I was motivated to start this thread by comments made on another thread (regarding the San Ramon property tax initiative).
Here are comments from that thread, to get the juices flowing:
Posted by Joe, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, 9 hours ago
I wouldn't read much into the San Ramon vote; after all, Craig Bowen, Chief of the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District retired in December with a yearly pension of $284,000.00 plus full bebefits. His salary while he was on the job was about $221,000.00. Obviously a lot of people don't care about money or they vote like lemmings.
Posted by We need to know, a resident of the Canyon Creek neighborhood, 2 hours ago
Can someone verify what Joe said, above?: ... Craig Bowen, Chief of the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District retired in December with a yearly pension of $284,000.00 plus full bebefits. His salary while he was on the job was about $221,000.00. Obviously a lot of people don't care about money or they vote like lemmings. (end)
As posted on another thread: Pleasanton City Attorney Michael Roush announced ... that he will retire at the end of September after 32 years in the municipal attorney profession, including the last 21 years here.
What's Mr' Roush's current salary and what will his retirement package look like? Pleasanton Weekly, please report on this.
Folks, these are the long term cost traps we've built. We only have ourselves to blame.
Posted by Joe, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, 2 hours ago
We need to know- The San Ramon retirement article appeared in the Contra Costa Times on May 2, 2009 by columnist Daniel Borenstein.
I think it points to just how much citizens are not paying attention until it is too late. This is just one incident at one level of Government. It will get worse for cities, counties and the state. This "retiree" was only 51 so he'll be collecting for a while.
For more stories like this, you might want to check out www.HJTA.com and get on their mailing list.
Posted by taxpayer, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, 1 hour ago
What you need to also keep in mind is that if that fire chief claims that he was "disabled" on the job (too old to perform is one that has worked) his retirement benefits will be TAX FREE. So the taxpayers get to pay twice. There are very few retired fire dept employees who do not make a disability claim. They start that ball rolling on their first day of work. Every muscle ache, every scratchy throat must have been caused by their jobs. They document it for years and retire tax free. Talk about a scam.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Bonde Ranch neighborhood, 55 minutes ago
To We all need to know:
Yes Joe is correct and this system is in place for all police, fire, state, and department of corrections employees although for obvious reasons when the state is going bankrupt it is not advertised. When Gray Davis ran for re-election in order to get the endorsement of these organizations and their unions he promised what is called a 3 point retirement system. They gave him their endorsement and after winning he delivered on his promise. Here is the best example of how the program works. About 3 years ago the joint chief of the Pleasanton/Livermore Fire department retired at the age of 50. He started with the department of forestry at age 18 and while an employee received his degree and worked his way up to chief. As chief his salary was $150,000 dollars per year. Since at age 50 he had 32 years of service and using the 3 point system (3 points is actually 3% of your salary for every year of service) he was entitled to 96% of his salary of his salary for the rest of his life or $144,000 dollars per year! He even stated when asked why he was retiring so young was "I cannot work for $6,000 per year! The kicker is that after retiring he was retained as a consultant to find his replacement for a fee of $150,000 per year! So his compensation after retiring increased to $294,000 plus benefits for the rest of his life. $144,000 per year plus COLA and benefits after he found his replacement if he ever did. California is the only state which has a 3 point system as all the other states have a 2 point system because a 3 point system is not viable. The only way to void these contracts is by California going bankrupt which would reopen these contracts for negotiation. This is the reason why you see so many young retirees as after retiring they can still work for other entities.
Posted by Joe, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, 26 minutes ago
… the school district is part of the same taxpayer abuse. They all use scare tactics ro get voters to vote for their agendas and then don't deliver because salaries and pensions are on the top of their list, not service to the community. These abuses are going to continue until an informed electorate takes a stand and says NO MORE. Measure G is just one sliver of a huge pie; if you vote against it then you are helping to stem the tide of this abuse.
Posted by No Fear, a resident of the Civic Square neighborhood, 9 minutes ago
Joe and Pete,
You are both right on target. Looks like a new topic is needed - Retirement Benefit Excesses of California Public Employees. Our elected representatives live in fear of employee unions, who care nothing of the future of the state, just what's in the best interest of their union members.
A new law needs to be on the books - one that completely reforms the retirement equation for all new hires. A start would be the 2 point structure, not 3. Or perhaps we need to go to 1.5 points. Another would be that retirement moneys would be made available at age 65. Who will start this topic?