Every politician either grows to fear their defining moment, or hunt for one. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed has been boxing with the issue that will serve as the defining moment of his political career, as he puts pension and health benefits for city employees on a ballot.

Should he succeed, his reforms will likely be vilified by organized labor, and either way, the election season will be bloody.

His proposal affects every city employee: adjusting retirement age, prohibiting cashing-out sick leave, and dropping pension rates.

From the San Jose Mercury News:

Make no mistake: The proposal that San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed unveiled Friday to curtail retirement and health benefits for city employees will define his mayoral career.

Just as the 1988 arena vote mattered for Mayor Tom McEnery, or the 2000 BART and bond measures did for Mayor Ron Gonzales, Reed’s ballot proposal will shape his legacy.

After more than four years of hearings and warnings about a structural budget deficit, the mayor is threatening to push all his chips of popularity into the middle of an electoral pot.

Read the full article here.