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Petition - Employee union contract-Pension funding

Original post made by Concerned on Dec 31, 2010

Here is a simple fact that can be confirmed with the City – Pleasanton's unfunded liabilities for public employee entitlements are currently $290M. This is significantly greater than what is deemed as prudent and represents a major issue for Pleasanton.

If you care about the future of our city and maintaining the quality of life we have grown to appreciate, please sign a petition for the Mayor and City Council at Web Link

It is a very simple petition that asks our representatives to consider fully this liability and other new CalPERS information before they sign any new employee union contracts. Unless something changes, the City Council is unfortunately on a path to rubber stamp a contract the union has approved before this new information was released by CalPERS. While this new contract has not yet been publicly released, it will likely continue to be favorable to the public employee union to the detriment of Pleasanton citizens.

Please sign the petition. It is the right thing to do for the future of Pleasanton.

Comments (47)

Posted by Want fiscal responsibility, but petition needs to not be anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 1, 2011 at 10:32 am

I would sign a petition like this if I knew who was behind it. There is the name of a group, but no individuals are listed. I do not want to sign a petition unless I know who is driving the effort. After all, I am being asked to give my name, etc.

Every group, whether is Planned Parenthood, conservative or liberal, usually states the name of at least one person as contact, not just the name of the group. I do not understand why
Citizens of Pleasanton for Fiscal Responsibility & TriValley Patriots cannot do the same.

If you want people to sign and give you their contact information (name, etc), you must do the same.


Posted by Bart Hughes, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 1, 2011 at 11:04 am

I went ahead and signed the petition but you bring up a fair point. I believe this is truly a grass roots effort by concerned citizens who are trying to get the council to better represent the needs/desires of Pleasanton residents.

The effort is aligned with my personal interests in striking a better balance between the sacrifices that we all will need to make to overcome this public employee entitlements mistake. So I had no issue with signing it.


Posted by Want fiscal responsibility...., a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 1, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Bart:

How do you know it is a legitimate effort? Like I said before, all groups I have dealt with in the past, from Planned Parenthood petitions, to other both conservative and other causes, list a contact person as well as the name of the group/organization.

I do not understand why this group would not give the name of the individual (s) behind it. For all you know, it is a fake effort and perhaps someone in City Hall wants to find out the names and addresses of residents who want reform? It just seems weird to have a petition by an anonymous person.

If I have to give my name and contact information, I need to know who I am giving this information to.


Posted by two cents, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 2, 2011 at 12:02 am

I agree with much of the petition and would like to sign it. But agree with the above, I need to know who I'm signing up with. I'm fine with agreeing with Bart, but not a random petition.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 2, 2011 at 12:22 am

"For all you know, it is a fake effort and perhaps someone in City Hall wants to find out the names and addresses of residents who want reform?"

I'm guessing the entire list will be sent to City Hall - and that is kind of the point. If you are concerned about the people that represent you somehow punishing you for signing a petition it is all the more reason to get involved now. This isn't a ballot measure; it is only a list of concerned citizens that want the city to consider the taxpayer before signing contracts that commit them to tens of millions of dollars. If you aren't comfortable with including your name maybe you can show support by attending the council meeting.

I'm only speaking on my own behalf. Maybe someone from the linked site can add some clarification.


Posted by two cents, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 2, 2011 at 12:33 am

My concern is that it's a tea party thing. I'm pretty mainstream, and whilst totally agreeing with what is said on the petition, I don't want my name associated with anything too crazy.


Posted by Bart Hughes, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 2, 2011 at 10:18 am

I am truly an independent and tend to focus on issues. We have a significant public employee entitlements issue in Pleasanton.

I will align my efforts with any group who I feel is working on behalf of the greater good of our society. I believe we all could do a better job of solving problems if we took less of a partisan/dogma approach. The society probems we face are more complex than a simple left/right framework.

