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Heavy Handed editing for Police Chief blog

Original post made by George, Danbury Park, on Nov 15, 2010

I would like to know why we cannot have a meaningful discussion on the PW blogs about the Police Chief Michael Fraser's recent retirement. He has done a wonderful job as our police chief, and he deserves a nice retirement package. I think most people would agree earning over $200K is a very good salary while he is working as our Chief.

However after retirement, he will be very well paid as well. Here is how his retirement will be calculated: His current salary is reported at $212K (public information) x 90% equals (also public info. he will earn 3 percent for each of the 30 years he has worked) equals $190K per year x 30 years (life expectancy estimate) equals $5.7 million dollars. The Police Chief is retiring on the heels of the City's Fire Chief also retiring at similar salary and benefit.

The the Core benefits program has not required Fraser to contribute toward his own pension.

The topic of public employees retirement system will bankrupt Pleasanton, most of our regional cities and the state if it is not addressed right away.

I do not have confidence that the existing City Council or Jerry Brown will address this problem.

This IS news and should be discussed clearly in the PW, not just the Times and Herald.

Comments (13)

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Posted by sickofit
a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 15, 2010 at 3:13 pm

The Weekly will pull any post that it disagrees with. It used to be that they would at least put a comment in about "Post deleted due to content" or something along those lines. Now it just disappears as if it never happened. If you are overly critical of the Weekly or our City leadership, it will not be allowed to be posted on this forum.

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Posted by davis
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 15, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Your assumptions are inconvenient, but absolutely correct. Somehow public “service” has run off the tracks and created a class of worker with little concern beyond 50 years of age.

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Posted by Another Software Engineer
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Nov 15, 2010 at 4:25 pm

I agree with George. There was an article in the news (Web Link) and basically the retirement pension is based on the pay of the final year of service. Well guess what? The pay for the final year gets "spiked" by unused vacation, "overtime"!!!!, etc etc.

Does any of this ring a "Bell"? (pun intended).

There should be a tax payer revolt. Our cities and state will indeed go bankrupt.

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Posted by GX
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 15, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Please reference the Pleasanton Entitlements blog if you are interested in the specific impact these cost are having on the city budget. The impact is significant.

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Posted by Another Software Engineer
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Nov 15, 2010 at 6:00 pm

and it is not only Police chiefs, all kinds of public employees!

Read on: Web Link

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Posted by taxpayer
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Nov 15, 2010 at 7:54 pm

My question is when are the "non"- public employee sector going to picket? How do taxpayers change public employee retirement packages when it is the people we elect (at state and federal level) are also benefiting from the package? We need people willing to spearhead a taxpayer protest. I'm not really against the little worker on the bottom - it's the outrageous ones on top. At least lets have an overhaul where public employees have to contribute to their pension like the rest of us do to our 401K's

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Posted by Not So Sure
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 15, 2010 at 8:21 pm

It is entirely appropriate for the residents of Pleasanton to have an open discussion about the benefits of city employees as long as we are civil about it's our money. It is entirely wrong for the Weekly to automatically shut down a thread on this subject as soon as they see it...or to limit it to registered users - another way of closing the discussion.

Many of us feel that 50 is too young to retire on a public (taxpayer funded) pension.

Many of us feel that $200K is way too much $$ for a public pension.

And we should be permitted to say so as long as we are civil about it.

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Posted by Joe1195
a resident of Siena
on Nov 16, 2010 at 11:02 am

Joe1195 is a registered user.

Wow, I guess I'm in the minority so far. I think the retirement package for the Chief of Police if perfectly acceptable. I'm not familiar with the "Core" program referenced in the original post....I am only familiar with CalPERS retirement and the 3% at age 50 for sworn peace officers. Cops put their lives on the line every day for YOU, whether you agree with it or not (Cop haters: Insert donut joke here). Age 50 is NOT too young for a police officer to retire. How would you like to have your home being broken into at 3 o'clock in the morning by two Pelican Bay parolees who are built like tanks, and two 55 year old guys with a gut show up? Not that all 55 year olds have guts, but I'm just saying, there comes a point in life where an officer reaches a certain age and they are no longer as effective at fighting the bad guys as, say, a 25 or 30 year old officer is. The retirement at age 50 is in position for a very solid reason. I should note that many officers choose to work beyond age 50 (if for nothing else, they got a late start in their career and do not have enough time built up to obtain a comfortable retirement salary).

