Dan Walters: Yes, California cities d...

Dan Walters: Yes, California cities do have a serious pension problem

There are 39 comments on the The Fresno Bee story from Nov 17, 2013, titled Dan Walters: Yes, California cities do have a serious pension problem. In it, The Fresno Bee reports that:

Or, more precisely, cities and some fire districts have a pension problem because they spend so much of their budgets on highly paid, high-pension police and firefighters.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Fresno Bee.

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Tired

Vallejo, CA

#1 Nov 17, 2013
Public employee union propaganda notwithstanding, California has a serious public pension problem.

Or, more precisely, cities and some fire districts have a pension problem because they spend so much of their budgets on highly paid, high-pension police and firefighters.

Pension obligations are consuming ever-larger portions of those budgets, squeezing out money for other services. Payments into the state’s public pension fund played central roles in the bankruptcy of three cities and the one that has emerged from bankruptcy, Vallejo, is already back in distress.

Cities are in this pickle because of a perfect storm of shortsighted decisions.

Fourteen years ago, at the behest of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System and unions, then-Gov. Gray Davis and the Legislature sharply increased state pension benefits, relying on CalPERS’ assertions that strong investment earnings would pay for them without additional money from taxpayers.

Throughout the state, local government officials in thrall to their unions followed suit. But CalPERS’ assurances turned to dust when its relatively risky real estate and equity investments turned sour, costing tens of billions of dollars.

Finally, as CalPERS’ unfunded liabilities obligations were reaching unacceptable levels, the fund began ramping up mandatory payments from its local government members, whose own revenues had also been squeezed by recession.

Many of them have borrowed money to make their pension payments, compounding their problem. Bankrupt Stockton’s largest debt is a pension bond.

Some cities have negotiated new contracts that require employees to bear larger shares of pension payments, but as baby boomer workers retire in ever-larger numbers, pension payouts will escalate and the problem will persist.

So what should be done?

Gov. Jerry Brown and legislators have enacted a very mild pension reform whose effects won’t be felt for years. Meanwhile, however, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is risking the political wrath of unions by proposing a deeper overhaul that would allow local governments to reduce future benefits for employees, but not benefits they have already earned.

Reed and a few other mayors want to place their measure on the ballot, either in 2014 or 2016, but so far lack funds to counter the immense sums that unions would spend to kill it.

Business interests have no stake in the battle and will stay away. Reed et al. need a deep-pocketed individual, but the one who has given the effort some money, Texas billionaire John Arnold, is already being vilified by Reed’s foes for being a billionaire and a Texan.

It’s very difficult to see how Reed’s pension crusade can succeed. But the local pension problem will not go away by itself and, if anything, is likely to worsen.

Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2013/11/17/3614693/d...
sam obese cheetoh eater

Vallejo, CA

#2 Nov 17, 2013
LOL!

Vallejo will continue to make National news which is something Riley can not buy. Sunshine and the truth will be coming out much to the enragement of the jumpers and Riley.

(t)urd enragement!
JD Gin Bloom

Vallejo, CA

#3 Nov 17, 2013
Sunshine and the truth were supposed to keep us from taking the majority back. What happened there?
youtoo

Vallejo, CA

#4 Nov 17, 2013
JD Gin Bloom wrote:
Sunshine and the truth were supposed to keep us from taking the majority back. What happened there?
We don't have enough "sunshine" do we. how many of u know what is really going on in labor discussions. lets open the discussions to public review and see what happens.
Greedy Union Thug

Vallejo, CA

#5 Nov 17, 2013
We have four votes whether you review the discussions or not. You never will, but you get the idea. We have control of your city now.
Chickens Roost

Vancouver, WA

#6 Nov 17, 2013
you really think osby will vote for unsustainable contracts after what we've all been through? the newbies will be shredded if they try please their masters. ain't gonna happen.
HighHardOne

Vallejo, CA

#7 Nov 17, 2013
Chickens Roost wrote:
you really think osby will vote for unsustainable contracts after what we've all been through? the newbies will be shredded if they try please their masters. ain't gonna happen.
Shredded? We have the 4-3 majority for the foreseeable future. Does it escape you that the city is basing an alleged deficit on unfilled positions? Keen better think that one through. Deceptive masters pleasing is going on NOW.
lisa psu shill

Vallejo, CA

#8 Nov 17, 2013
this question is tailor made for our man burky, part of the winning jump start team. hooray burky!
smart play

Vallejo, CA

#9 Nov 17, 2013
HighHardOne wrote:
<quoted text>Shredded? We have the 4-3 majority for the foreseeable future. Does it escape you that the city is basing an alleged deficit on unfilled positions? Keen better think that one through. Deceptive masters pleasing is going on NOW.
certainly gomes and her crowd want the illusion of deficit due to contracts, keen does not want to get kemped so he is playing ball with gomes, his present master.
Bald Fat man in a Hula

Fairfield, CA

#10 Nov 17, 2013
If all your claims are true and their are bags of money available, then why all the false promises of new revenue from the jumpers? We don't need it right?