If local Tea Party concerned citizens are behind this, then so be it. While I respect the fiscal responsibility tenet of the Tea Party, I am not a member. But this won't stop me from fighting along side them on important issues like this.

It is a pretty simple petition with a simple objective to get the Council to consider all data before they make a significant financial decision. Seems straight forward to me.

But hopefully, the group behind this effort can put everyone's concerns to ease. Otherwise we risk another situation where special interest desires co-op what is best for our overall community.


Posted by Concerned, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 2, 2011 at 11:47 am

I am a concerned citizen and not a member of the Tea Party though I agree with their positions on tax issues. I see the fiscal situation of Pleasanton deteriorating and the pension plan is untenable. The New York Times article of today points it out well as shown.Web Link
I just hooked up to the petition link as it was already set up. I do not plan to lead anything but will be glad to give my support. Pleasanton is way too complacent and needs to take some unpopular steps. The longer we wait the deeper the hole we are in.


Posted by John, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 2, 2011 at 9:51 pm

Its the anonymous tone that is leading this petition that makes it more than just a little concern. Arnold doesnt think we should worry about our names going before our city leaders, but he will encourage joining a secret movement, where the leaders do not identify themselves. What do they have to worry about by stating who they are? Right Arnold? At least Bart has spoken openly, and while I don't agree with him, I do respect his opinion. The anonymous nature of this new movement is deceptive.


Posted by Lugnut, a resident of Avignon
on Jan 3, 2011 at 4:27 pm

It used to be called "benefits". Now "benefits" are called "entitlements" and that is not the correct term. who started this? Everything the rank and file have was negotiated with the city, was done through "good faith' bargaining. Managers bargained with the City manager or someone else. $290 Million sounds excessive to me and the individual councilmembers have all said that pensions will be dealt with. It is only the 3rd of January. Let them get to work on it. Geez, I smell an ole stinky smelly ex-councilmember at work here.....You want crappy employees, pay them crappy wages and "benefits". If you want the Public Sector treated like Private Sector workers then get ready to do your own services like making "crap" flow downhill, filling potholes, mowing your own parks yourselves or doing CPR on your loved ones. The Public Employee of today have College Degrees in a variety of disciplines like you elitists Private Sector workers have. You should not "look' down your nose at the Public Sector Employee. He/She makes your quality of life in Pleasanton "pleasant". I do not disagree that the pension issue needs to be dealt with. It does. But the vile disdain that the Public Employee is shown these days is unfair. Again the rank and file negotiated things they had to get things. That is negotiations and the city has benefitted in thge past from such negotiations. Those who have taken advantage of the system are Management types. Car allowance when there is a city car pool, administrative days off, better health benefits than the rank and file employees, etc., etc. Not much different than the horrendous methods that CEO's make money today, only alot more. I doubt if most Pleasantonians know how to mow a lawn, put out a fire, shoot a gun if need be or do any other type of jobs that Public Sector workers are called on to do for the Public they serve. If you disagree then get rid of Public Employees and do it yourselves. People have to live and eat. The Bay Area is expensive. I know you all have answers to this. But have you walked in a "Public Employee's shoes. The Pension issue will be dealt with and I am confident that this council will do a good job.


Posted by Fender, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Jan 3, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Public Employees used to pay their full portion for their Pensions. Then the City of Pleasanton found it was advantageous for it to pickup the employees portion of CalPers. Now I see Fialho will now alter his contract and pay his full share. I think the other Public Employees might be open to doing the same.


