The sadder but wiser city

CalPERS, the state pension Hogzilla, is raising pension contribution rates again, over 9 percent. That will cost state government and school districts nearly $600 million.

Before the end of the year, the pension monster will probably jack up the bill to cities, too. Making me wonder whether Stockton on its tight post-bankruptcy budget will founder.

Good news. “We were aware of CalPERS pension reform efforts when we developed the model and we planned for increases,” says city spokesperson Connie Cochran.

She provided these charts.

OK, so the city — or its brilliant consultant — saw the PERS rise coming. Buit how does its prescient projection stack up against projected revenue?

This is not to say CalPERS will not find some future way to again distress city finances.  But to the extent it is possible to anticipate Hogzilla’s growing appetite, the city has budgeted wisely.

I could leave it at that. But perhaps it’s worth adding that the salutary reforms behind this sort of complex (read: dry, bo-ring) fiscal stuff never get the credit they deserve. The Facebook pages of community activists and political wannabees are consumed with police shootings and the return to district voting.

Probably city finances just too obscure for some. Or possibly it better serves the interests of good-government deniers to foment public discontent in preparation for their next campaign.

Well, police shootings deserve scrutiny. But good government deserves recognition, too.

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