Saturday, January 5, 2019

This must be one of those negative-amortization thingies

Mayor Catherine Blakespear thinks unfunded pension liabilities are just like 30-year mortgages. As she assured us in 2015:
Some worry about the government’s unfunded pension liability, which is about $32 million. The unfunded pension liability is the difference between the benefits current employees have earned versus the amount of assets we have set aside with the state to pay for those benefits.

We contribute about $4.4 million a year toward pensions, which is what CALPERS requires us to pay. If we make our annual contribution as required by CALPERS for 30 years, we’ll no longer have an unfunded pension liability. It’s like paying off your home mortgage in 30 years. We could pay off this unfunded liability faster, if we as a city wanted to prioritize that over other things. In fact, we contributed an additional $260,000 toward this unfunded liability at the end of last year. Prepaying this debt faster could be a future discussion topic for the Council.
Now that we're three-plus years into our 30-year mortgage, how is our balance looking?

From the city's just-released 2018 financial report:
$49 million!?? What the heck kind of mortgage sees the balance go UP by $17 million as you pay it down?

No, Mayor Blakespear. Unfunded liabilities are not like a 30-year mortgage. 30-year mortgages have fixed payments and certain balances. Pension liabilities have unknowable (but almost always rising) payments, and the balances are merely estimates of an unknowable distant future. Balances depend on things like stock market returns and city salaries (which Blakespear and the council are increasing much faster than inflation). What's worse, the balances are estimated using politically-driven optimistic assumptions, such as that CalPERS will continue to earn 7% per year forever in a 2% - 3% interest rate environment.

The "pensions are like a mortgage" trope has been used repeatedly by government unions to downplay the severity of the pension problem. It's no surprise that our small-town mayor, who relies on and frequently praises the expertise of "staff," fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

69 comments:

  1. Pensions aren't the only areas where Mayor Blakespear is deficient in understanding. She and the council are a stagnate dictatorship determined to destroy the city's General Plan and the environment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She apparently skipped Econ-1.

      Delete
    2. Actually, I think the mayor skipped middle school math all together.

      Delete
  2. You know what pays for crazy high pensions? Property taxes? Market rate, unaffordable, three story, McMansions?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Blakespear is living proof that any idiot can become a lawyer. What a MAROON!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This EU post is a wonderful illustration of the classic confrontation: ignorance vs. knowledge.

    Here and all too often, the ignorant party has the power to act.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Watch out Cardiff residents. Blakespear and council plan to screw the residents this Wednesday night on the consent calendar. The Mayor and city manager didn't have the decency to put the item on the regular agenda. This is the item:
    8K. Approval of Plans and Specifications for Downtown Cardiff Accessibility Improvements (CS18H)
    No plans, no drawings attached with the staff report. In this era of electronic data, the staff just CAN'T add that information to the staff report. You have to go to city hall. Keep up the crappy work city manager Brust. You and your new staff may be kicked out quicker than you expect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey 12:30 p.m.

      Have you read the staff report as to what is being approved?

      "The project
      replaces two ends of sidewalk at the alley between Chesterfield Drive and Aberdeen Drive on the
      west side of Newcastle Avenue. Work also includes replacement of all four substandard curb
      ramps at the corner of Chesterfield Drive and Newcastle Avenue and update crosswalk
      pavement markings to current standards."

      This is consent agenda material.

      Delete
    2. LOL @ 12:30 PM

      Delete
  6. Yellow vests anyone??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vive la France!

      Delete
    2. Brust. The worst of the the worst. Of course Blakespear will not admit it, she was on her selection committee. Even after, two hugely failing housing elements, no quiet zone after 8 years in other cities, no undergrounding projects in Cardiff, F'd up streetscape, trees dieing all over town, and no police enforcement .

      Great Job Brust and Flakespear. Its time to vote out Flakespear. She is clueless and want everyone to live at the beach for free, welcome the homeless, and want to keep porta potties all over town. Nice.

