Monday, August 13, 2012

Contra Costa Pensions: a blast from the past

by BGR -

See coverage from a decade ago as Contra Costa Supervisors tried to justify the ruinous 3@50 pensions they instituted. (Tuesday, Oct 1, 2002), Pg A3 of the CC Times: . . . . Supervisors have studied the retirement system’s balances in depth, and the grand jury probably won’t add much to the board’s understanding, DeSaulnier said. “I seriously doubt there is any thing new here,” he said. “The grand jury has members who are very conservative and don’t have a full understanding about how county finances work.”

Supervisor John Gioia said a juror had contacted him about holding off on a vote. Though he intends to listen with an open mind to today’s grand jury presentation, Gioia also said he doubts the group’s qualifications to investigate the retirement system thoroughly. “They are essentially appointed through a random lottery drawing,” Gioia said . . .

Ken Hambrick recalls…

I was on the County Grand Jury when 3@50 was granted. We went to the BOS and told them they couldn’t afford it. They thumbed their noses (especially DeSaulnier and Gioia) at us and said we were just old fogies who didn’t understand county finances.

Their rationale was that if they didn’t grant it they would lose lots of people to other jurisdictions. Guess what? In the week after the approval some 50 Sheriff’s deputies retired.

On current claims that ConFire members are underpaid, Hambrick says “hogwash.”

With all the competition for the fire jobs, it is nearly impossible for an individual to get a position. To have FFs go elsewhere there has to be an opening so that automatically limits that option.

Most people are not stupid and they recognize a cushy over compensated job when they see one, hence 3401 applicants for Confire jobs.

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