Mr. Riggs said a group of residents have been kicking around the idea of launching an initiative for about two years, but that it wasn't until a recent apparent increase in interest among local people that they felt they would be able to gather the support necessary to lead a successful campaign.
He said that he and other organizers were impressed by the level of interest from people willing to donate money or volunteer time to collect signatures, in response to e-mails from former council member Lee Duboc.
In a press release, Mr. Theile-Sardina countered the notion that the initiative to cut pension payments would put the city at a hiring disadvantage.
"Currently, the supply of qualified people in the California labor market far exceeds the demand," he said. "Furthermore, we are seeing other cities in the Bay Area and throughout California taking steps toward pension reform."
The group says it will need to collect 1,882 signatures, or 10 percent of the city's registered voters as of the last election. Assuming the city approves the filing, the group could start working this spring toward gathering the signatures necessary to place the initiative on the Nov. 2 ballot.
For more information, call Mr. Riggs at 327-6198 or Mr. Theile-Sardina at 322-1151.