Archive for June, 2012

It’s going to be a while

June 29, 2012

I know every little bit is supposed to add up … but the gap is simply too big for a bandaid to fix.

Contracts with the city’s nonsafety unions are expected to produce $873,000 in pension and benefit savings over the lives of those contracts, while increased pension contributions from police and firefighters are expected to save the city $578,400 over three years.

Annual financial reports released by the city show that Alameda’s unfunded pension liabilities more than doubled between 2002 and 2008, from $36.3 million to a little over $74 million. The city’s most recent consolidated annual financial report shows the city with nearly $95 million in unfunded pension liabilities in 2010.

And there’s this kicker:

Alameda has 558 current employees enrolled in its two retirement plans and 763 receiving retirement benefits, Assistant City Manager Lisa Goldman said, or 0.73 active employees paying into the system for every retiree taking benefits.


With No Vote, Taxpayers Stuck With Tab on Bonds

June 28, 2012

Title says it all … something to watch out for.

Surprised local taxpayers from Stockton, Calif., to Scranton, Pa., are finding themselves obligated for parking garages, hockey arenas and other enterprises that can no longer pay their debts. Officials have signed them up unknowingly to backstop the bonds of independent authorities, the special bodies of government that run projects like toll roads and power plants. The practice, meant to save governments money, has been gaining popularity without attracting much notice, and is creating problems for a small but growing number of cities.


Target at Alameda Landing

June 18, 2012

Coming soon …

Measure C defeated

June 11, 2012

Can’t say I’m disappointed to see this go down in flames. If there was anything that captured the pandering attitude of the Council, this is the best example. I’m surprised they didn’t add a new kitchen sink to the long list of projects that were being considered for funding.

Compare this to what the San Jose and San Diego city councils have achieved:

Residents of San Diego and San Jose voted overwhelmingly to cut the pension benefits they give city workers. And they did so in a way governments traditionally avoid: moving to cut not just the benefits of future hires, but also those of current city workers, whose pensions generally have much stronger legal protections than those of private-sector workers.

Is it too much to ask the Council to address critical issues such as pension benefits as a priority?