Is Andrew Coolidge stupid or a liar?

10 Mar

I know, Chico First is a more fun website. I know, Rob Berry is more the action type, chasing Scott Huber around with a camera. Unfortunately, that circus is distracting people from something they should be paying attention to – that boring old Pension Obligation Bond that Mark Orme is currently trying to end-run around Chico voters/taxpayers. 

Luckily there are other eyes on council right now, folks who are educated and number-savvy and also hip to this scam. A friend of mine recently contacted council to discuss his concerns about the POB, and he got a response from his district representative, Mayor Andrew Coolidge. My friend told me I could use Coolidge’s response for a letter to the editor, so I did. Coolidge is either stupid or a liar – you decide.

Chico Staffers are asking council to implement a Pension Obligation Bond.  Recently a friend expressed his concerns to Mayor Andrew Coolidge, who responded, “That bond is basically financing the city’s obligation (around $147 million to cal pers) at a lower interest rate so it can be paid off over the long term, rather than on Cal Pers rollercoaster payback schedule.”

That is not true. A POB is new debt. The consultant explained, the city would invest the borrowed money in the stock market, hoping for  return enough to pay both the bond debt and the CalPERS debt. The consultant speculated an interest rate of 3 – 4% on the POB, compared to 7% paid to CalPERS. But, the consultant was clear – if investments don’t do well, then we still owe CalPERS, and we also owe the bond holders.

Government Finance Officers Association says POBs are not worth the risk. But Coolidge, without really understanding what he is talking about, says, “I do believe faced with this huge burden the city may wish to pay it through a bank with minimal interest rather than to a state fund (cal pers) with an awful history of robbing from taxpayers.”

That is not how a POB works,  we will still have to pay CalPERS. I don’t think any member of council really understands POBs, they are trusting Staff, who have everything to  gain. Meanwhile, the taxpayers, who will be permanently on the hook for the pensions, are left out of the conversation.

Contact Coolidge, and your district representative.

2 Responses to “Is Andrew Coolidge stupid or a liar?”

  1. s.k. rushing March 10, 2021 at 8:36 pm #

    The Governor: [singing] Ooh, I love to dance the little sidestep / Now they see me, now they don’t / I’ve come and gone / And ooh, I love to sweep around a wide step / Cut a little swath / And lead the people on!

    Juanita: Andrew Coolidges’s answer about the POB’s reminded me of the Governor of Texas’s misleading answer to the public and press, with BS, when asked if he is shutting down the Chicken Ranch in the hit musical “Best Little Whorehouse In Texas.”

    • Juanita Sumner March 11, 2021 at 7:02 am #

      Thanks Scott for livening up the blog this morning! And hey, Coolidge would have made a fantastic character in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Luckily Texans can smell b******* for a mile, I wish I could say the same about Chico city council.

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