Posted by Sick of entitlements, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 3, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Hey Lugnut, I do believe the union employees started the mindset that "we are entitled"....UNgrateful and entitled. . AND.... 'Vile disdain' ?? Why, that was negotiated...members quite willingly forfeited respect and decency, in favor of personal, UNREALISTIC, GREED ! !
And, why would you say we want "CRAPPY" city employees ? Some of us are UNDERPAID, some OVERPAID....but, We think we do OUR jobs VERY WELL...FOR CRAPPY but acceptable, realistic, liveable wages Any time pay is TOO crappy, we take our 'competence' elsewhere (that option is always open to any & all of us).
Many of us would love the stressfree and guiet, leisure of mowing the park lawns, and with a fat retirement to boot, and no costly, time-consuming degree required, oh that's right, that 'ol degree is used in very FEW city jobs anyway.
I don't think I've ever heard anybody say they "look down their noses" on public union members. Quite the contrary, I look at them and think of the contempt I have for their ARROGANCE and sense of ENTITLEMENT" ! ! They should be falling and kissing our feet for their pot of gold for their fat retirements, which only a small percentage of P-town residents have.


Posted by Walter Reuther, a resident of Del Prado
on Jan 3, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Sick of Entitlements,

Listen good there kiddo, when we signed up for our parks jobs we knew what the benefits were and what the salary was. Nobody, including you, cared until things got a little rough for the decisions you made. We made a good decision so now you must live with yours and keep those tax dollars coming so I can keep living large on my mower............I mean I used to ride the mower now retired.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 3, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Next you know, we may have Frederic Bastiat posting here.


Posted by John, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 3, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Well said Walter. I remember being heckled for my "choice" as family and friends were buying time shares, taking trips, buying boats etc. I stayed home, enjoying your parks. Looks like in the long run, I came out better, definitely paid off now that they are in the hole having made poor investments and bad choices. Reminds me of the tortoise and the hare! The rage is comical though you have to admit.


Posted by two cents, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 3, 2011 at 9:23 pm

Well John, I'm in the private sector didn't buy time shares, buy boats etc. We also do not, and have not previously received a fraction of the perks of the public sector, particularly the management.

We saved money in the bank until the savings rate went to 0, thanks to the bankers who took crazy risks AND the people who bought houses / refurbishments / toys that they couldn't afford and have walked away from so we've been told we have to pay for their bailout too.

I am shocked that we're bailing out companies and people who made bad decisions. But I'm also very upset that we're spending public sector money in a completely unsustainable way because polititions didn't get that the bubble wasn't real and are still insisting on paying their workers bubble wages and benefits.

The pension situation is dangerous, getting worse and even Jerry Brown admits it. Where is the voice of the person in the middle who is paying tax, didn't make the bad decisions and IS getting affected by them every day. Do you really think that services in a city should go down, jobs lost and that our kids education should suffer?

Our country, state and city are facing (or actually unfortunately are not facing) incredibly difficult choices and you're laughing because you think "the other side, the private sector" were all rich and now are mad about their bad choices because they fell behind the public sector. Sorry, the wealthy are still wealthy, the public sector are still spending way too much and the people paying the real price right now is the middle and I'm sorry, but you need a functional middle in this country.

This is not new, but it's getting worse.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 3, 2011 at 9:27 pm

John

The CalPERS investment fund has made poor investments and bad choices. The only difference between your friends and yourself is that the bad decisions made by your pension fund need to paid for by taxpayers/friends that have also seen their retirement portfolio contract significantly. That isn't a function of your good decisions as much as it is a function of bad decisions made by politicians, with the encouragement of the CalPERS/Union snow job that is known as SB400. For the taxpayers on the receiving end of bad political decisions, bad decisions by CalPERS, and their own retirement fund losses it amounts to a double or triple whammy. Taxpayers are now tasked with the responsibility of rebuilding their own retirement accounts while being asked to cover the 290 million dollar shortfall in your pension plan. The Pleasanton pension plans are on life support. The city has known about this issue for well over two years.

You can gloat all you want but don't blame me for being mad about it. Are you willing to cover your own share of the "employee" pension costs? Are you willing to cover the soon to be rapidly increasing portion of the employer pension costs? If not, we should change the pension formula back to a level that you are willing to pay for. And taxpayers should have never been put in the position of being a pension guarantee corp., let alone one that is guaranteeing a 7.75% rate of return. I don't remember ever signing up for that. And I don't want to pay the 290 million unfunded pension liability on top of the all your other pension costs I'm already contributing to.

