The pension deficit is the difference between what public employees expect to get and what they are willing to pay into it

5 Apr

Well, anybody who saw my last post and then saw my letter in the News and Review can see that I had to edit dramatically to get my letter in.  When I sent my original letter to the address I’ve used for years, it was sent back, rejected for size? And I was told to use the form letter mechanism on the N&R website, which only allows 150 words. Snip, snip, snip – I still got my point across, and it was a good exercise. 

Write those letters folks! When do I find the time? When I’m so pissed off I can’t sleep. Writing letters to the editor will save your teeth, believe me!

I sent the following letter to the Enterprise Record two days ago, watch for it, and write your letters too. Just yesterday Dan Walters ran a column about the spending of taxpayer money to pass revenue measures that will only end up being squandered on the pension deficit –

https://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/article228799774.html

so people are thinking about this subject. Write now!

And don’t just write to the papers, forward to the city manager mark.orme@chicoca.gov and CARD general manager Ann Willmann annw@chicorec.com

Chico Area Recreation District board and staff have spent over $100,000 on consultants to help them pass a revenue measure  but have yet to show the taxpayers that they can be trusted with money.

In 2014, CARD staff reported a pension deficit of $1,700,721 .  Only five years later, that deficit has ballooned to $2,800,000, despite nearly $1,000,000 in “side fund payoffs”.  

CARD staff announced they have “set aside” another $1,700,000 for payment toward the  deficit, having admitted they have deferred maintenance to various facilities for years, including Shapiro Pool, which was closed permanently last year.

CARD only started asking employees to pay toward their own pensions in 2013, but management staffers pay 6% or less, with the general manager paying only 2 percent of an $108,500 salary.

CARD staff describe the pension/unfunded liability as “What we owe to CalPERS because of the difference in their guesses.”

Wrong.  The pension deficit is the difference between what employees expect to get (70 percent of their highest year’s salary at age 55) and what they want to pay for it (less than 10 percent of their salary). For example, the general manager pays $2170/year toward a pension of  more than $75,000.  That is not sustainable.

CARD staff have used taxpayer revenues to enrich themselves while ignoring their mission. Now they tell us we need to pass a revenue measure, or they will further defer maintenance, close facilities, and cut programs. At the same time offering a grandiose new sports facility south of town? Let the board of directors know how you feel about that, at annw@chicorec.com

 

5 Responses to “The pension deficit is the difference between what public employees expect to get and what they are willing to pay into it”

  1. zack April 6, 2019 at 5:09 am #

    it’s ironic that they expect us to give them more money when they turn around and spend it trying to get us to give them more money

  2. bob April 6, 2019 at 4:04 pm #

    This is from Walter’s article and should open people’s eyes and MOUTHS! They should be outraged. This is what CARD and CUSD has been doing for many years and now the City Council is doing it AND IT IS ILLEGAL.

    As documented in this space on several occasions, local government officials throughout California have been thumbing their noses at a state law that prohibits them from using taxpayer funds for political campaigns.

    Officials in cities, counties, school districts and special purpose districts routinely hire campaign management firms to manage every stage of their ballot measures seeking voter approval of new taxes or new bond issues (which require new taxes to service).

    The consulting firms conduct polling of local voters and then draft the ballot measures to conform to what those polls indicate voters would find acceptable. The political pros then design campaigns for the measures, under the guise of “education,” to persuade voters to approve them.

    Typically, the “education” campaigns are misleading, promising that the proceeds of the taxes and bonds will be used for popular facilities and services, such as police and fire protection or parks, while ignoring the underlying real reasons, such as to cover rapidly increasing employee pension and health care costs.

    The consultants often boast of their high passage rates, and with good reason, because most of the carefully crafted and marketed measures do, in fact, win voter approval.

    The practice is, as mentioned earlier, illegal.

    • bob April 6, 2019 at 4:06 pm #

      Since this is illegal and Ramsey certainly won’t stop it and since the FPPC won’t/can’t stop it (unless Garcia’s legislation passes – doubtful), I wonder if a private citizen could get a law firm to file a class action suit.

      • Juanita Sumner April 6, 2019 at 6:33 pm #

        I think that would depend on the local judges, all of whom are in the pension system. I think our best bet is getting that bill passed. I’m going to start working on a letter for both the ER and other papers in Assemblyman Jim Gallagher’s district, get him to do something.

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