      Delete
  7. Also on the consent calendar - the other streets in Encinitas that will be given the vehicle raspberries in favor of bicycles is item 08L Mobility Projects and Grants Update. Vehicle lanes will be narrowed to 9 feet wide to make more bicycle buffers on Santa Fe Drive east to El Camino Real. Vehicle lanes on El Camino Real will be narrowed to 9 feet wide for more bicycle buffers on the road. More bicyclists will be able to ride 4 and 5 wide to talk. No requirements for yellow reflective vests, LARGE flashing rear lights and LARGE front lights. The change in the lanes should be done by next month. Mayor Blakespear and her family should ride on El Camino Real where the speed limit is 55 miles an hour. The rest of the council should join them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1 or 2 years ago, Blakespear and others did some lame walk along El Camino Real on a weekend morning to pretend they care about New Encinitas. They haven't done a thing since to improve El Camino Real, except put up holiday banners (wow) and put in a drive-thru Starbucks at Mountain Vista - That'll certainly improve traffic flow along the corridor, especially during the morning commute.

      Delete
    2. Face it - bicyclists will always be the minority method of travel. Excess accommodation for this mode of transport is misdirected.

      Delete
    3. Uh-oh, 11:55, watch out — you're too rational for most readers here. You're exposing the holier-than-thou bicyclist mentality. They want to exploit a preventable tragedy to achieve their selfish minority ends.

      They want to blame others for their own failings. They don't have to ride in the dark without lights and reflectors. They don't have to ride where there's heavy traffic when they could ride where there's little or none.

      They could take responsibility and act for their own safety, but they don't. Instead, they take unnecessary risks then blame others when they get hurt.

      Delete
  8. Blakespear is committed to separating the bikes from cars on 101 this month. Let's see if she's all talk and no action. My guess is the City Manager will tell her NO and she'll make up some excuse. I hope she proves me wrong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Through downtown too?

      Delete
    2. She should but way to late. The City has know about this hazard for 20 years. Flakespear and Brust have blood on the hands that will not wash off. This is as bad as Stocks 2005 voting on 30% increase in employee pension payouts in one night. All for no good to the tax payers, in fact it fucked them big time. And that is why Stocks is the laughing Stock of the republican party. Clueless!!

      Brust and Flakespear are responsible for the blood on Coat HWY101. You don't believe me? Watch what the courts say.

      Any action for a bike lane on Hwy 101 is good, but way to late.

      Mayors and City Manager are responsible for addressing known hazards. Did ours act accordingly?

      Lets ask Roberta?

      Delete
  9. Encinitas is soooo f'd.....

    The City Manager failed to act on a bad striping decision 2 years ago and also not implementing the needed bike lanes. People were maimed and tax payers will pay big time.

    Can you say over $40 million? All because of poor management judgement. Its that simple. Why is the Mayor and City Manager still here?

    Can we afford more and more lame decisions and liability?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Agree. This city is running backwards and the mayor supports the damage to the taxpayers. First the complete failure of the housing element again and now the inability to create simple bike lanes on the southbound direction of Hwy 101.

    I can not believe that after two women were mowed over and the numerous other cars hitting bikes on that stretch of road that nothing has been done. A touch of green paint on the street doesn't even cover up the red color from all the blood spilled on that stretch.

    Since the Mayor will not act, the City Council should agenda an item to fire the existing City Manager and hire a City Manager that will progress on issues that are good for taxpayers.

    Since the Mayor supports this crappy City Manager and the direction of the City, a petition should be started to have the Mayor resign with the City Manager and get this City heading in the right direction.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So are you going to start the petition?

      Delete
    2. How about if the dumbshit bicyclists use their pea brains to figure out it's not a good idea to ride on 101?

      They can ride between K St and Grandview on streets where there's far less traffic, and long stretches have painted bike lanes.

      Delete
    3. 1:34-

      Please turn in your license and do not drive. You are a hazard to society.

      Delete
    4. 5:20 — 1:34 doesn't own a car. She bikes, walks or takes the bus or train everywhere she goes. Her license expired, and she didn't renew it. She never bikes on 101 or other busy roads because she has the good sense to know that's too dangerous.

      Delete
    5. Crazy old cat lady.

      Message received.

      Ignore her.