LOL!

(t)urd enragement!
smart play

Vallejo, CA

#11 Nov 18, 2013
wrong, we have a huge pension debt to pay down, moron. we have to make money to pay our bills. what is wrong with you?
Bald Fat Man in a Hula

Fairfield, CA

#12 Nov 18, 2013
smart play wrote:
wrong, we have a huge pension debt to pay down, moron. we have to make money to pay our bills. what is wrong with you?
So then it is your belief we do indeed have a structural deficit? If so we have less than two years to get the revenue or cut cut cut......like some of those budgeted 28 Police positions...remember the VPOA's famous last words "cut as much staff as you like, we want to be paid".

(t)urd enragement!
JD the Gin Bloomer

Vallejo, CA

#13 Nov 18, 2013
The deficit is artificial based on staffing levels approved by this council, begging the question why did they approve staffing levels that would create a deficit? And they will not meet those levels in this budget cycle, begging the question why are they lying about a deficit when there is at present a surplus since hiring is way "behind schedule"? Do you have a linky to this schedule? Police pay here is supposed to be the highest in the state, begging the question why are we 28 short, why isn't there a line forming around the building to work here to get some of that?
sam ghost army

Vallejo, CA

#14 Nov 18, 2013
dan keen can start being honest again when the council is changed out. he is playing it the way gomes wants it to avoid being kemped.
JD the Gin Bloomer

Vallejo, CA

#16 Nov 18, 2013
Sammies raw butt hurts wrote:
<quoted text>Ask Jess MalGuapo, the vote was unanimous.
LOL!
(t)urd enragement!
So you admit the alleged deficit is an illusion based on full approved staffing we will never reach in this cycle. Maybe now that Malgapo knows this, he will ask the hard questions tomorrow night. Surely Burky or Sam will comment on this misdirection pushed along by the Gomers as leverage against the police, The police recognize the deficit is artificial, that's why they are not budging on concessions. They know recruiting is NOT going well, contrary to Keen's "Hi, Marc" response. I really can't fault Dan, he wants to keep his job for a bit longer to jack up his pension payday.
sam ghost army

Vallejo, CA

#17 Nov 18, 2013
well sure keen is playing along to the sheet music prescribed by the gomers. of course he will say that there is no problem in recruiting and that new hires take time. the smart play would be for malgapo to request a presentation from h.r. at the first meeting of the new council. let's get to the truth, not opinions and political cya.
JD the Gin Bloomer

Vallejo, CA

#19 Nov 18, 2013
Asked and answered. The deficit is an illusion. Still raging that Jump Start kicked your butts?
JD the Gin Bloomer

Vallejo, CA

#21 Nov 18, 2013
We will initiate several revenue and jobs producing projects on both sides of the river. We will fill the 28 positions and then some. It does not change the fact that the alleged deficit for this budget cycle is artificial. Personally, I would fire Keen for this to send a message. Intent to deceive is the same as a lie. So try to get used to the fact that WE WON, the people want us to be in charge, not Gomers.
anonymous

Vallejo, CA

#23 Nov 18, 2013
JD the Gin Bloomer wrote:
We will initiate several revenue and jobs producing projects on both sides of the river. We will fill the 28 positions and then some. It does not change the fact that the alleged deficit for this budget cycle is artificial. Personally, I would fire Keen for this to send a message. Intent to deceive is the same as a lie. So try to get used to the fact that WE WON, the people want us to be in charge, not Gomers.
Do you ever look at reality or do you just live in fantasy world. Keen has a contract for 5 years. Revenue jobs don't happen over night. You need to have people willing to come here. You and your like crow about how the labor relations here stink. Roads are not even being repaired at the rate that they are failing at. See no evil, hear no evil, think no evil. IGNORANCE IS BLISS! What a way to live.
lisa psu shill

Vallejo, CA

#24 Nov 18, 2013
that's all about to change with a business and developer friendly council. hang in there!

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