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Update: Pleasanton 100K Pension Club Grows

Original post made by OCCUPY, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Nov 2, 2011

The 100,000 Dollar Pension Club list has just been updated. Pleasanton has a former employee that has just created a new category: the 200,000 Dollar per year Pension club. You can view the rapidly growing list: Web Link

Comments (16)

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 2, 2011 at 11:36 am

Stacey is a registered user.

I think these kinds of lists are only marginally informative because they don't really provide any metrics by which to evaluate the data. Also, I think many agree by now that reform is needed.

Pension reform requires a commitment to creating and implementing a plan that addresses both the short and long-term. Raising taxes and laying people off is just a short-term solution that kicks the can further down the road.

Web Link

"While pension problems at the state level have been grabbing headlines for some time, many experts believe the real trouble will occur at the local level, where worker compensation and benefits account for as much as 80 percent of a city's budget. To cover ballooning pension costs, some cities have resorted to tax increases, worker layoffs and service cuts. But critics call this managing a city by decline and say it doesn't address the real problem. Other cities, however, have begun to tackle the pension problem head on, making changes ranging from modest to radical that will put them on sound fiscal footing in the years ahead."


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Posted by Wow
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2011 at 1:11 pm

WOW. wow. wow. wow.

Very few people get pensions anymore.

Are we all fools for letting this happen or what.

Well, now we know. I would be somewhat chagrined to have my name up there. But maybe not. The money must be nice. I suppose they still get their benefits too. And they probably retired at 50. What a shame.


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Posted by Public unions stole message
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2011 at 1:25 pm

I agree Wow, Wow, Wow. No, I don't think they have any shame....they are laughing all the way to the bank. This is where the protesters should be focusing their signs! Instead, the public unions teachers and nurses, have taken over the message and the protests, to control the message. Yet they are part of the 1% nobody out here on our own have any pensions at all ! Sadly the mobs have the message all wrong.
Stupid is as stupid does.


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Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm

WOW!

MCKEEHAN, DEBORAH ACOSTA PLEASANTON $16,864.49 $202,373.88

Why has it taken so many years for her information to show up?


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Posted by Public unions stole message
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2011 at 3:00 pm

$202,373.. Unbelievable ! ! ! What a assult against all of us. Certainlyi redefines 'public servant'. That's what the mobs should be protesting about...they are so confused. That's why the public union have taken over the message, to make sure the focus is never on them. Truly tragic.


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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2011 at 3:31 pm

"I think these kinds of lists are only marginally informative because they don't really provide any metrics by which to evaluate the data. Also, I think many agree by now that reform is needed."

Stacy, these numbers provide enough evidence of out of control pensions to draw many conclusions. They may not wrap a bow around the pension argument but if your willing to connect-the-dots, or apply common sense, it is very clear we have a big problem right here in Pleasanton. And while I agree with you that many people understand that pension reform is needed, I can assure you that most do not understand the severity of this issue or the inevitable damage that will result from a lack of meaningful action. That comment also applies to the mayor and one or two council members.

Stacey, you say: "Pension reform requires a commitment to creating and implementing a plan that addresses both the short and long-term. Raising taxes and laying people off is just a short-term solution that kicks the can further down the road."

How do you rate the recent efforts of the mayor, council, and city staff?


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Nov 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Madness indeed.

Mike


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Posted by taxpayer
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 2, 2011 at 4:42 pm

A majority of our council members do not see a problem with this many people getting these high pensions. The council has done relatively little, except talk, about the issue. Each month that goes on without reform makes it more expensive for the future. But the council people who want to run for another office want the support of the public employee unions so do not expect anybody running for another office to do anything to help fix this. This is not a new problem so when a council members says they are working on it, it cannot be trusted. They are just stalling the public so they can continue to receive public employee union money for their next office. We currently have three people running for another office (Hosterman, Thorne, Cook-Kallio). I am tired of hearing talk from them. I want to see action. Talk is cheap.

I fell the weekly should be listing the retirees from Pleasanton in the $100K club. Remember that these figures do not include what we are paying them in free retiree medical.


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Posted by GX
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Isn't McKeehan the city manager who was partially responsible for pushing through the 2003 employee contract (with retroactive pension increases) that pushed Pleasanton over the edge?

Wasn't this the same person along with Pico who said this new contract wouldn't cost the city that much?

Aren't these the same people that the current City Council/management like to blame for our fiscal problems?

Isn't this a perfect example of the outcome of the corrupt and broken system that the combination of union bought politicians, public employee unions, and vested-interest city management creates?


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 2, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Arnold,

"I can assure you that most do not understand the severity of this issue or the inevitable damage that will result from a lack of meaningful action."

I don't think the list does a very good job of communicating the severity of the issue because it lacks metrics. A list of just names and amounts tells us nothing about their positions, if the pension was spiked and by how much, what kind of drag on the entire fund does the amount have because normal costs were not covered, etc. That extra information would allow one to better understand things that are wildly out of line and unsustainable. The list only grabs attention. Well, now what? The list almost implies that everyone should have pensions under $100K. Is that the way to go? Sounds like bad retirement planning.

