This is in response to a Letter to the Editor Joe Harn, the Auditor-Controller, wrote on Feb. 2. Mr. Harn’s letter is misleading and does not present all the facts. LAFCO staff have been trying unsuccessfully to meet with Mr. Harn for four months to discuss the CalPERS contract, and only very recently learned of his concerns. The fact is that LAFCO has been operating under the county’s CalPERS contract since 2005, but CalPERS now requires LAFCO to have a separate contract. LAFCO is not allowed to reduce benefits for current employees below the levels in the previous County CalPERS contract. LAFCO intends to reduce benefits for new employees, but cannot do so until we have a CalPERS contract, which CalPERS staff and LAFCO staff have been attempting to finalize. LAFCO’s draft CalPERS contract does allow employees to receive credit for all eligible public service, as do many CalPERS contracts, and LAFCO negotiated for the inclusion of the service credit for veterans. Since the military service credit was inadvertently left out of the draft contract we will ask CalPERS to correct it before the contract is signed.
The bottom line is that LAFCO will save money by having its own CalPERS contract, and will not affect the county’s CalPERS costs. Anyone who is interested can review the official CalPERS actuarial report for the LAFCO contract at edlafco.us and see the numbers for themselves. The new CalPERS contract will save LAFCO over $10,000 of taxpayer money, and that certainly does reflect the values of the community.
JOSE C. HENRIQUEZ