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Pleasanton Pension Update

Original post made by Bart Hughes on Dec 19, 2010

Unfortunately (as expected), the Pleasanton public employee pension situation has gone from bad to worse. The City of Pleasanton received its most recent CalPERS actuarial report that contains nothing but bad news:

- Employer contribution costs will be increasing a minimum of 31% over the next three years
- As an example, Miscellaneous Employee employer con(tributions will be increasing 22% (from 17.3% to 21.1%) – the suggested 2% employee contribution won't even cover next year's increase)
- Funding levels for all four accounts (Miscellaneous, Fire, Police, Medical) are all now in the range of 50-60% - substantially below the critical funding level of 80% - labeling this as CODE RED is not overstating the situation by any stretch

In addition to this news, CalPERS announced on Thursday the recommendation to lower their investment return assumption from 7.75% to 7.375%. While this doesn't seem like much on the surface, it means the following (on top of the increases outlined above):

- Additional Employer Contribution increase of 300 basis points (14% cost increase) for Miscellaneous employees
- Additional increase of 600 basis points (18% cost increase) for safety personnel

City Management/Mayor and Council have acknowledged we have a pension issue that needs to be addressed, but the key question is whether/not they will move quickly enough to create a more equitable distribution of responsibilities between employees and taxpayers. The new January 2011 Miscellaneous Employee contract will be very telling. Hopefully we will see management's concerns turned into concrete and substantial action.

Comments (47)

Posted by Bill, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 19, 2010 at 10:45 am

The Bay Area is a laboratory of how the dynamics of civil service pay can take on an independent life of its own, driven by politics and detached from the economic and revenue realities. Here are some sample salaries from Bay Area cities that are equal in size to Pleasanton or slightly larger.

City Manager >$330,000
Police Chief >$253,000
Asst Police Chief >$231,000
Dir of Public Works >$227,000
Dir of Elect Utilies >$221,000
Director of IT >$214,000
Fire Chief >$209,000
Deputy Fire Chief >$208,000
Police Captain >$192,000
City Librarian >$186,000
Dir of Human Resources >$184,000
Park and Rec Director >$177,000
City Clerk >$163,000

These positions have seen the most 5 digit pay increases in the last decade. Some of them topping $20,000 in a single year. These salaries do not include car and housing allowance, vacation pay, health benefits, retirement payments, or bonuses.

Again, these are salaries for modest size Bay Area cities, 50,000 to 100,000 population. They are not salaries for public employees of the three very large cities, San Jose, San Francisco, or Oakland.

It is interesting to note that the four Superior Court judges just appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger will make less in salary then the City Librarian given as an example.

Unions for municipal employees have become nothing more then public cartels, currying favor from politicians and judges for their small membership to the detriment of the larger society.




Posted by Concerned, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2010 at 1:19 pm

We have gone beyond the critical point. We are all to blame for not becoming more active earlier. Hopefully people will become engaged now. Come to the Jan. 4 meeting. Read "Broke" by Glenn Beck. Gives a great background to the mess we are in. We are all accessories to this pillaging of America by being passive.


Posted by Citizen, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Dec 19, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Apparently we all do not agree, but I for one will be thankful when I am home on Christmas enjoying the holidays with family that there are those who sacrifice their holidays, nights and weekends with theirs to be ready and available should the rest of us dial 911 in our darkest hours. Maybe we our our police and fire a more than the average person in the private sector who most likey does not take much personal risk during their workdays. Just my thoughts...


Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown
on Dec 19, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Ruby Hill Citizen -- nice that you have a job that always allows you to be home on holidays. Maybe you are a teacher.
Who do you think drives your bus, flies you plane, works in the ER or any number of other jobs where they do not have unjustified pensions and they work 24/7/365? I worked the first 10+ years of my career without a single holiday off, ever. That's how seniority works. I do not have an obscene pension that will be paid by the taxpayers, or paid by anyone else. My retirement income will be what I have saved. And my industry does not have stock options, bonuses or higher than standard wages.
The time is past due for requiring full contributions from the workers. Taxpayers have been raped enough by the overly generous benefits. It has been asserted before that if we did not pay these benefits we would not get the workers. Bull pucky. Check out the list of applicants for every fire or police department that hires. About 200 or more applicants to 1 job opening. Make them pay the entire contribution, let some quit, backfill with people who take the job for the JOB not the obscene pension.