The system is flat out broken.


Posted by Bart Hughes, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 3, 2011 at 9:33 pm

This campaign is focused on one item - correcting the 2002 mistake of extending retirement benefits based on faulty assumptions. The vast majority of employees were hired prior to this mistake and came in under very different retirement circumstances. They have disproportionally benefited from this mistake for eight years and it is now time to have them contribute to address the fiscal stress this mistake is putting on the city.

The $290M unfunded liability number is derived from public information. Here is how it breaks down:

Misc. Employees Pension - $114.9M
Fire Pension - $94.3M
Police Pension - $45M
Retiree Medical - $36M

Total - $290M

If you don't believe this contact the City to confirm. The longer we try to hide from the facts, the more difficult it is going to be to solve this problem.


Posted by John, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 3, 2011 at 10:07 pm

I have been paying into my pension, monthly for 20 yrs Bart. Plus I pay for my own medical benefits out of my paycheck. And yes I work here in Pleasanton. But you can keep portraying it as if I pay nothing, look how many are falling for it. Talk about sick of it. The attacks with false information are really getting old. But sure makes for a great scapegoat.


Posted by Sick of entitlements, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 3, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Davis sold out all Californians, and BOUGHT support from all you, by granting exceptional and UNrealistic and UNSUSTAINABLE benefits and you willing sold your souls. W, oh, you know what you are. and you ask why you're no longer respected ? He and you were quite willing to sell out all your neighbors....forever, since the deals are totally unsustainable. Then you found more co-conspirators along the way to elect. It's all so UNCONSCIONABLE...and coming home to roost.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 3, 2011 at 10:46 pm

I'm not attacking employees. What I am doing, hopefully, is sharing my frustration and arguing my point in the hopes that my concerns as a taxpayer are recognized. I mention the 290 million dollar unfunded liability because it is a number that has been referenced in this forum, and in city documents. The truth is that the number is very misleading to begin with and I suspect the actual amount is close to 50% higher when using a discount rate similar to private sector pensions. CalPERS will be lowering their rate from 7.75% to something less and that will instantly increase the unfunded liability that Bart referenced, and also increase the city/taxpayer cost of the pensions above the already expected increases.

John, you state that you are already contributing to your pension & health-care costs. I hope you can educate me by sharing what you contribute.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 3, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The Public Sector has been brought to you today by the Private Sector, makers of the Golden Goose. If you've been enjoying this evening's program, please be sure to patronize our sponsor.


Posted by Bart Hughes, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2011 at 7:06 am

John - I'm not sure what you are trying to do here by accusing me of spreading false information that can be easily be verified with the city as being factual. While you may live in Pleasanton, your statements suggest you are not an employee of the City of Pleasanton. Anyone can easily verify at this city site that employees have not been contributing to their pensions for years:

Web Link


Posted by Lugnut, a resident of Bordeaux Estates
on Jan 4, 2011 at 8:48 am

Look, at some point we have to stop the "Blame Game". Everyone of us has taken our "Eye off the Ball". While we were all working, things were done that were not right or "sustainable". I saw a City Manager's Salary go from about $94,000 in 1986 to $225,000 or somewhere abouts that today. In Livermore and San ramon those guys and gals make more even though i think we have a better City manager. Other Public Employees salaries and BENEFITS probably went up perhaps by a similar ratio. Times were good. People were working and the Private Sector people were making good money. CEO'S were/are paid sickening amounts and still are. Then Dot Com burst and then Wall Street went bust and the economy went bust. I think we elect people that do not have much experience in making city government decisions. They rely on City Managers and their "Assistants" on top of more Assistants and Consultants, who are paid ridiculous money and who used to be City Employees. What is government supposed to do? What do you want in the way of Services and what are you willing to give up if anything? Hell the citizens just allowed $8-$10 Million to be spent on a small 250 seat Firehouse Arts Center to appease a few artsy-fartsy folks. That $8-10 million does not include Staffing and Maintenance costs. We spend money drunkenly whether it involves City Employees and their pensions or on the unneccessary. It is a nice thing to have a fancy theater but did we need this theater when we already had one at AVHS, and a 500 seater to boot? You can dump on City Employees all you want but they are not dumb people. Many are college degreed people like you. I believe employees will pay all of their part for pensions. I believe new employees will be hired at a different compensation package from who is there now. I think the city should put together a community committee made up of all sides "of the aisle" to have open discussion and then forward their recommendations to the Council. Then all of us who spend our energies writing on this Blog should go to City HALL and make our electeds do what we want them to do. Period.