"How do you rate the recent efforts of the mayor, council, and city staff?"

I've made my concerns about the lack of a long-term plan known months ago. A set of goals is not really a plan. How do we get there? I'd offer more of an answer, but I haven't paid as close attention to the issue recently.


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Posted by GX
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 2, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Stacey - The names/figures are effective in raising the awareness of the severity of the situation that years of irresponsibility created. I can often repeat the following facts, but it doesn't seem to have the same effect of specific examples of abuse:

- Personnel costs have grown from 65% to 79% of budget crowding out other services/facilities that Pleasanton citizens deem important.
- Unfunded pension liability has grown from zero to $180M.

All this so that this generation of employees can retire at near 100% of their salaries. It is this specific abuse that was not planned for and none of these employees contributed their fair share to deserve these retirements.

Because of this abuse and in order to fund the implication, future employees will necessarily have a lower standard of living and future citizens will get fewer services that cost more.

While McKeehan's gross misrepresentation of the cost of these enhanced benefits (which she has benefited the most from) may have not been illegal, it was morally wrong.

The more we can shame these people, the better.


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Posted by taxpayer
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 2, 2011 at 9:57 pm

Stacey, I don't think you get it. How many jobs do you know that pay a guaranteed pension over $100K? How many are guaranteed by the taxpayers? How many jobs do you know of that pay for 100% of the retiree medical insurance?

We keep hearing from the unions that there is not problem. Well, Houston, we have a problem. To pay for these pensions, we have to reduce government services.

The city can take the first step now. Make pensions calculated on the average of the last three years and only include salary; not vacation time or sick time. Do not allow employees to purchase additional 'air time', guaranteed by the taxpayers. Do this today.


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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Nov 2, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Taxpayer,

I made it clear enough that people get the message on the problem: we need pension reform, a long-term plan to address the issue. Isn't good retirement planning something like planning for 60-70% of current salary in order to preserve current quality of life? If someone has a $100K pension, how do we know that they are or are not falling within that 60-70%? How do we know the difference between real retirement security and someone just trying to get rich from their retirement benefits? No other information was given. Such lists are just "hey look at me" devices. Now that we all know we need pension reform, what comes after the first impression? The only usefulness I see of posting an update is to keep everyone's attention focused on the need for reform.

GX,

"- Personnel costs have grown from 65% to 79% of budget crowding out other services/facilities that Pleasanton citizens deem important."

This is another example of data without a metric. 65% or 79%; which is a sustainable percentage? What magnitude of fluctuation of that percentage is acceptable? 5% or 10%? I think people don't have a clue unless someone is willing to educate about it rather than just throwing out "grab attention" numbers. $100K is just an arbitrary number. Why not make a list of the $90K pension club? How do we know what is really out of line?

"- Unfunded pension liability has grown from zero to $180M."

And an 80-100% funded target is an acceptable range, is it not? (That's not to say $180M is within that range, only to illustrate how a metric is missing.) I.e., would a policy to fund pension liability at 100% not also introduce service cuts/layoffs that we are trying to avoid?

P.S., I'm not saying McKeehan could be innocent of shenanigans.


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Posted by b
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2011 at 6:03 am

If this looks rich to you, that is YOUR own failure. They negotiated their employment agreements in good faith and in a much more public way than any Silicon Valley worker will ever have to endure. Deal with it.

Yes, it feels good to channel my inner Herman Cain. Thanks for the inspiration.


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Posted by GX
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 3, 2011 at 9:54 am

GX is a registered user.

There is absolutely nothing "good faith" about elected officials granting unaffordable benefits to public employee unions so that they can receive union endorsement during election time nor city management sitting across the negotiation table with unions knowning full well that they will receive the same benefit negotiated.

No where in this "lack of good faith" process is the taxpayer fairly represented.

Is it any surprise that Pico/MeKeehan did what they did and subsequent city leaders looked the other way until the problem became too acute?

Is is any surprise that these "leaders" have the retirement they have which forces significant debt and reduced services on future citizens?

Again, there is absolutely nothing "good faith" about the process nor the outcome.


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Posted by GX
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 3, 2011 at 10:09 am

GX is a registered user.

Stacey - I'm not sure what you are trying to accomplish here, unless it is to change perceptions that the pension issue is not a significant issue for Pleasanton.

It seems pretty self evident to me that having personnel costs move from a historical range around 65% to the present 79% is a bad thing. Many cities have declared fiscal states of emergencies when their personnel costs hit 80%. This delta represents well over $10M/year. Just think what we could have done with those extra 10's of millions of dollars.

And remember this 79% doesn't represent the true cost of employees and hence why we currently have a $180M unfunded liability.

Yes, the vast majority of people now admit we have an issue. It seems it is only union leadership that is pushing back these days. But many people are still trying to minimize the severity of the problem with the hope of minimizing the contributions current employees need to make.

The longer this game goes on, the less beneficiaries will contribute and the more future citizens will be forced to contribute for past services they didn't even use.

One more example of how we as a society are screwing future generations.


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