Posted by Same here, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Let's look at this realistically - there are many people who work Christmas all the time so they can put food on the table - not to be altruistic. My Dad worked for a newspaper and he always worked all through the Holiday season - every year until I was about 20 years old - even Thanksgivings were spent without him at the table. He ended up with a pension of less than $100 a month in 1990 (which by the way, is $100 a month more than everyones else in my family - and my friends too - no one in the private sector gets a pension). When my husband was in the military, we spent 5 Christmases apart. I lived with these people for years and they worked holidays because they had to - it was not really an altruistic exercise. If they could have had the day off, they would have! It was just part of the jobs they selected.


Posted by OH MY GOODNESS, a resident of Birdland
on Dec 19, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Please note that the salaries above stated by Bill are MORE than what Pleasanton employees make and to introduce them as reasons why Pleasanton is in trouble is just wrong. In fact this whole line of reasoning is one sided and does not take into consideration all the facts. Since when do we compensate people based on what somebody else gets? If that was the case city workers would have been bringing home bonuses in the 90s, maybe stock options or double digit increases. Just because you just started to pay attention does not mean that there has not been adjustments. Get all the facts, not just the sky is falling stuff that you predominantly see above.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 19, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

OH MY GOODNESS wrote: "Since when do we compensate people based on what somebody else gets?"

I'm not sure I understand your question. Salary surveys are a pretty standard affair for achieving knowledge about what to pay based upon what others get. Companies want to have competitive compensation knowledge. Government tends to pull their data only from other governmental entities which is one reason why public sector pay and private sector pay has differences.


Posted by Sick of entitlements, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Hey citizen, are you comparing safety union workers to newspaper people, restaurant waitress, airline pilots, Rite Aid clerk, shame on you for not sharing. Actually, in my family, we always celebrated Xmas EVE, why ???my Dad owned a 4 person gas station......without making all that double money ! don't whine, if you don't like it, we'll be happy to accommodate you.


Posted by Sick of entitlements, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 19, 2010 at 9:59 pm

OH My Goodness, all you public unions in each city have been using each other, 'standing united in negotiations' telling the council people you own, that to "" BE COMPETITIVE "" they had to meet the blackmail ransomk offered in neighboring citie !!
Do you really think we are that dumb ?? wrong, your tricks have been obvious for years. time's up !


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 8:43 am

60 Minutes aired a story last night titled: "State Budgets: Day of Reckoning". The story is actually about the financial crisis in state and local governments across the country. It is Must See TV.

Web Link)


Posted by b, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 9:00 am

Those are extreme/outlier salary examples, and don't represent what 95% of these hard-working men and women actually earn. Pleasanton's actual salaries are posted on the City website (go look it up--I've already posted the link several times), and appear to be very much in line with actual market pay.

That said, don't forget that our humble Pleasanton police department has over 100 employees and is a very complex organization. That is true of all the other police, fire, school, city management, etc organizations of all these 50-100k resident cities all over the Bay Area. What do you suppose people at the CEO to VP levels at 100-500 person Silicon Valley companies earn? Why wouldn't we want equally strong leaders running our 100-500 person public agencies?


Posted by Daniel Robinson, a resident of another community
on Dec 20, 2010 at 9:27 am

I'm quite new to and undecided on this issue, but couldn't help but notice the excessive whining and lack of concrete numbers in this entire string. Only Bart and Bill gave any numbers whatsoever, albeit both somewhat vaguely. Bart gave percentages of percentages and Bill an array of salaries from unspecified cities. But at least this is a start. The rest of us have simply whined about how hard work is; and this is meaningless for its ubiquity. Shouldn't the questions be:
1) Do the specific dollar amounts of pension obligations and city income spell disaster or survival for our city?
2) Do the current pension obligations provide employees with an honorable, excessive, or poverty-stricken standard of living for their retirement? In other words, are we talking about million dollar retirments, or simply $100 a month?