Posted by two cents, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2011 at 9:41 am

"I think the city should put together a community committee made up of all sides "of the aisle" to have open discussion and then forward their recommendations to the Council."

Agreed, but this has to happen before they sign any contracts. I think a lot of the concern here is that they are going to agree new contracts BEFORE the public discussion.

And regarding your statement that "we elect people that do not have much experience in making city government decisions. They rely on City Managers and their "Assistants" on top of more Assistants and Consultants, who are paid ridiculous money and who used to be City Employees".

My concern is that Jerry Brown wants to send more control locally, but have local decisions been better than anyone else's? Do we have the experience needed to make the right decisions? Why does it take waiting for big community discussions to make things right when the financial facts are pretty clear?


Posted by b, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2011 at 9:42 am

A more effective way to communicate your views is to send a short note to the members of the City Council. You can easily contact them through the City website, and my experience is that they're pretty responsive. That said, they seem to be hearing this issue loud and clear.


Posted by two cents, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2011 at 9:55 am

Did that already. They would like me to participate in community discussions, which I will do.

I do not think these discussion will happen before the contracts are agreed, which is my concern.

But you're right, maybe we all need to ask them about the timing again since there seems to be some confusion about this.


Posted by Sick of entitlements, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2011 at 10:37 am

I assure you the latest 'farsical negotiations' are taking place in secret now, NOT transparent !
The greedy ones are under the illusion they can keep it all behing closed doors. CA Supreme Court ruled last year, we the taxpayers, and employers are entitled to all information, name, amounts, dates, ages, etc. in papers and online . !
This crew thinks they can go under the radar, and have it all signed before it sees daylight. They are trying to STILL say they're entitled to privacy. Supremes said it's not private, so storm city hall.


Posted by Patriot, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2011 at 11:59 am

"". I saw a City Manager's Salary go from about $94,000 in 1986 to $225,000 or somewhere abouts that today."

That isn't all that much of a difference.

Web Link

$94,000 in 1986 is $187,659 today, when adjusted for inflation.


Posted by John, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2011 at 8:41 pm

There are other public employees who work in this town and are not employed by the city. While you are clearly talking about city employees, many have taken your comments to include everyone. This I have a problem with, the use of "city employees" is not used in what others are posting- it is all "public employees". Maybe you haven't thought of this backlash since you're not affected, but this is what I am hearing daily in this community since these posts started.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 4, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Lugnut,

I think you are right on a lot of things you wrote (courtly art is a society's luxury). Did you read about what happened in Pritchard, Alabama after they just stopped sending pensioners their checks because they ran out of money? I believe that we in Pleasanton can ensure that such things don't happen here. We are blessed with a lot of active citizens and employees who care about our community. Government is us, after all. We need public employees to understand that Pleasanton residents and employees have a common interest in ensuring that our finances are sustainable. I know it can be difficult to not let some statements published here that push your emotional buttons get to you, but please understand that what you read is a sampling of the zeitgeist of frustration. Stay focused on the fundamentals of the issue, like Bart Hughes has been doing.


