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.