I think it is reasonable to agree upon a pension amount sufficient for an honorable standard of living for our city employees, and to hold ourselves to that contractual obligation. But we will not arrive at this agreement if we hold to the political rhetoric of municipal conspiracy. The way to win here, is to discuss specific numbers for specific jobs in our specific city, as well as the specific means of financing all of this.


Posted by Einstein, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Dec 20, 2010 at 10:41 am

Einstein is a registered user.

Well we are now in a situation where the clock is ticking like in one of those bomb movies and we only have so much time to deactivate the bomb by our actions (cost reduction) and if we don't the bomb goes off (we run out of money) and I see that problem is that many are still not convinced we even have a problem or if they do acknowledge it they see the only way out is by taking more money from people.......amazing.


Posted by b, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 11:03 am

So because someone posts numbers, you automatically assume that they are accurate, represent reality, and/or haven't been chosen very selectively to oversell an extreme viewpoint?

Ok, I'll post numbers, again. Here are pleasanton's actual management salaries: Web Link . They are WAY lower than the misleading numbers Bill posted. In fact, they strike me as rather low for people managing 100-500 person organizations.

The City of Pleasanton currently has a balanced budget and healthy reserves. Can we please stop the bankruptcy fear mongering?

CalPERS is taking advantage of the lousy returns of the past couple years to pad their reserves, plain and simple. You and they are basing all of these assumptions on 10-year numbers that start near the market peak of 2000 and end new the market trough of 2009. Next year's 10-year number will be way better (it mathematically has to be--2001 was a market bottom and 2010 a top) and they'll be laughing all the way to the bank.

This is classic Tea Party alarmism. Select the worst looking numbers and present them as valid statistics.

Do your own homework, folks.


Posted by Bart Hughes, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 11:05 am

For those who want more information regarding the Pleasanton entitlements situation, please send an email to

ptownreform@gmail.com

and I'll send you a summary document based on the city's own information.


Posted by Bart Hughes, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 11:14 am

b - I look forward to the day you start following your guidance to others.

I don't think I can be any more factual than I have been and there is absolutely more "date distortion" in my analyses. I have selected the period of 2002 - 2010 because 2002 is the year that Pleasanton substantially increased its pension plan and the year they projected what the incremental costs would be. It is quite right and healthy to go back and compare planned with actual.

If you want to label this as extreme and stereotype me because you don't like the implications of the city's own facts, then so be it. I will continue to focus on getting the facts out there so we as a community can make better decisions.


Posted by Bart Hughes, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 11:17 am

Should be "no date distortion", not "more date distortion"


Posted by Bart Hughes, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 11:29 am

I want to be clear that I believe that overall Pleasanton is a relatively well run city. We are not even close to being a Vallejo. Nelson and his team deserve a lot of credit for this.

Let's not forget that Pleasanton is fortunate to have a robust tax base that has grown twice as fast as the population/inflation baseline. But the mathematical fact is that every year we spend much more than planned on employee entitlements. This $15M comes from somewhere - reduced reserves, reduced service levels, etc.

If we as a coummunity don't get a handle on this growing cost category, it will continue to undermine the financial strength of our community. It is time for a better balance of sacrifices between citizens and employees.


Posted by radical, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 11:43 am

b- Seems to me Bart posts a lot of facts, and you have a lot of opinions -- where is any of this:

CalPERS is taking advantage of the lousy returns of the past couple years to pad their reserves, plain and simple. You and they are basing all of these assumptions on 10-year numbers that start near the market peak of 2000 and end new the market trough of 2009. Next year's 10-year number will be way better (it mathematically has to be--2001 was a market bottom and 2010 a top) and they'll be laughing all the way to the bank.

backed up with facts?

second portion of what you posted I would like backed up with facts:

the list of salaries strikes you "as rather low for people managing 100-500 person organizations"

How many titles on that list match to actual people in Pleasanton who manage a 100+ person organization?