Posted by Lugnut, a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Jan 5, 2011 at 8:48 am

Stacey, you are right. having lived in this town almost 30 years has shown how the community has changed. They call it progress, I call it too many people who do not know the hard work that was put into this community to make it nice. Public Employees know things are "tough". They are not living the "Life of Riley" and never have. Most live paycheck to paycheck, not all. They cannot live here and enjoy the school system, etc., etc. If this committee comes together they should include some public employees. Also they should use what they call the "Santa Clara City" model whwere their Council made sure faqcts and figures were presented for all to see and not just listen to the League of Cities Pension Rhetoric which is political. Jerry Thorne drinks the League of Cities "Cool-aid" so he will perhaps be biased. This City has/has had some of the best public employees. Many think Unions control Pleasanton---not true. Firefighters pay 2% already, that's a start. At one time they paid all their portion and the city wanted to pay it because it was to their advantage at that time. Get this committee together Council-now.


Posted by Alabama, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 5, 2011 at 9:12 am

Stacey,

Up until a year ago I lived in Prichard, Alabama and here is what happened.

In 1972 due to flight of industry and tax revenue Prichard filed for bankrupcy but failed to rein in spending. Public employee pensions were beyond the capability of the city to pay because the population reduced from about 50,000 to 27,000 so significant loss in property taxes.

In 2004, the city hired an actuary to analyze and summarize their employees pension plan. He told the city the plan would run out of money by the summer of 2009 unless the pension plans were significantly renegotiated. The union representing the pensioners refused to signicantly change the entitlements and in September of 2009, the city's pension fund ran out of money and stopped paying pensions. The city filed for bankruptcy again in October 2009 and this time even the pension retirees lost their retirements.


Posted by resident taxpayer, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 5, 2011 at 9:24 am

Thanks for the personal update Alabama.
Greed and stupidity will sink this town just like Prichard if the council does not force the employees to make full contributions to their pensions. Few of us say that public employees make too much salary -- nearly all of us say that the lifetime pensions after retiring as early as age 50 are obscene.
Make it a 401k type pension, what the employee contributes the retiree gets to live on. This taxpayer burden to support retirees, who often go on to other paid employment, will kill us.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jan 5, 2011 at 9:51 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Alabama,

Thanks for posting that. I read about some of that, how they had been warned and did little. Apparently that city has been in and out of bankruptcy or something like it. I read that Alabama state and a judge wouldn't let them declare bankruptcy most recently and since they ran out of money, they just stopped sending checks. The concern about Pritchard is that is can easily happen in some of the larger cities, San Diego is having their own similar struggle right now.

As for the population decrease, that's happening in many places in the US. It was reported that Pritchard relied too heavily upon a single industry instead of having a diversified economic base so when that industry collapsed they became totally lost. They wouldn't be the first, of course. Cleveland and many other so-called Rust Belt cities have had that problem.

Lugnut, thanks for the mention of the "Santa Clara" model. Gives me something to go look up. :)


Posted by passed50, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 5, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I asked the City Manager and staff about the 290mil and they do not agree with this amount. I think it is wrong for you to provide incorrect information to the public. Many of the City workers live here in Pleasanton and there are many facts about this topic that you are incorrectly stating and omitting! The public would be better serviced by you, Bart Hughes, offering your time in helping the needy, disabled, or elderly, not going after the working class's only form of retirement or causing them pay cuts in these times. If you REALLY have hardship about expenses to the City you should focus on how much money is being paid to the upper management not the few pennies each employee will get as part of their retirement from an average paying job (a job, I might add, that provides you and your neighbors with the services and quality of life that you and your neighbors are enjoying!).


Posted by Bart Hughes, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2011 at 3:55 pm

While the City may not like the $290M number, it is absolutely correct and comes from their own CalPERS reports dated October 2010 and their most recent CAFR (for the medical portion). I had to imput the Police portion, but I am confident in the calculation I did. I urge you to get the reports and do the calculation yourself and come back and challenge me if there is a mistake.

