Yuba County Measure K: supervisors finally admit they have a pension deficit, and it’s a whopper!

23 Apr

I got the following report from the “No on Measure K” folks in Marysville, Yuba County. 

Currently the county is in litigation with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and two local residents over  sales tax increase measure K that passed in November. Plaintiffs are charging the measure was a special tax and should have been required to have 2/3’s approval from the voters, but was run as a general tax and barely passed with a simple majority. 

Throughout the campaign the county not only used public safety as bait, used taxpayer funds to run their campaign, but also repeatedly denied they had a pension deficit. 

Get aload of one supervisor’s response to a citizen’s evidence of pension deficit – “I know that you really want the numbers to back up the talking point that Measure K is all about CalPERS increases, but the numbers just don’t support that claim.”  

Of course, now that they passed their measure with a questionable margin they not only deny it was a special tax but also admit they have a $147 million UAL (unfunded accrued liability). 

This is what we can expect from the city of Chico and Chico Area Recreation District as they pursue their revenue measures.  They will bully us, they will lie to us, they will simply refuse us, but we have to keep squeezing out the truth.  We have to make sure the propaganda isn’t the only thing the voters hear in the coming year. 

From Yuba County No on Measure K:

For many, and many months [Yuba County Supervisor] Robert Bendorf and all five Yuba County Supervisor’s have denied that there is a large CalPERS liability looming. One Yuba County resident worked long and hard to find the truth. He pulled the CalPERS publically published pension numbers, examined the Yuba County budgets and he even had a CPA double check the numbers (They were correct).

All those numbers, pointed to the same thing, Yuba County was in a deep pension hole.

That same concerned resident, ran the numbers by Yuba County Supervisor Gary Bradford for his comment. Gary Bradford publicly stated over and over again: “I know that you really want the numbers to back up the talking point that Measure K is all about CalPERS increases, but the numbers just don’t support that claim.”

All his efforts were met with rude, evasive comments, verbal attacks and lies. Facebook posts during this time ridiculed any notion that there is a problem with CalPERS.

Fast forward a few months……….

The County and Supervisors PROMISED that Measure K (don’t you trust us?) is all for safety – well that was then, now they are claiming in Court (where the Legality of Measure K is coming into question) that it wasn’t about safety.

That is a moving target – was it or wasn’t it a safety measure???

With Measure K, increased revenue estimates are predicted to swell the Yuba County coffers by about $4.5 million annually (that’s another moving target).

Between the Miscellaneous and Safety Budgets, the county owes $147.6 Million to the pension pot ($106.8 Million for the Miscellaneous and $40.7 Million to the Safety Unfunded Accrued Pension Liabilities). They have to make payments to try and catch up.

But, paraphrasing Gary Bradford again “CalPERS isn’t a problem”

It’s bitter sweet to note that all five Yuba County supervisors will be meeting April 23rd 2019, to……

“Conduct a workshop to discuss options for addressing the County’s unfunded employee pension liability”

(see Agenda Topic 23 – Title:
County Administrator: Conduct a workshop to discuss options for addressing the County’s unfunded employee pension liability and provide further direction to staff. (20 minutes estimate)
https://agendasuite.org/iip/yuba/meeting/details/126….

Reading through the public document for the supervisors comments, they state “In recent years, the CalPERS Board made a series of decisions regarding assumptions for future costs of pensions, mostly on life expectancy and assumed investment returns, which have resulted in a significant escalation in the County’s unfunded accrued liability (UAL). Despite the County having made all required payments, over a seven-year period from FY 2010-11 through FY 2016-17 the assumption changes have resulted in an increase of $58.9 million (66.4%) in the UAL.”

A few months ago, the County said there wasn’t a Pension problem, but now they are meeting to discuss options to try and address the Pension Problem.

A few months ago, the County said it’s all about Safety, but now they are claiming in Court that it wasn’t about safety.

What a curious World our Yuba County Supervisors live in:
Where a Problem isn’t a problem, but then is
Where it was all about safety, but then isn’t.

2 Responses to “Yuba County Measure K: supervisors finally admit they have a pension deficit, and it’s a whopper!”

  1. Scott Rushing April 24, 2019 at 12:09 am #

    Excellent article Juanita. Powerful.

    On Tue, Apr 23, 2019 at 2:59 PM Chico Taxpayers Association wrote:

    > Juanita Sumner posted: “I got the following report from the “No on Measure > K” folks in Marysville, Yuba County. Currently the county is in litigation > with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and two local residents over > sales tax increase measure K that passed in November” >

    • Juanita Sumner April 24, 2019 at 6:11 am #

      Thanks Scott, Yuba County needs our support, we have the same problems – staff and elected officials who don’t really care about the citizens.

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