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 1:14 pm


b wrote:
"Ok, I'll post numbers, again. Here are pleasanton's actual management salaries: Web Link . They are WAY lower than the misleading numbers Bill posted"

b, these aren't actual salary numbers. I'll give you an example, the link you provide lists the Assistant City Manager compensation at 13,386 month, or 160,632 dollars per year.

Here is what one of the two Assistant City managers actually earned last year:

Base: $185,242
Other: $6,861
Total: $192,102

As I have explained before when you develop a salary survey you add back, to compensation, any "employer pick-up" of pension cost (what the city pays on behalf of the employee) and in this case it is 8%. 192,102 * 1.08 = $207,470 dollars per year.

Adjusted total compensation: $207, 470

If this person retired the above number is what would be used to calculate his pension. It is also 29% higher than your linked number of 160,632. But that isn't really total compensation. I'll ignore all the medical benefits, which are substantially more generous than anything I've ever received, sick leave payouts, 14 paid holidays, and just add the dollar amount that the city pays toward the pension (I've already added back the employee share that is paid by the city so I'll ignore that part). The city's cost (employers share) is 17.32% of salary. I need to take one step back here, to avoid double accounting, and multiply the $192,102 by 17.32% = $33,272

Total adjusted compensation is now 207,470 + 33,272 = $240,742.00

If that was confusing take the 192,102 * 1.2532 (1+ the 17.32% employer contribution + 8%employer paid employee contribution) = $240,732.00

Much different than your link that says Assistant city manager 13,386 month. I'm guessing that is just a salary schedule number, and salary schedules don't really tell you anything.


Posted by Bill, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 20, 2010 at 1:21 pm

b- I think I was very straigtforward in saying that the salaries I posted were "not" salaries of Pleasanton. I also made no reference that Pleasanton was in "trouble". I only posted these salaries as a warning that Pleasanton "could" suffer the same fate as a city like Santa Clara, which is falling off a finanical cliff because of debt obligations to pensions. The City of Santa Clara, like Pleasanton, was very conservative in the financial management of their budget. They were blindsided by the economic downturn in conjunction with obligations from the pension plan that was overly generous. They are now stuck, not only with the reality of laying off municiple workers, but selling a 30 year bond to cover pension entitlements. The city will most likely be paying off this bond long after the retirees have died.

Too many people like yourself, in all areas of the government, have used the "don't worry, everything is under control" tactic one too many times. The time for verification is now.


Posted by t-time, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Heard enough talk? I have. If the city will not restore fiscal sanity, WE must!

We must be preparing for the worst now. Mr. Hughes has clearly laid out the facts. The city will reveal their hand on December 31st when the new contract is revealed. Will they take serious action, or play in the margins?

We're organizing NOW in preparation. To keep getting the facts, please sent Mr. Hughes your contact info ptownreform@gmail.com.

However, if you want to organize and make sure the city hears OUR concern that this is a serious issue that must be addressed, come join us here: Web Link

"b" has shown us the mindset of what we are up against. See you in the precincts "b"!


Posted by b, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Fire up the torches! We're going to have a good ol' fashion rally down at the town hall. I just couldn't help laughing as I read through all the fire and brimstone in these comments. Lots of misguided anger fueled by misleading statistics, but not much actual organizational management experience.

I've already said many times that I'm all for fiscally conservative management and for leveraging this opportunity to negotiate better terms with the unions I've just seen very few ideas on here that are actually practical--most of this is short-sighted thinking that'll hurt lots of real people.

Have your fun. I'll go share my ideas with the people who actually have to implement this in the real world.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 7:11 pm

b, did you read my comments regarding your link to city management compensation (about 5 posts above this one)?

I thought maybe you were just under an erroneous impression of what actual compensation really was. Now that you are discounting this it appears that you really don't care what actual compensation is which hardly qualifies you as the "fiscal conservative" that you call yourself. For the sake of discussion, I encourage you to be both honest with yourself and honest with everyone else. We have crossed the threshold of fiscal sanity and have entered a room that appears to be a black hole.

