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The El Dorado Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) has made a mistake. LAFCO has authorized the adoption of a contract with CalPERS that is unaffordable, which does not reflect the values of our community, and that provides special enhanced benefits to LAFCO’s executive officer.
In October 2012, LAFCO approved a contract with CalPERS. The letter that LAFCO’s executive officer wrote supporting the approval of this contract stated that LAFCO’s new contract “essentially mirrored the county’s contract.”
The executive officer’s statement was misleading, inaccurate, and self-serving. The key differences between the county’s contract and the contract approved by LAFCO are:
(1) new county employees receive retirement benefits based on the 2 percent at 60 program. New LAFCO employees will receive benefits based on the 2 percent at 55. The county changed its contract for new hires to 2 percent at 60 because the 2 percent at 55 benefits were unaffordable.
(2) New county employees receive retirement benefits based on the three-year final compensation program. New LAFCO employees will receive benefits based on the one year final compensation program. The County changed its contract for new hires to three-year final compensation because it is cheaper and prevents “pension spiking.”
(3) The county’s contract allows veterans to claim CalPERS service credit for their military service. Lafco’s contract does not allow veterans to claim service credit. The county government and our community have always appreciated the service veterans have provided our nation.
(4) Finally, LAFCO’s CalPERS contract allows individuals to claim service credit for participation in the State Assembly Fellowship Program. The county’s contract does not. LAFCO’s executive officer will directly benefit from this optional contract provision. I am unaware of anybody else that will benefit from this provision, except LAFCO’s executive officer.
Approving special enhanced retirement benefits for the executive officer, while doing nothing for our veterans is way out of step with our community’s values. LAFCO’s CalPERS contract does not essentially mirror the county’s contract. LAFCO has not taken any steps to reduce its future retirement cost while the county has. LAFCO has made a big mistake.
El Dorado County Auditor-Controller