      Delete
    6. Crazy old Marvy Charles. Watch you don't step in him. Takes forever to wash off that stank.

      Delete
  11. Give Blakespear a chance, she said that she would get the lane divided with a barrier between bikers and cars this month. She promised, give her a chance to get it done. Can you at least wait a week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. Nor can the taxpayers. Its Fing dangerous out there as we know by the carnage. Blakespear and the management crew have know about and endorsed the F'd up conditions of that roadway for years. Now lives are ruined and the tax payers are f'd.

      Blakespear resign and take the shitty City Manager with you.

      Delete
  12. Warning Leucadia residents##### -
    The staff report for Wednesday night for installing the "safe" bicycle lanes will include removing 5 more trees from the median above the number in the streetscape plan. Plus removing 4 more "damaged trees" unrelated to streetscape.
    Also included:
    • minimum 5-foot bike lanes for northbound and southbound directions,
    • green bike lane paint before and after intersections to emphasize the bike lane to motorists,
    • reduction to 10-feet travel lanes to calm traffic and help reduce speeds,
    • reduction of parking lane width to 7-feet,
    • reduction of median and two-way left turn lane widths,
    • bike lane buffers in areas where roadway width allows, and
    • Five trees, which are not anticipated to be removed with the Streetscape project, would
    be removed if the striping project is implemented (see pictures in Attachment 6). Four additional trees were also identified for removal unrelated to the interim improvements, as detailed in Table 1. A tree spading analysis (removal of dirt around the roots via a powerful air stream) would be conducted as a part of the project to detect the location of roots – this may indicate a larger or smaller number of removals.
    And, of course, everyone's favorite consultant, Peder Norby is back to wreck Leucadia highway 101 in his capacity of working for the Council.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So the parking lane and bike lane will be a combined 12' wide and will be next to a tight 10' vehicle lane. The door zone extends 10' from the curb so that leaves 2' for bikes to safely ride. Drivers must also give 3' of room between their car and the bike lane per state law. I'm still waiting for the Blakespear plan of a safe protected bike lane that she promised everyone. I read the staff report and nothing about that. Heads are going to roll because this is not safe. Maybe Blakespear can chime in what is going on.

      Delete
  13. What about downtown? Riding on 101 there is more dangerous than through Leucadia. What will be done to make riding 101 safe downtown?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Make it three lanes like it should be and install the needed bicycle lanes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's four lanes now. How would three work?

      Delete
    2. Like Santa Fe Drive and may others.

      Delete
    3. Santa Fe varies from a car lane and a bike lane in each direction, two car lanes and a bike lane in each direction, a car lane in each direction with a center turning lane, and very long stretches with no bike lanes. Also long stretches with no parking at all.

      Nowhere does Santa Fe have diagonal parking like downtown. So what would the three lanes be there?

      Delete
  15. Did the City Manager's staff report include any kind of cost estimate to stripe the bike lanes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. $1.55 to $1.8 million for the bike lane Blakespear has promised.

      Delete
  16. INSIDER - Blakespear told a friend that she has the votes for Kelly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Who is Kelly?

      Delete
    2. Kelly Hinze, head of Leucadia 101 Main Street Association. Blakespear wants to ram streetscape through asap, even though the $30+ million price has forced Blakespear to suggest borrowing money to do it.

      Delete
    3. That's 2 firm votes then. I wonder who's already decided?

      Delete
  17. Done Deal. No need for a meeting and no need for anyone else to apply.

    Is there a law (brown act) that is supposed to discourage this type of backroom deals in the public forum?

    I guess laws and logic do not apply to Flakespear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, there is a Brown Act violation here. It called a serial meeting when more than two people are involved in a series meetings with only two persons talking to each other at a time, but conspiring to come to a decision out of public view. It's legal for two council people to talk privately, but not more if it's the same subject and leads to a decision. But then Blakespear has never had a problem doing this.

      Delete
    2. Say there, 3:09.

      Do you happen to know how many Brown Act violations have been charged, prosecuted, convicted, and how many penalties or sanctions have been handed out? In the entire history of the law?

      Answer: ZERO.

