Pensions On The Ballot

Agree with the plan, too bad they had to throw the S word into the title.

The council voted 6-1 to enact the Sustainable Retirement Benefit Reform Initiative, a citizens ballot petition capping city contributions to employee pension benefits at 10 percent of workers’ salaries. Employees could pay additional amounts toward their retirement out of their own pockets.

Councilman Bill Kampe cast the dissenting vote, saying he did not approve of legislation by initiative.

Union and state Public Employee Retirement System officials warned the city that it could face lawsuits.

Pensions On The Ballot

The Pensions That Pain Us

So, it must be true, that the former city councils are the ones that made bad decisions.

Pacific Grove is looking at a $2.3 million-a-year money pit in retirement liability that increases every year while city revenues remain relatively static.

When the bubble burst at the end of the decade and the stock market plunged following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, income in the system fund dipped while pension benefit costs continued to climb.

“The primary reason we have the current crisis,” mathematician and City Councilman Daniel Davis said in a report he submitted to other city officials in August, “is the city employee pension fund.”

The City Council approved an increase in benefits under CalPERS in the late 1990s at a time when it appeared the added cost to the city was negligible, Davis said, but from 2000-02, “the CalPERS return on investment in the retirement fund was negative.

The Pensions That Pain Us

Who Runs Pacific Grove? Part II

The city leaders or the labor unions? Looking for day to day representation or benefits and unions are slow to respond. But threaten them with loss of dues and they bump the performance up to “meets expectations”.

Laborers Local 270 in Santa Cruz filed the complaint after the City Council’s adoption on Oct. 3 of a city reorganization plan developed by City Manager Jim Colangelo.

The charges contend that Colangelo’s plan deleted 21 full-time and two part-time employee positions while adding 23 lower-paying full-time and two half-time positions.

The changes were made without prior notice to the union or offering an opportunity for union members to meet and confer with management over the changes. A settlement conference has been set Feb. 26 in Oakland.

Union Facts

Who Runs Pacific Grove? Part II