I would like to ask your help in identifying solutions to this very difficult problem. Not everyone is aware of the severity of the problem that we face but, I can assure you that when Governor Brown gives his first "State of the State" speech everyone that pays any attention at all will be as shocked and concerned as the people that post on this site. It's only a matter of time.


Posted by John, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 7:27 pm

I agree B, and how funny that in one line Bart mentions- "I want to be clear that I believe that overall Pleasanton is a relatively well run city. We are not even close to being a Vallejo. Nelson and his team deserve a lot of credit for this."

Yet Bart, you seemed to have rallied the Tea Party to panic level. I guess without an election to focus on, its time for the public servants to get it. After seeing "Inside Job," I wonder about those who demand public servant acctability, but yawn about the Wall St execs who walked away w/millions. Talk about sick of it...why take the focus away from the real problem?


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 7:53 pm

I'm a bit tired of the Wall Street is the problem so we should ignore Main Street city employee pension liabilities. I'm not one bit happy about how Wall Street greed affected my retirement savings but I'm not sure how the staggering CalPERS losses affect you - they don't. I need to worry about more of my money disappearing in the form of increased taxes - so that I can pay more towards your guaranteed pension while trying to fund my own. I am no longer willing to do that! Your biggest concern is that you will be required to contribute something greater than ZERO to your own pension. Ridiculous! Tell me, how is that fair? And how did the Wall Street meltdown affect your retirement?


Posted by Robert Byrd, a resident of Downtown
on Dec 20, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Is is not just salaries. Our City Council also needs to look at how over-generous vacation weeks are added up to extra pension benefits. This is the "spiking" that Contra Costa Time editor Daniel Borenstein describes so well.

City Council needs to:

- make employees pay their fair share for retirement - the employees need to pay their 8%;

- cut vacation to 10 business days (because they already get all the State and Federal holidays) for ever worker;

- cut medical insurance for retirees and their wives to just the worker - and only if the worker was a firefighter or a police officer, not office clerks, and stop payments once Medicare kicks in

- make workers wait until age 65 or 67 to retire - just like the rest of us in Social Security - and then they get Medicare, so the City does not have to pay medical benefits

This is a multi-headed monster of overpayment to employees, who seem to think their job is just to stop all projects.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 20, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

b,

Please look at Web Link for compensation information. The State Controller had requested all local governments to report their compensation information to the State after the Bell scandal. This website allows you to easily look at the information Pleasanton provided. The data is for 2009.

The information is presented by position, not names. A salary range is given along with actual earnings reported on the W-2 form, so that means any bonuses and overtime that was paid to the employee, not just their salary on paper. There's also additional columns for the pension formula, what the employer paid towards employee's share of retirement contribution, and what the employer paid in health/dental/vision, etc.


Posted by Concerned, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 20, 2010 at 11:04 pm

Muni bonds have been dropping thru the floor over the past few weeks primarily due to the Pension bomb threat. Muni CDS (Credit Default Swaps) are going up substantially as the Wall Street vultures are playing for the next subprime fiasco. In fact I need to find out how to buy these Muni CDS'es. If you think this is just scaremongering you are whistling dixie. Unless cities,counties and states get their costs (Particularly pensions) under control we are headed to the next debacle in the not too distant future.


Posted by two cents, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2010 at 1:07 am

b - where are all the jobs you said your dept had available on the other thread? You never posted where they were advertised. There are tons of people unemployed. Let them apply and get the great pensions and benefits that you think private sector people aren't interested in.


Posted by Bart Hughes, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2010 at 7:26 am

Just because Pleasanton is in relatively better financial position than other cities, doesn't mean it doesn't have a pension issue that needs to be solved. Since 2002, we have spent an extra $62 Million that was unplanned. This is $62 Million that could have gone into a whole host of city services. If we don't get a handle on this now it will grow into an even larger problem. And I for one refuse to wait for it to get worse before we are forced to deal with it under more adverse conditions.

Yes there are bigger issues that we face as a society, but I've decided to focus on a local issue that I can influence for a better outcome for all. And this is an issue that is important to the majority of people out there as evidenced by very strong election results.

