pensions

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

September 27, 2012  --  (San Diego’s East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

LOCAL/REGIONAL

  • County hires planning director from bankrupt city (UT)
  • Census: El Cajon Has Highest Poverty Rates In San Diego County (KPBS)
  • Blaze roared through quiet community like a freight train (UT San Diego)
  • Turko tackles Alpine Boulevard construction woes (KUSI)
  • Judicial race pits establishment against Tea Party (North CountyTimes)
  • Will San Onofre outage mean relief for ratepayers? (UT San Diego)
  • Pattern Energy: The bad stuff just goes on and on (Hawaii Free Press)
  • Prolific disabled access lawyer to be disbarred (UT)
  • San Diego’s median income drops (Fox 5)
  • Pensions fall well below 80% funding level (UT San Diego)
  • Could bullying be behind Ramona boy’s suicide? (10 News)

STATE

  • Watchdog group faults states’ inspection of oil, gas wells (Los Angeles Times)
  • Jerry Brown signs two-year reprieve for state parks (Sacramento Bee)
  • Jerry Brown signs bill allowing same-day voter registration (Sacramento Bee)
  • Gov. Brown signs 18 bills to help veterans, families (Sacramento Bee)

Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

READER’S EDITORIAL: IT’S TIME FOR SAN DIEGANS TO STEP UP AND REJECT DIVISIVE ELECTION YEAR POLITICS

 
By Pat Zaharopoulos, President of the Middle-Class Tax Payers Association
May 24, 2012 (San Diego) -- Not long ago the public praised San Diego firefighters and other first-responders for protecting our lives and property from the wildfires that raged across our county. Today the taxpaying public stands to lose as all of our city employees are being pushed aside by politicians attempting to further their own ambitions with ballot Proposition B.

EL CAJON CHARTER CITY INITIATIVE SPARKS HEATED CONTROVERSY

By Miriam Raftery
 
“It’s going to save us a lot of money….By not having to pay prevailing wages, this gives us more control over our own destiny.” –Councilman Bill Wells
 
“I’m concerned about corruption…It is a power grab by a few individuals and the people must say no.” – David Secor, candidate for Congress
 
May 6, 2012 (El Cajon) – State Senator Joel Anderson hosted a fundraiser last week to raise money for proposition D, a measure that would turn El Cajon into a charter city. While supporters gathered inside praising the plan as a money-saver for the city, outside,  protesters carrying ”Stop corruption signs” claimed just the opposite –that Prop D could enable unfair bidding practices, suppress wages, and potentially cost more in the long run through sweetheart deals with developers  without public scrutiny.

ALPINE FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT APPROVES PENSION CHANGES FOR ITS FIREFIGHTERS

 
January 2, 2012 (Alpine)--The Alpine Fire Protection District has approved pension changes with the Alpine Fire Fighters Association. After months of negotiations, at a Board meeting on December 20, 2011 both sides agreed to a contract extension that makes changes to the pensions of current and future Firefighters employed with the District. All employees of the Alpine Fire District are members of the CalPERS retirement system.

 

ARE U.S. PENSION FUNDS ABOUT TO FAIL? CORPRATE LEGAL EXPERT WILLIAM LERACH TO OUTLINE TROUBLING FORECAST MAY 4 IN LA MESA

May 2, 2011 (La Mesa) – William S. Lerach has spent his career heading up prosecutions of some of Wall Street’s biggest corporate crooks. He's recovered billions of dollars for defrauded shareholders from big banks, corporations, accounting firms and insurance companies. After his most notable success—recovering $7.2 billion for defrauded shareholders of Enron—he appeared in the Oscar-nominated documentary, “Enron, the Smartest Guys in the Room.”

A frequent commentator on economic matters as well as securities and corporate law, Lerach now makes a chilling prediction: that America’s public and private pension funds are poised to fail.  The new financial crisis will threaten the financial security of retirees due to the actions of Wall Street, he warns.

READER’S EDITORIAL: THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT US!

 

By Russell Buckley

March 31, 2011 (La Mesa)--"Today's benefit structure for public employees is unrecognizable from the design, funding structure and goals of the original 1932 version. Instead of retirement security, the public pension became a wealth generator. Initially, state workers retiring at age 65 could expect retirement income at roughly half of their final compensation, based on an average salary earned during their last five years of employment. The retirement formulas and benefits began ratcheting up in the 1940's and never stopped. California's pension plans are dangerously under funded, the result of overly generous pension promises, wishful thinking and an unwillingness to plan prudently. Unless aggressive reforms are implemented now, the problems will get far worse, forcing counties and cities to severely reduce services and layoff employees to meet pension obligations."

 

The words above are taken from the 50 or so pages of the Little Hoover Commission Report released last month. The report is about the State at large - but its words apply so accurately to La Mesa that it seems to be talking about us.

READER’Ss EDITORIAL: WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR US TO GET SERIOUS ABOUT PENSION REFORM?

 

By Russell Buckley

 

March 16, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) -- Last month, the Little Hoover Commission issued a report about California's pension system: Public Pensions for Retirement Security. The Report is filled with information about where our pension finances stand, explanations about how we got here, and dire warnings about where we will be without an immediate change of course.

 

The Little Hoover Commission is an independent government oversight commission created in 1962. By statute, it is a bipartisan board consisting of five members appointed by the Governor and four named by the Legislature, as well four legislators. Here are a couple of examples of the Little Hoover Commission findings:

READER’S EDITORIAL: PENSION REFORM FOR HELIX WATER DISTRICT

 

By Russell Buckley

 

August 25, 2010 (La Mesa) -- The President of the Board of Directors of the Helix Water District opened last Wednesday's rate increase hearing by saying it was imperative that the Board do the right thing. I hoped that meant to hold off on the proposed increase until excess pension costs were reduced. Unfortunately, that was not to be the outcome of the vote.