For those who keep us safe and come when called (police officer, firefighters, paramedics, our military men and women), I have no problem with them receiving the pay and benefits that they receive. Also keep in mind that it is factually documented that once a police officer retires, he/she does not live as long as other careers----they've only got a short time left on this earth before they are gone. I don't know any 70 year old retired cops. I'm sure there must be some out there, but those are few and far between----they're all dead long before that age. Something to consider folks....

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Posted by GX
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 16, 2010 at 11:23 am

GX is a registered user.

You are in the minority. Most cities/counties/states are looking to increase the retirement age of public safety personnel because they simply can't afford to have people retiring at 50/55/etc. Remember, life went along just fine prior to SB400 and it will do the same post the much needed correction of public employee entitlements.

Also, keep in mind the following facts. Policemen and firemen don't even make the top 10 list of most dangerous jobs according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And according to Calpers firemen/policemen live as long or longer than the general population (look it up if you don't believe me).

I value and respect the services that public safety personnel provide, but this doesn't mean I want to bankrupt government finances to allow continued early retirement. It is time for a much needed correction.

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Posted by joe1195
a resident of Siena
on Nov 16, 2010 at 11:56 am

joe1195 is a registered user.


Can you please provide a source for your statement that most cities/counties/states are looking to increase the retirement age for public safety personnel? I do not believe this to be the case at all. (I would prefer that we stick to California, but since you mentioned "states", I just wanted to point that out. I am only familiar with CalPERS---not the other 49 states retirement programs).

I am, however, aware of police employees who are in non-sworn positions (such as records clerks, dispatchers, etc) where there has been discussion on raising their retirement age. I am also aware of police and deputy sheriff's associations doing contract negotiations where they would start paying anywhere from 50% to 100% of the monthly CalPERS contributions. Traditionally, for many years in the past, one of the benefits of being a police officer is that the city/county would provide 100% of the CalPERS payment. I think those days are probably gone, as many departments in California have already renegotiated this part of their contract.

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Posted by GX
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 16, 2010 at 12:34 pm

GX is a registered user.

New York and New Jersey are at least two states I'm aware of that are discussing increasing retirement ages for security personnel. If you aren't alread, a good site to follow is

It is good there are discussion on having personnel pick up a portion of pension contributions. To date, Pleasanton has picked up 100% of this including the significant increases that have happened these past few years.

Remember SB400 (3%/50 law) was not supposed to cost taxpayers any extra. Reality, including Pleasanton, has been much different where taxpayers have been stuck with a huge tab.

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Posted by Bob12
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 16, 2010 at 5:23 pm

Bob12 is a registered user.

Government and Public Pensions will bankrupt Cities, Counties, States and our Country.

Most Public pensions are incredibly expensive verses those of the private sector, mine is so little I would be shy to list it. But let's just say its a small fraction of most public pensions and less than 7% of the Police chiefs after 38 years of continuous employment.

If we can afford it - great - if we cannot then let's deal with it before we go bankrupt. Thanks, Bob

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Posted by GX
a resident of Foothill High School
on Nov 18, 2010 at 11:49 am

GX is a registered user.

One more example of governments looking to raise the retirement age of policemen/firemen. If one dared to look around, they would find many of these examples. But instead in CA we are hearing exuses why retirement ages can't be raised. Why it that as life expectancies go up, policemen/firemen continue to demand shorter careers? Doesn't make sense.

Tentative pension proposal (ILL)

Pension reform sponsor Rep. Kevin McCarthy, D-Orland Park, said Wednesday changes still are possible, but some provisions of his plan include:

-- The bill would affect police and firefighters hired after Jan. 1.

-- The retirement age for full benefits would be changed from 50 to 57. Firefighters and cops could retire as young as 52, but it would result in a 6-percent-per-year reduction in benefits.

-- To receive a maximum pension benefit, 75 percent of salary, police and firefighters would have to work 30 years. That is the same as in current law.

-- Police and firefighters would be vested in their pensions after 10 years instead of the current 20.

-- Pensions for surviving spouses would be set at 67 percent of what the officer or firefighter collects

-- Cost-of-living increases would be capped at 3 percent or one-half of the urban consumer price index, whichever is less.

-- Pensions would be calculated based on the average of the officer or firefighter’s four or eight highest salaried years.

-- After five years, if a city falls below what actuaries say it should be paying, the state could take money for pension payments out of the city’s share of state tax revenue.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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