Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Gold-plated pensions


Tuesday night the city is planning to pay a police officer’s pension forward for two years. The practice is known as buying “airtime,” so that the police officer, Michael Scott, can retire with a 30-year pension at 75 percent and Mr. Scott is also claiming a disability pension to boot. What disability does Mr. Scott have? Was he shot in the line of duty? Did he fall off of a building? Is he paralyzed?

The Placerville City Council needs to wake up and face reality as the city of Placerville is broke. When you have to inflate your sewer fees and charge an inequitable rate structure to inflate the costs so that you can expense City Hall costs under the Sewer Plant, something is wrong.

Yet the city continues to pay exorbitant public safety salaries and pensions along with $160,000 a year plus benefits for a city manager and $120,000 a year for a community development director for a four-day work week in a town where very little development is going on. Pretty good if you can get it.

That aside, the city is handing out far too much of its budget for overpaid public safety personnel, i.e., fire and police service.

I have no problem with Mr. Scott getting the original pension he is entitled to. The issue is the city spending additional money to buy an additional two years of CalPers pension to get Mr. Scott up to 75 percent of his salary when the city piggy bank is broken. Let Mr. Scott pay for his own two years.

These bureaucrats and city council members keep spending on the public credit card like children while they hope to pass another band-aid sales tax increase and sell our town out for a French roundabout or some other SACOG grant money with strings attached. Our streets and infrastructure are in decay and some of it is a result of the Public Works budget being robbed for the police department over the last several decades.

The California Gold-Plated Pension Gravy Train is over. How many cities will have to go bankrupt because of these pensions before other cities change their poor spending ways?


Letters to the Editor


Discussion | 20 comments

  • Tahoe JackAugust 26, 2013 - 8:41 pm

    I have a Brother-In-Law who just retired after 30 years a as a Police Officer. He is receiving a 99% pension. Yes Folks, his yearly gross retirement is a hundred grand a year. Where do people think the money to pay these pensions is going to come from? Is Placerville going to have parking meters all over the place soon? Street sweeping of residential streets, that is really just a way to hand out parking tickets at $35.00 a pop, or more? That's how they do it down in SoCal.

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  • EvelynAugust 26, 2013 - 9:05 pm

    Foaming at the Mouth: Patricia Whittier writes, among other things, about expensing "City Hall costs under the Sewer Plant". However, last week you stated (here): "No surplus from the sewer fund can be transferred to the general fund." Is Patricia Whittier incorrect?

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  • MorrisAugust 27, 2013 - 3:44 am

    Shame on you Patricia Whittier. For both being - and posting - something so ignorant. If only it was Saturday. And your name was Jane.... Oh well. Guess see you next Tuesday sums it all up too.

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  • Foaming at the MouthAugust 27, 2013 - 2:26 pm

    Evelyn - the General Fund can legitimately charge the sewer fund. For example, it's legitimate for the Sewer Fund to pay for the City Engineer to work on sewer projects by reimbursing the General Fund for his salary and benefits. Where it gets dicey is when cities use their enterprise funds as cash cows to prop up the general fund via illegitimate charges. All the needed information is public, in budget documents. Get busy.

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  • EvelynAugust 27, 2013 - 5:24 pm

    Foaming: Agreed. The City legitimately can charge either Enterprise Fund for operational/administrative expenses incurred.

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  • cookie65August 28, 2013 - 5:22 am

    Morris, I would wager that most people on here are not familiar with "see you next Tuesday". Maybe you should "spell" it out for them.

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  • cookie65August 28, 2013 - 5:49 am

    Tahoe Jack, your brother-in-law is a drop in the ocean. At this point everything the taxpayers are being raped for is earmarked for public sector obligations and it is only going to get worse. An ongoing conversation I have with a multitude of people revolves around a single question. Which stops first, the welfare checks or the pension checks? EDD in California is going to lay-off people because of a $150million budget deficit. I told a story on here recently of a couple I knew years ago who became multi-millionaires in retirement from the state of California. More common that known is the number of public sector workers who have made VERY comfortable incomes for decades who have not saved a dime. Why should they, the taxpayer is going to support them. The same taxpayers who can't afford their own retirement. The people who believe the fire tax has anything to do with fires need to apply for a job as a lamppost.