The $290M is based on MVA valuation. The City and other government agencies like to report out AVA numbers because they are lower and don't scare the public as much. AVA is a smoothed number and bakes in assumptions from CalPERS on how they are going to make up for the two downturns these past 10 years. MVA looks at the actual market value of assets.

To give you a sense for how ludicrous the AVA number is, CalPERS will have to achieve approximately a 12.5% annual return for each of the next 15 years just to get valuation back up to the 80%. This assumes absolutely no downturns between now and then. Highly, highly unlikely. Oh and BTW, CalPERS is lowering their returns assumption this year from 7.75% to 7.375%. MVA numbers tell the true story.

And don't worry, I donate a significant amount of my time to the Alameda County Food Bank. I am looking for multiple ways to give back to our community. Providing greater visibility to our unsustainable public employee entitlement situation and effecting necessary change will strengthen our community in the long term.


Posted by Will not sign an anonymous petition, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 5, 2011 at 7:02 pm

People have expressed concerns about the anonymous nature of this petition, and the authors have still not come forward... that says a lot.

Good luck to those ignorant enough to sign an anonymous petition.


Posted by b, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2011 at 7:51 am

Bart, your numbers assume no *upturn* in the next 15 years. Every bit as bogus. We've already had this discussion, but you keep using the same misleading 10-year numbers.


Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2011 at 8:30 am

b

Whether you're talking about ignoring unsustainable pensions or your strategy at a poker table, the probable outcome of your logic is likely financial ruin, or at least more financial pain . If you want to gamble - use your own money.


Posted by Bart Hughes, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2011 at 8:53 am

b - please show me where I make this bogus assumption. I am saying that achieving an average return of 12.5% for the next 15 years is next to impossible. You may be interested in this NYT article

Web Link

where the SEC is investigating CalPERS and CalPERS investment assumptions are once again being challenged.

But feel free to continue to obfuscate the issue while the rest of us try to solve the problem.


Posted by Bart Hughes, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2011 at 9:00 am

b - This is my last address to you as you continue to prefer to take a very dishonest approach with these posts.

I have offered to you many times to sit down personally with you to go over the numbers (which aren't based on 2000 but based on the 2002-2010 timeframe for good reasons). But instead you prefer these dishonest posts in hopes of clouding the issue rather than sitting down as two rational adults.

I can only hope that other rational adults will see through your tactics and join me to help solve an obvious problem with our city.


Posted by two cents, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2011 at 9:16 am

Bart, your research and numbers speak for themselves. I don't know why the only decent analysis has come from a concerned member of the public like yourself, but am very grateful you took the trouble to do this for the community.

Do you know if the leaders will be listening to the community before they negotiate this next contract or are they ignoring all this and talking to us after? There seems to be some confusion about the timing.


Posted by Bart Hughes, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 7, 2011 at 9:35 am

Some are listening but it is unclear whether they will be bound by the "negotiate in good faith" element of dealing with unions. It is very unfortunate that the same thing doesn't apply to the public. There were significant discussions with the union and a tentative agreement had already been achieved prior to this becoming open to the public.

We will see this coming Wednesday with the release of the tentative PCEA contract whether/not our voices have been heard.


Posted by Who, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 7, 2011 at 10:04 am

Bart,

Who are the city or management representives who have been tasked with negotiation of the PCEA contract and in addition who installed them as the lead negotiators?


Posted by Nielen, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jan 14, 2011 at 10:05 pm

I understand that many City employees (if not most!) will not receive Social Security payments during retirement by virtue of the fact that they are government employees with a pension plan. Do these employees serving our City not deserve the relatively modest employer contributions to the Pension fund? And, do these individuals railing against what they refer to as "entitlements" not have anything constructive to do with their time? Who are these people?


Posted by Mike Pearsons, a resident of Amador Estates
on Mar 8, 2011 at 7:12 pm

The average Pleasanton Police officer makes $120,000/year + $200,000/year benefits.

The City needs to publish their compensation in a public document.


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