Progressives will continue their name calling and categorizations (never seeing the hypocrisy in this), but it won't stop this momentum. People know deep down that it is fundamentally wrong to force greater taxes/reduced services on others to enable a special class of people to retire very young.

We will create a better balance. It is just a matter of time.


Posted by Sick of entitlements, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2010 at 8:39 am

So b, you believe or try to make us believe everybody in the private world receives CEO pay and benefits. That is not the case.
Yet, obviiously by your union activities, negotiations, and rhetoric you DO believe everybody in police and fire (safety) IS entitled to CHIEF (ceo) pay and benefits. Oh right, I forgot everybody DOES end up getting chief pay, with the high-speed revolving door program. . . brief stop at chief, pass GO, collect new chief level calculations, then retire.


Posted by Frustraded, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 21, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Look for the boart to try to sweep this one under the rug again.

The problem is, there is a giant mound of dirt under the rug.

CLEAN UP THIS FRIGGIN MESS!


Posted by b, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Stacey,

What am I supposed to take away from the salaries you posted? I'm still not feeling outraged.

The levels of pay look like perfectly normal Bay Area income. Maybe you're the one who is underpaid? I'm just not getting it, sorry.

Police, Fire and certain city staff are a special case. They often get overtime for working special events--all these festivals that the city, PDA, etc like to put on, private events, and so on. When it is a private event, the city is sometimes reimbursed for the services, so it isn't quite as expensive as it appears.

It is cheaper to pay overtime to existing officers/staff for these occasional events, rather than hiring additional full-time people to be available for events that occur on an irregular schedule.

If you don't like how much they make in overtime, maybe what you really need to be doing is complaining to the Council, PDA and others about cancelling the events that require overtime on the part of Police and other city staff--Concerts In The Park, First Wednesday, open houses, festivals, etc. That's the real problem


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm

San Diego has some good ideas bout pension reform:

"A taxpayer advocacy group has crafted a set of principles it says needs to be included in any future proposal to change employee pensions in the city of San Diego.

Pension changes have been at the forefront of plans put forward by City Councilman Carl DeMaio and Mayor Jerry Sanders after voters roundly rejected a proposed sales tax hike in November. DeMaio wants to lower the amount of an employee's salary that counts toward a pension and Sanders wants to eliminate pensions for new hires and replace them with 401(k)-style plans.

In a letter sent Tuesday to Sanders, the San Diego County Taxpayers Association said any plan needs to require:

The creation of a 401(k)-type plan for new hires coupled with either Social Security or a modest pension equivalent to Social Security.

City workers pay an equal share of pension costs, ending a long practice by the city of using taxpayer money to reduce costs for employees.

Allowing current workers to opt for a lesser pension, a move that would enable them to receive more take-home pay.

Pensions to be based on a worker's base annual salary and exclude bonuses, such as add-on pay for holding an advanced degree.

Pensions to be based on the highest three consecutive year average of a worker's salary, not the highest single year as is common now.

"Adoption of these principles, through the legally required negotiating process or a vote of the people, will provide both short-term and long-term savings and assist in resolving the city's structural budget deficit," wrote George Hawkins, the association's vice chairman."


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 22, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

b wrote: "What am I supposed to take away from the salaries you posted?"

Better, more expansive and understandable data than what you were using. What the heck is a "monthly control point"? Why does something have to be obscured by jargon? Plus, the salary information you posted was not inclusive, only showed management and confidential by position. The link I provided shows actual amounts for actual people the City provides compensation to.

b also wrote: "The levels of pay look like perfectly normal Bay Area income. I'm just not getting it, sorry."

I never offered an opinion about the level of salaries. I'll leave that to others. The reason you're not "getting it" could be because you are allowing yourself to get distracted away from the main point about the pension crisis. The issue isn't about what people are getting paid right now, but how the pension benefits are calculated and funded.


Posted by b, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2010 at 3:47 pm

But you're not proposing to reform CalPERS and the pension system. You're proposing an initiative to handcuff the administration of the City of Pleasanton. In that context, it is vital to analyze total compensation, competitiveness in the Bay Area labor market, etc. Which is exactly why I've done so.

