Archive for May, 2012

The Contra Costa $100,000 Pension Club Has Its First $300,000 Member

May 16, 2012

By Contra Costa Taxpayers Association

May 11, 2012

Link: http://www.cocotax.org/100kPensionClub

Excerpt:

  • (Kris Hunt, Executive Director of the Contra Costa Taxpayers Association (CoCoTAX)) stated “ConFire recently announced it needs a parcel tax and the growing pension cost is clearly one of the factors involved.” David Twa, Contra Costa County Administrator, speaking at last month’s CoCoTAX meeting revealed that ConFire’s benefits cost 103% of salary. By way of comparison, private sector benefit costs average in the 33-35% range.

Commentary:

  • According to the news release, retired Fire Chief Craig Bowen of the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District (in Contra Costa County, CA) receives a pension of $25,000 PER MONTH ($300,000 per year) (plus possible cost of living increases in the future).
  • Meanwhile, according to the news release, the average Social Security recipient receives a benefit of $1,229 per month ($14, 748 per year).
  • Also, meanwhile, the Governor of the State of California receives a salary (NOT pension, but salary) of $14,499 per month ($173,987 per year) (Source: http://www.dpa.ca.gov/cccc/salaries/main.htm)
  • Accordingly, retired Fire Chief Craig Bowen receives an annual PENSION ($300,000) that is $126,013 GREATER than the annual salary of the Governor of California ($173,987).
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Santa Ana firefighters collect pensions and paychecks

May 13, 2012

By Teri Sforza

Orange County Register

May 8, 2012

Link: http://taxdollars.ocregister.com/2012/05/08/santa-ana-firefighters-collect-pensions-and-paychecks/154450/?preview=true

A message for all unemployed cops and firefighters

May 6, 2012

You are unemployed because the still-employed cops and firefighters are so astonishingly greedy.

You are NOT unemployed because of “declining property values and property tax revenue, declining sales tax revenue, Wall Street greed, the Easter Bunny, etc.”

There would be money remaining in the public safety budget to hire you if the still-employed cops and firefighters would be willing to accept reasonable compensation and pensions, which are STILL VERY generous.

So, please direct your whining at the source of your problem, which is your astonishingly greedy “teammates,” and stop ordering the sucker taxpayers to give you more money.  NO MORE MONEY FOR YOU!

P.S. The same logic applies to other departments (e.g. Public Works, etc.).

PIO (Public Information Officer) gets lifetime benefits from fire agency

May 3, 2012

By Aaron Burgin

The San Diego Union-Tribune

April 19, 2012

Link: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/apr/19/pio-vests-san-miguel-fire-agency/

Excerpts:

  • (San Miguel Fire District spokesman Leonard Villarreal ), 61, marks five years with the agency this month, meaning he is now vested to have taxpayer-funded health coverage for life.
  • Villarreal works part-time for San Miguel and part-time for the Otay Water District, which has had its own controversies over lifetime health benefits that taxpayer advocates see as overly generous.
  • “He’s been there five years, three of five he’s been part-time, yet he is full time on the books and vested for lifetime benefits,” said Victor Mosso, a resident who has voiced his concerns about the district’s financial situation at a number of board meetings. “That is a problem.”
  • San Miguel kept Villarreal while downgrading one of its busiest fire stations, freezing firefighting positions and reducing benefits across the board.

Commentary:

  • Public entities in the State of California have two financial tsunamis heading their way: [1] unfunded liability for pensions and [2] unfunded liability for retiree benefits (e.g. health, dental, other).  The latter is often ignored and only a few brave leaders have warned employees and constituents that the latter poses a serious threat to the financial solvency of many public entities.
  • ALL California taxpayers should inquire about whether this same outrageous and imprudent benefit is being provided to the employees of their county, city/town, fire district, water district, sewer district, hospital district, community services district, etc.