CalPERS’ unbelievable arrogance

Give us more, more, more: CalPERS' board in 2016.

A state senator asks CalPERS to analyze eliminating COLAS — perpetual raises — from public employee pensions, and lowering pensions modestly going forward. And State Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa, gets this from CalPERS board president, Rob Feckner:

“Feckner said he won’t repeat what he said on first seeing the Moorlach letter. He said the request did not come from the entire Legislature, and if Moorlach really believes in his “pet project” he should find another way to fund it.”

And this arrogant dismissal to a request merely to analyze a means to stop public employee pensions from driving cities bankrupt.

As they surely will. Calpensions reports that at the same meeting, “The city manager of once-bankrupt Vallejo expects soaring police pension costs to reach 98 percent of pay in a decade. Lodi employees dropped from 490 to 390 in the last decade. And Oroville, after cutting a third of its staff, recently cut police pay 10 percent.”

“The Lodi city manager, Steve Schwabaurer, thanked the board for its courage in acknowledging there is a “crisis’ and taking some steps. But he said he has not seen a discussion of options other than asking the cities for more money.”

Bingo. That’s all CalPERS ever does, with a blinkered, pro-labor drive to maximize pensions even as it becomes crystal clear the pension system is a malignant tumor. People pleading for sustainability are doing CalPERS a favor. In a decade or so when multiple municipalities go bankrupt, and municipal services across the state are a skeleton of their former selves, CalPERS’ leaders will enter the history books as one of California’s historic scourges.

Wayne Davis, head of CalPERS; Office of Public Affairs, responds:
“… One thing that I think would be worth adding in for your readers: The committee did instruct CEO Marcie Frost to work with Sen. Moorlach on where he can get the information to answer his request.”

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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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