You can't handcuff the City without considering all the implications. But I seem to be the only one interested in the bigger picture--everyone else here is just out for blood.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 22, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

b,

I think you're familiar enough with what I've written on this subject that you understand that I'm not the one jumping to an initiative. I've written my feelings on using initiative earlier.

Locally, we can implement changes to the way we calculate and fund employee retirements that have a positive effect.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Dec 22, 2010 at 4:49 pm

"b", if you oppose a ballot initiative something tells me it is probably in my best interest to support the idea. Can't quite put my finger on just why that is but I'm learning a lot from following these topics.


Posted by truth, a resident of Birdland
on Dec 23, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Hey Bill,

put a vest and gun belt on and go walk a beat..and when you say "no problem there is no crime in Pleasanton" you may realize it is because of the brave men and women who walk that beat and are out there preventing the crime so your city and family can be safe. Walk a mile in their shoes. Go see soem of the stuff that they face daily and say they dont deserve their pay. bet ya voted for Obama didnt ya? Lets talk about a waste of money...can you say stimulus.


Posted by Sick of entitlements, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2010 at 10:23 am

truth, Noboody says they don't deserve pay.. But the AGE of retirement, . . the excessive AMOUNT of RETIREMENT pay, . . the NOT contributing to their OWN retirements, . . the too-short stop-off as Chief, just to get next level of RETIREMENT pay, in a conspiracy and in collusion with each other and the officials they have bought-off.....THAT IS WHAT THEY DO NOT DESERVE ! ! And WE shouldn't be FORCED, despite our own difficulities, to have our meager accumulations CONFISCATED.
Our founders gave us the right to be free INDIVIDUALS,..with responsibilities to care for ourselves, and if we provide for ourselves, NOT be ROBBED by individuals or GOVERNMENT !


Posted by Mark, a resident of Birdland
on Dec 28, 2010 at 5:06 pm

The press is reporting that police officers deaths are up 37% this year from last year. If true, not good. Too bad people complain about the retirement system. So far this year 161 police officers have died in the line of duty.


Posted by Phil, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2010 at 6:54 pm

To "Sick of...",

I don't think your language or capitalization (SHOUTING) helps much. It might drive people to the other side of the argument instead of helping your side. Just a thought.


Posted by GX, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2010 at 6:48 am

I don't mean to minimize the unfortunate instances of policemen dying in the line of duty. But where do you find the equivalent headline of how many total loggers, roofers, traveling salesmen died this year (which is more than policemen)?

These numbers need to be put in context. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are the top 10 most dangerous jobs:

Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2009)
1. Fishers and related fishing workers
2. Logging workers
3. Military
4. Iron and steel workers
5. Pilots
6. Farmers and ranchers
7. Roofers
8. Electrical repairers
9. Truck drivers
10. Cops/law enforcement


Posted by Sick of entitlements, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Phil, BLACKMAIL and EXTORTION . . . .SHOULD be SHOUTED from the rooftops.......and seen as the CORRUPTION they are ! ! !


Posted by Sick of entitlements, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 31, 2010 at 11:03 am

Many blogs back, the mayor bragged the city used the "Stimulus" money to pay the 'city's' obscene retirement 'contribution', that our NON 'negotiators' make FOR our royal employees. I know, I know you're thinking, WHAT ? , I contribute to my OWN retirement. Royalty doesn't have to. .. our officials happily use our money to pick up the employEEs share ( that 'ol union & candidate exchange).
I want that 'Stimulus' figure, in their 'come clean' program in January. Like most stimulus $$ all across the country.... in some form, it went PUBLIC UNIONS ! ! (i think that's called payback).


Posted by Sick of entitlements, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 3, 2011 at 10:45 pm

When are our leaders going to hold their 'educate the public' city-wide, televised session...................to help us 'understand' the BLACKMAIL and EXTORTION program. Yes, Phil, I'm shouting it to all of Pleasanton....my own little 'heads up'....in case they miss their phone calls with the information.


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