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  • SunshineAugust 28, 2013 - 7:40 am

    Please, please, know your facts. Not all CalPERS retirees receive the same benefits. For example the entity I worked for took 7.25% of every paycheck for my portion of PERS, plus I had to pay into Social Security, another 7+%. I was paid less than my private counterparts and have no medical benefits. I worked hard and long and sacrificed a higher private salary to receive what little I get today, a far cry from many that seem to be lumped into the CalPERS group. Management retirees usually get it all, but not the average person.

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  • 1036-FrankAugust 28, 2013 - 9:02 am

    This looks like a case of pension spiking and Chief's Disease combined. How many times have I read about a desk or chair attacking very dangerously just before a retirement is filed. The other instant retirement is when an outside agency auditor shows up or an outside internal investigation is started or an election or change of leadership throws out the ones turning a blind eye to all of the above as long as they and the other Gob's rigged theirs before their exit. Working and abusing the PERS system for a huge pension is a fine art and many in this county were experts at it. One of the most blatant, and his Gob's, worked so hard rigging theirs that he wasn't even living in the state when he was appointed as Sheriff by the BOS, he then spiked it and fled very fast out of state with a full Sheriff's pension.

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  • James E.August 28, 2013 - 9:45 am

    Cookie, give me a hamburger and I'll pay you next Tuesday.

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 28, 2013 - 9:49 am our childhoods.

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 28, 2013 - 10:10 am

    ..lololol : Kentucky students to first lady Michelle Obama: Your food ‘tastes like vomit’ . Out of the mouths of babes.

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  • Foaming at the MouthAugust 28, 2013 - 10:36 am

    Fran - Let them eat beanie-weenies.

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  • TataAugust 28, 2013 - 2:29 pm

    I get so tired of hearing about the great pensions public employees get. I was a clerical public employee for 30 years. I paid into PERS as did my employer. I also paid into Social Security, as did my employer, so I was paying approximately 15% or more of my check into retirement. How many people can say they paid in at least 15% of their income each payday in addition to all of the other deductions you’ve got so say over. I also paid into Medicare from the very first day. My husband paid into Social Security and Medicare. Unfortunately I lost my husband. I had been told when he died I’d be eligible to widow’s benefits but at the time I was too young. When I retired I applied for my PERS, and the Widow’s benefits through Social Security. Well, I got my PERS, but was denied my widow’s benefits because of my PERS pension. So I filed for Social Security based on what I had paid into the system. Well, I was granted Social Security, but I pay an 80% penalty because of my PERS!! I paid 15% of my gross income into retirement programs, like it or not, then when I get to the age to draw on my benefits, I’m penalized!! I’ll never live long enough to see what either I nor my late husband put into Social Security, so where’s that money going??

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 28, 2013 - 9:39 pm

    San Bernardino, California, gets bankruptcy protection

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 28, 2013 - 11:08 pm

    Detroit isn’t alone. The U.S. cities that have gone bankrupt, in one map

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 28, 2013 - 11:20 pm

    the beginning of distance learning has arrived...Gov. Jerry Brown signs nearly 30 bills into law. AB 133, by Assemblyman Curt Hagman (R-Chino Hills), requires all textbook publishers and manufacturers who sell print textbooks to California school districts to also provide those textbooks in digital format. SB 185, by Sen. Mimi Walters (R-Irvine), lets K-12 school districts negotiate the price of print and digital materials with publishers. the push for broad band...,0,2863824.story.

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  • Fran DuchampAugust 28, 2013 - 11:25 pm

    Jerry Brown has plan to ease prison crowding without early releases To comply with judges' order, Jerry Brown proposes to spend from state's reserve to house excess prisoners in alternate facilities.,0,2818949.story.

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  • EvelynAugust 29, 2013 - 1:01 pm

    Meet our new Police Chief, Lt. Scott Heller, a 17-year veteran of the Modesto Police Department. HERE

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  • cookie65August 29, 2013 - 3:23 pm

    San Bernardino CA eligible for bankruptcy. "Overwhelmed with public pension debt".

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