      The Brown Act is how local conspiracy nerds waste time online.

      BTW, it’s just as plausible that the all caps insider above is mistaken, or just making shit up to stir the pot. It’s also possible that Blakespear thinks she has the votes based not on serial meetings, but by her knowledge of how fellow council members think, or by things that have said in the past before TBH won her assembly seat.

      Good luck with your Brown Act mental masturbation conspiracy theory.

      Delete
    3. Whoa Tony K (4:21), calm yourself the heck down. You're protesting too much - as usual.

      It's clear from the way the council pretends to discuss issues that they then vote on in concert after brief or no discussion that the Brown Act is violated all the time.

      Delete
    4. Your theory is a steaming pile of Brown Act.

      Delete
    5. Go have another drink. They're keeping your seat warm at Captain Keno's.

      And Brown Act violations in Encinitas are a known fact, not a theory. What's also a known fact is how impossible Brown Act violations are to prosecute successfully - one of the offenders has to fess up and name the others, with evidence. So that doesn't really mean much in terms of whether or not the Act was violated, now does it?

      Delete
    6. A “known fact” with no supporting evidence?

      Throw it on the pile with Big Foot, The Illuminati, vaccines causing autism, alien abductions, and chem trails.

      Delete
    7. Not worth answering you, 7:34. You're determined to twist things like the insider problem you are.

      Delete
    8. A certain poster here has forgotten that Dan Dalager was caught with a Brown Act violation with an email he forwarded that revealed a behind-the-scenes decision was being made. It's rare when this happens, and, of course, the insiders never rat out the other participants. But these common violations are the dirty little secret. Usually the only remedy is defeat at the ballot box. This is what happened to Dalager.

      Delete
    9. Dan D was “caught,” eh?

      Brown Act enforcement starts with a formal legal cease and desist letter filed by a District Attorney or any citizen. The city then has 60 days to respond. If the city responds within 60 days and commits unconditionally to not violate the law in the future, then the matter is closed. If the city fails to respond, or if the response is anything short of an unconditional commitment to follow the law, then the citizen or DA can sue the city.

      So, for Dan to have been “caught,” someone must have sent a cease and desist letter, which would be a public record. Then, if the city responded with a commitment to follow the law, it would be ambiguous as to whether the city admitted to the violation. The only way you could say he was “caught,” is if the City response was unsatisfactory and a lawsuit followed, and the conclusion of said lawsuit was a judicial ruling on the merits that Dalager did indeed violate the law.

      Of course, no one will produce such a ruling, because it doesn’t exist. In fact, the first step in the process never happened—the cease and desist letter.

      https://firstamendmentcoalition.org/open-meetings-3/facs-brown-act-primer/brown-act-primer-enforcement/

      Delete
    10. INSIDER called it!.... the Mayor and the City Council deservingly have major egg on their face. Ha!!

      Delete
  18. Cap all pensions at $50,000. If they don't like it, apply somewhere else.

    ReplyDelete
  19. New SANDAG director:

    So what will be in that vision? He said the region needs to start thinking about underground rail connections to make transit faster and to continue to make improvements to the highway network, but also to pursue Elon Musk’s futuristic hyperloop and the aerial gondolas (or skyways) the agency has toyed with in the past.

    And, he says sales taxes, which SANDAG has always used to fund regional transportation projects, aren’t the best way to do it. Eventually, he said, San Diego and the rest of the country should transition to charging drivers for how much they drive, rather than taxing sales and using it on transportation.

    ReplyDelete
  20. With Blakespear as Vice-Chair of SANDAG. I guarantee we (Encinitas) get more housing with her in this role! She's all about more housing in our city. I hate to say this, but Stocks would have fought more for us than Blakespear. I can't believe I just said this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well duh! Where have you been - under a rock? It's been pretty well decided that the state, no country, is woefully behind in building housing, any kind of housing, to meet the demands of our population growth. So while your comment appears to be a dig on Blakespear, it's actually a fairly true representation of reality. The issue that needs to be dealt with is not whether there will be more housing in Encinitas - it's what kind of housing will be built. Please - try and keep up.......

