Butte County to use PG&E settlement funds to pay down employee pension deficit

5 Jun

I wrote to the county board of supervisors yesterday, sending them the links regarding Howard Jarvis Taxpayers litigating over the issue of Pension Obligation Bonds and their letter to the city of Chico. Meanwhile, Dave Howell got on the phone and called his district rep, Todd Kimmelshue, to get more information. Hold onto your seat, I was shocked to find out how the county plans to handle it’s pension deficit.

I spoke with Kimmelshue’s aid and was told the supervisors have decided not to pursue a POB. And apparently they made that decision not because a POB is very risky and an all around bad idea, but because they plan to dump money from the PG&E settlement into the pension UAL, so they don’t think a POB is “necessary” at this time. (They’re also going to use the money to go on a bureaucrat hiring spree but that’s another ridiculous story.)

Why should money from PG&E for the fire settlement go to the pensions? That money should go to fix the damage done by the fire and if it’s already been fixed it should go to prevent future fires or to fix the terrible roads or why not give it back to the county’s taxpayers who are also PG&E rate payers? After all, WHERE do they think PG&E got the money they have to give to the county? They got it from us, the rate payers!

But they are going to throw this money down the pension rat hole, just like they do with the money for the roads and so many other necessities.

Why oh why do we have such awful politicians???

I can’t answer that, but I will say, the politicians are only as good as we demand. Whenever I tell people to write to their elected officials I worry that nothing we do matters. But we’ve seen otherwise. So sit down and write those emails, make those phone calls. This is WRONG. People were burned out of their homes, some murdered, by a corporation’s blatant incompetence and greed, and now county staffers will dance on the graves of the dead while sharing the blood money among themselves?

I don’t think that’s over-dramatic.

8 Responses to “Butte County to use PG&E settlement funds to pay down employee pension deficit”

  1. Dave June 6, 2021 at 12:01 pm #

    I’d recommend people read the most recent County’s CAFR. Here are some highlights (or more accurately lowlights):

    • The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) shows $327.6 million net pension and OPEB liability and that’s assuming a 7.15% rate of return from CalPERs. If CalPERs under performs by just 1% the pension liability goes up $89 million.

    • The pension liability is getting worse. The CAFR shows the Change in Long Term Liabilities for Governmental Activities from the previous year was an increase of $30 million or 8%due to the increase in the Net Pension Liability.

    • On top of the pension and OPEB liability the County has 510.7 million of bonded debt.

    • The County already has $44 million of POB liability.

    Any experts in public finance who are familiar with CAFRs want to have a look and get back to us here?

  2. Michael June 6, 2021 at 1:41 pm #

    I know people who lost everything, including pets, because they couldn’t get back up the hill in time, and their lives were destroyed- and they STILL haven’t gotten their settlements!!! This is UNACCEPTABLE!!!! I think of that hideous , beady eyed, witch face Debra Lucero, and that always hungover sounding “Margaritaville Bill Conningme”, and their smug dismissals of all our questions, all our concerns, not even bothering to acknowledge us and answer a single question, and this makes me SICK to my stomach!!!

    • Juanita Sumner June 7, 2021 at 7:04 am #

      Please spread the word about this plan Michael, it’s all being done behind closed doors. Dave Howell essentially found out by accident from a clueless staffer.

      People need to get pissed off about this.

  3. Jim June 8, 2021 at 7:10 am #

    The County Supervisors also spent $500,000 of the PG&E settlement on a fire alert paging system with a NO BID contract.

    The county already has a fire alert paging system and the Fed Gov also has a disaster alert system operating here. We could have used either or both of these at no cost.

    That money would have done a lot to help the people still displaced or living in FEMA trailers.

    • Juanita Sumner June 8, 2021 at 2:38 pm #

      Thanks Jim.

      You should see the roads around town, just destroyed by all the heavy equipment, including the placement of electrical lines underground that is currently underway. That is all going to have to be repaired, streets completely resurfaced, sidewalks, drainage,$$$$. The water system is a mess. Many properties are not being maintained and there’s alot of downed trees and invasive weeds taking over. There is so much to do, but they are not making good decisions, and I’m afraid they will spend it all on sundries before they really fix things.

      • Jim June 9, 2021 at 7:30 am #

        The Paradise water dept., PID has received a lot of that $$$$.

        Are the trailer parks still sitting vacant in Paradise? I saw some last year, concrete pads cleaned off and they look ready for new occupants.

      • Juanita Sumner June 9, 2021 at 8:53 am #

        I was just there Monday, yes, they are moving people into the park on Bille. Contractors are placing the electrical system underground, so the streets are getting worse. I know these things take time, but they better have saved enough of that settlement money to finish putting things together.

        I think PID salaries will go up under Lando’s management, you know how he is!

        Paradise is lost. It will be an expensive little town when the buzzards clear out.

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