"Of course we'll debate," said Riordan spokesman John Schwada. "We're trying to identify some venues where we can do this so it lends itself to a thoughtful discussion of the issues."
Riordan's group is gathering signatures for a May ballot measure that would transfer all new city employees -- including police, fire and DWP workers -- to 401(k) plans. The measure would also require current employees to pay a lot more toward their retirement.
Among the city unions, the LAPPL has been the most vocal in opposing the measure, arguing that it will actually cost the city more because new employees will no longer be paying into the pension fund.
In a letter to Riordan yesterday, Izen challenged the former mayor to three debates by Dec. 7, the date when signatures are due to be submitted. Schwada said he was not certain that Riordan would agree to that timetable, but said that he would be willing to debate.
So far, the LAPPL has received no formal response from Riordan, said spokesman Eric Rose.