      Delete
    2. 7:39, it's one thing to get the required or mandated state housing and another to ask for more. Blakespear is about asking for more and if you think our community wants more - you're the one under a rock!

      Delete
    3. Dear Rock Friend - I agree out community doesn't want more, but that's just not in the cards, is it? We know the required numbers are going to increase so we should just deal with it as best we can on our (hopefully) own terms.

      Delete
    4. You've got it backward, 7:39. The development community is driving the "need" for more housing, not population growth. Read the stats for yourself, then justify your supposed housing crisis position:

      http://journal.firsttuesday.us/golden-state-population-trends/9007/ ("Steady population growth is essential for a long-term, stable housing market.")

      https://www.dailyrepublic.com/all-dr-news/opinion/local-opinion-columnists/calmatters-commentary-california-sees-slowing-population-growth/

      Delete
    5. 7:07 - are we reading the same article?!?!? First, just because the growth rate has gone down doesn't mean overall population hasn't increased. The article clearly points that out. Second, the state (and country) was behind in meeting housing demand before 2009. The recession basically stopped all construction activity for several years and exacerbated the shortfall to such an extreme that it will take a generation to get out of it. Another article on first tuesday explains how the housing stock will be affected by climate change - it's not good!!

      Dan Walters piece is not about housing - rather it's about congressional representation. He also agrees that while the rate of population growth has gone down, absolute population continues to increase.

      As Disraeli said - there are lies, damn lies, and statistics!

      Delete
    6. Right, well...if you read what I was replying to - 7:39's statement "to meet the demands of our population growth" you'd calm yourself the heck down. ?!?!?

      Delete
    7. I am 7:39, and 7:41, and I still maintain that a reduction in the rate of population growth does not equate to a reduction in absolute population growth. And it's absolute population growth that is driving the need for more housing. To put it in simpler terms, the rate of population growth could go negative and we would still have a housing shortage. That's how bad it is.......

      Delete
    8. There are 49 other states in which people can live. Your housing shortage is the result of too many people wanting to live here and too many people thinking existing residents should step aside while our towns are upzoned to the skies. They think we should pretend affordable housing is possible in high land cost areas.

      It doesn't work that way - clearly, it doesn't. With SANDAG making only 5% and 8% of very low and low income goals, the housing shortage is very obviously not being solved.

      We don't have a housing shortage for McMansions and those who are getting along fine. If you're talking about affordable housing, there is plenty available being crammed into the inland valley, central valley, northern California, and the other 49 states.

      Your housing shortage is a greed-driven BIA fabrication.

      Delete
    9. No, there are not 49 other states in which people can live, because there are not 49 other states with jobs! People want to live where there are jobs, irrespective of income levels. Sales Force occupies a massive building in San Francisco and in doing so has created a gentrification nightmare. Low income residents are displaced, high income residents push the price up of units because there's a housing shortage.

      I agree with you that it's fanciful to think we can devote X% of new construction in Encinitas to low or very low income housing, so I'm not referring to affordable housing. But we do have an overall shortage of dwelling units, from McMansions to McStudios. The best indicator is the average time a property is available on the market before being sold. There will no longer be a shortage when average market times are within 60 to 90 days. Only then will we have some normalcy in the market and some stability in the pricing. And it's only then we can begin to discuss the rather romantic and utopian notion that a teacher or police office or lifeguard can live in the same community in which they work.

      So yes, we do have a very acute housing shortage, and that shortage cuts across all income levels; especially in areas that have jobs. Our population and job growth over the decades has already gobbled up all the available land, so the only place left to build is up!

      Delete
  21. I support no major development is So Ca south of LA. Its over developed and has overtapped water supply and destroyjng the surrounding envirnment. Plus why would I want even more aggro traffic running over our citizens and more crowds at the beach, and stores.

    Keep Encinitas nice and support no/slow growth candidates, not the incumbent cronies. Support developments where there is more and water like in northern CA and other wetter regions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! That's what I said in the '70's!!!

      Delete
  22. Ha!! and I agreed back then.... its just getting worse. Pave over paradise.

    the same holds true today. Will we ever learn?

    ReplyDelete