Friday, April 21, 2017

While Encinitas fiddles, other cities get serious about facing pension crisis

LA Times:
The statewide pension issue was a hot topic Monday at the Huntington Beach City Council meeting.

The council voted unanimously to have the city’s Intergovernmental Relations Committee consider proposed state pension reform legislation and bring the item to the council’s next meeting.


Councilman Billy O’Connell, who made the proposal, said CalPERS has increased pension costs, which has jeopardized the city’s ability to provide services to its residents.

“CalPERS has failed in [its] fiduciary responsibility, and this failure poses great risk to cities, our hard-working employees and the taxpayers who will ultimately foot the bill for CalPERS’ failures,” O’Connell read from a statement.


  1. Glad to see some City Council members actually focus on priorities.

    Too bad they are not in our City.....

    Bravo to them. Maybe they can talk some sense into our City Council.

    I can tell you it will not be coming from staff. They have 2.7 times the number of years x their highest paid year invested in it, so they want to keep it out of sight as long as possible. Example - Ex fire chief earned $215k a year and worked 35 years for PERS agency -

    2.7 x 215,000 x 35 = $203,000 for their life and their spouse's life.

    Its no wonder the system will fail. Just like Social Security.

    Bottom line is the revenue projections don't cover the expense projections. Guess who pays?

    ...... thats right the tax payer.

    The tax payer pays for Muir's lavish retired life style and hundreds of other retired slacking past City Employees.

    When will City Council demand the City Manager address City priorities?

    1. "2.7 x 215,000 x 35 = $203,000"

      No. It doesn't. I just showed this to my elementary school daughter, and she knows it's wrong.

      Math symbols and equations have specific meaning.

    2. A decimal place was off, 9:12, but you knew that. Ever too quick to jump are our city workers.

  2. 10:56 Your formula multiplies to $20,317,500.

  3. Its 2.7% which means its .027 .... I hope your English is better than your math.

    1. Well, 1:52, the paragraph nor the formula shows a percentage symbol, does it?

      And the corrected formula yields $203,175.

      Now, would you like to know how many English errors you made in your posts?

    2. My understanding is that Mark Muir's pension is $176,000 per year. So that doesn't compute, either, with the formula.

      We definitely need pension reform, here, in Encinitas. The reform would only be for new hires, though. Part of the problem is CALPERS' unrealistic investment earning projections. Unlike what happens with private retirement pension plans, the municipalities, or other public agencies assume all the risk. The shortcomings in investments have to, somehow, be passed on to taxpayers, including through loss of funds for maintaining infrastructure, such as deferred road maintenance. The pensioners assume none of the risk.

      There is no independent negotiator during periodic reviews of pay for city workers, both unionized and non-unionized. These negotiators are tied to the labor unions, as are their salaries and benefits. Any "separation" is for appearances' sake, only. Neither the City Manager nor the head of HR are independent negotiators.

    3. It was $176,000. With annual cost of living increases, it was $184,000 by 2015 and probably around $188,000 now.

    4. Can you add up the retirement costs for the last 4 retired fire chiefs per year? I bet its over $700,000,000.00 a year.

      Then think of all the other high priced retirees the system is paying out to every month.

      That is alot of dough for 4 people per year! and no wonder the system is collapsing.

    5. Yup, $700 million is a lot of money.

      Wanna strike a few zeros?

  4. Rome burns while Nero fiddles with his member, or was it an actual fiddle?

    There were not fiddles when Nero let it burn. So what was he playing with besides his member?

    Our city reps claim we are in great financial shape. Whatever they are basing this on has to be from the alternative facts universe.

    If this were really true, we would not be approving every f'in alcohol serving license that comes down the pike.

    This past week was, at long last, a change of direction, or possibly of influence by the tax dollars that have reigned supreme from the alcohol serving establishments that have degraded our once precious and special community from any others.

    I can only hope that this recent intention by our elected council members, and including the selected Planning Commission, will sustain this effort as we go forward.

    Dennis Holz nailed it, and Council, you should do more than just a DAO. You need to implement the other three demands that were mentioned. A DAO alone needs to be backed up by the Ventura model and the other actions that Dennis proposed.

    The show of any genuine sincerity of this past weeks ruling is paramount . That must
    include the other three propositions that Dennis Holz brought up. You know this is relevant. A DAO needs to a backed up with more than the DAO alone.

    What a shame that our own dark knight has sold his soul to support the bar profiteers. That it is no surprise, is nothing new. The power of the dollar reigns supreme to him, and these slimy bar/so-called restaurant/bar owners have the deep pockets to spend at the expense of our community's character. The demographics of our downtown have been sold out, all for $$$$$$$.

    It was almost laughable, if it wasn't just so sad, that these establishments tried to hang onto the completely ineffective Encinitas Hospitality group that was a lie from the start. That certain members of our council bought into their lie, will forever be on them.

    I could have choked and actually did, when I heard these same flip floppers get on board this time. Nothing has changed except their position. Good on them for finally seeing that the bar owners use of a lie of a self regulating body was just that.

    Council, do more than the DAO. Implement that other options that Dennis proposed.

    Happy Earth Day to all. She, Mother Earth, sure needs it more than ever.

  5. Mayor Blakespear said in her State of the City speech that the city didn't have a pension problem!

  6. Muir pulls in another $40K as head of the water district according to the U-T yesterday. Is there no govt teat he will not suck?? Apparently not.

  7. 9:35- Our SANDAG rep gets $150.00 for each meeting attended. It was Shaffer. I think Kranz is now but I am not sure on that.

  8. big deal. $150 per meeting. Chump change for all the hassle.

    1. Chump change?? Then why do they attend?? No one has ever refused to attend as theSandag rep. None of them are obligated to attend. Don't think they do it out of a sense of altruism. They don't.

    2. Politicians generally aren't in it for the wages. The power of having influence over hundreds of millions of dollars is a lot more alluring than $150.

    3. Not to mention the allure of having power over other people.

    4. Nice to see that others agree with me, I didn't include the power trip mention as I wanted to see if others understood that angle, a few do. As for Mr. Muir, it's all about jacking his pension higher and higher.

  9. Adding to EU's post, "Power is almost like an aphrodisiac for many people. But, think about it. $150.00 at 10 meetings per year adds up to $1500.00. Now, add all of the endorsements, and other perks, it adds up. However, it does take a certain kind of person who wants to be on our city council. Most of them, with the exception of possibly Muir, want to go further in politics. And if they serve 2 terms they get a pension for the rest of their life. It adds up folks. Don't think it doesn't.

    1. Council members' pay is tiny. Consequently, the pension for those who "serve" long enough is also tiny.