the city millions of dollars. He said he thinks the spiking will continue.

"The recommendations that came out of the subcommittee were very, very weak," said DiCiccio. "They did very, very little."

During an appearance on KTAR's "Arizona's Morning News Weekend" show, DiCiccio accused Stanton of backing down on a campaign promise he made in 2011 that he would eliminate pension spiking.

"As a matter of fact, the Arizona Republic said in an editorial that the mayor had no intentions of fulfilling his promise to eliminate pension spiking," DiCiccio said.

The councilman said there's a reason that the Stanton is going back on his word.

"The problem that he has is that the unions that backed him in his election are telling him that they don't want to do this [get rid of pension spiking]," DiCiccio said. "That's what this is all about. It's nothing more that the union's control of city hall and the mayor's backing of the union's proposals against the wishes and the needs of the taxpayers."

DiCiccio said he's not sure whether the city council will approve the recommendations.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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