Letter: City Pensions; Paying the Piper

by MissionViejoDispatch.com on December 14, 2012

Small cities are going to have to pay the piper for the recent election giving Sacramento the Democrat majority to do as they wish.

The biggest concerns of our cities has to do with CALPERS and the unbridled hold they have on the amount of pension funding paid out of California cities operating budgets. Cities similar in size to Mission Viejo have seen these budgets hit hard by the State’s ongoing pension crisis. Cities in the State are seeing increases of 15-17% annually to Calpers and increases in police and fire services of around 10% to cover costs of pension funding.

Do any of us expect to see the Democrats that run Sacramento making any changes to the looming pension crisis in the State? Especially the art of pension spiking in the last years of employment.

While Mission Viejo is a contract city for these services, we still are on the hook for these escalating costs growing at geometric proportions. Mission Viejo needs to begin putting away funds for these costs and start to understand the fiscal impact with every new capital project they begin, or additional change orders the city is asked to fund.

Ed Sachs

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ernie Klein December 15, 2012 at 10:52 am

I doubt very much whether the majority of our city council has even considered the above issue. When they see money accumulating in our surplus they try to figure out how to spend it. A past article in the Mission Viejo Dispatch compared our surplus to other cities in OC of comparable size and found ours sorely lacking.

Why else would they be spending all that money on an unneeded dog park as an example. I wonder if they even looked at the impact on future costs of public services, that the new high density apartments will cause. Isn’t rezoning great?? And now there are rumors of selling the Casta del Sol golf course for more high density living.

In the short term some of these projects may mean more jobs and city revenue but in the long term they will mean more costs for services not to mention traffic congestion and other environmental impacts. One wonders in what ways the council members who support these projects are benefiting? Certainly the city is not.

Felicia Golemo December 18, 2012 at 8:56 am

The tennis court renovation might be part of the lack of monies in Mission Viejo and now we have to spend more on that just to get the contractor back out to check the lights! If the dog park is built you can kiss more money goodbye.

Aside from the millions of dollars MV has spent on randomly individual projects, I have to agree about CALPERS and CALPARS. I am part of CALPARS and I can tell you something fishy goes on with them. I thought that legally those retirement programs had to send out at least an annual statement to people who pay into them. I have not seen a statement in years, nor can I get someone with a pulse on the phone to find out how much I have in my retirement.

With CALPARS, we pay into the fund. CALPERS (I think) is more related to state subsidizing. I don’t know very much about it, but they should be expected to send out at least an annual statement to the members to let them know their money is still alive and kickin’.

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