Pleasanton citizens are encouraged to sign the petition here: www.ptowncitizens.com.
The city, the workers, and (especially) the citizens all need to understand the challenging fiscal situation presently facing our city. This should be accomplished by the city holding public meetings where we review the data and understanding the assumptions all parties have made when analyzing the city's present and future financial health.
Pleasanton citizen Bart Hughes has been reviewing the city's financial situation and meeting with city officials to ensure he is working with the same financial data as the city. His analysis shows that 18% of the general city budget is now consumed by city obligation in paying employee pensions. In comparison, this number was only 1% in 2002. Additionally, this obligation is expected to grow unsustainably going forward as the city is forced to contribute even more to make up for the city worker's underperforming pension fund.
Mr. Hughes brought this information before the city and the citizens in December and the city has yet to respond publicly to this revelation.
Next Mr. Hughes analyzed the unfunded liability aspect of the city's pension and benefit obligations. This has revealed that the city worker's pension and medical funds' market value of assets (MVA) is severly under funded to meet the upcoming obligations for city workers. This underfunding is estimated to be $290M that the taxpayers of Pleasanton will be required to pay.
The city has yet to respond publicly to this new $290M unfunded liability revelation
Finally, the city will reveal the terms of the new general city worker's contract on Wednesday, Jan 12th and likely vote on approving it on January 18th. The terms of this contract will have a direct impact on the fiscal concerns that Mr. Hughes has raised. Common sense should lead most of us to conclude that this new city contract should not be approved until the recent fiscal concerns are clearly understood and the contract's impact is appropriately factored.
This all leads back to the petition. All that is being asked is that the city addresses this $290M concern in a public forum BEFORE approving the city worker's contract. This is an appeal for transparency by the citizens, to ensure the citizens and the city fully comprehends the present fiscal situation and the impact of any new financial commitments.
The TriValley Patriots TEA Party group has been following the developments on this issue from near the beginning. We have contacted Mr. Hughes and reviewed his analysis and are in agreement of his conclusions. We are part of the grass roots coalition behind the website and petition initiative. We are contributing our technical resources, communications tools and organizational infrastructure to help this effort. However, this goes beyond the TEA Party. Mr. Hughes is not a TEA Party member and others in the community we have aligned with on this issue are also not TEA Party members. Of course, many TEA Party members have joined as well.
So this is an issue common to diverse citizens who all share a common value in expecting careful fiscal stewardship from our city and our elected officials. We invite all citizens who care about Pleasanton and its financial future to urge the city to hold public hearings on this matter by signing the petition.
Let's work as a community to get all the facts out on the table. Understand the basis for all the assumptions that have gone into the analysis. We will agree where we can agree, disagree where we must, but meet this challenge squarely and forthrightly so the decisions we make today are made with eyes open and fully aware of the consequences.
By signing the petition you are not declaring yourself a TEA Partier, a Republican, a Democrat, Independent, conservative or liberal. You are declaring yourself a citizen of Pleasanton and all you are asking is that the city stop, take a deep breath and let's all discuss these concerns with the city in an open public forum.
Details of the petition can be found at www.ptowncitizens.com.
To find out more about TriValley Patriots, visit us here: www.TriValleyPatriots.com. There you can learn about our core principles: Individual Rights, Limited Government, Free Markets and Fiscal Responsibility. Feel free to join our mailing list and hear firsthand what the "TEA Party" is about. If you find out we are not your "cup of tea", you can easily unsubscribe and we part ways amicably. To contact our leadership council visit: Web Link