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The City has admitted that the pension system is just 66.3 percent funded and the unfunded actuarial liability is $2 billion as of Jan. 31. Today, Councilmember Carl DeMaio revealed that 86 former City employees are getting pensions of more than $100,000 a year. One is getting $165,870. One source says that she is former deputy city manager Patricia Frazier, who has been indicted for participating in the fraud that kept honest figures on the pension deficit from bond investors. Former city attorney Casey Gwinn is bringing home almost $95,000 a year and former mayors Richard Murphy and Susan Golding are bringing in about $50,000 yearly. Five individuals have received $1 million lump sum payouts from the DROP system, a classic form of double-dipping.

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JohnnyVegas Feb. 11, 2009 @ 6:43 p.m.

So what else is new.

Here is a good port from the Vallejo mess (I agree 100%);

Firefighters are underworked and over paid. Sadly, there is no elegant way of untangling medical emergency response which can be done much less expensively, from firefighting for the simple reason that without paramedics running out of the fire station multiple times of the day there would be practically NOTHING for these folks to do beside wash their cars and occasionally a fire truck. Read the response reports sometime and you'll get the picture.

Unfortunately, the big ticket items will not likely be affected by either the ripping up of existing contracts or negotiations that follow. Retirement at age 50 for the folks in blue is criminal and economically untenable. When the police settled recently there were some concessions regarding medical benefits for new hires. The same happened with the confidential employees. But no one is giving anything back with regard to retirement benefits. How in the world can taxpayers be asked to pay for regular employees retiring with full benefits at age 55 and folks in blue at age 50? It isn't so long ago these same employee groups were satisfied to retire and age 60 and age 55. At the same time, Social Security retirement has been pushed back from 65 to 67.

http://www.topix.net/forum/source/vallejo-times-herald/T76FA0FUNNH8UNDAJ

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JohnnyVegas Feb. 11, 2009 @ 6:45 p.m.

BTW-as bad as the 66% funding number is, I thought it would be lower-possibly as low as 50%.

So I am glad it is at 66%, maybe if the market turns at the end of this year things will improve.

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Burwell Feb. 11, 2009 @ 8:42 p.m.

I wonder how much retirement pay Murphy gets from the state for being a former judge. He's probably raking in at least $175,000 per year in total city and state retirement benefits.

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Don Bauder Feb. 11, 2009 @ 9:24 p.m.

Response to post #1: Clearly, Vallejo went nuts -- and bankrupt. San Diego is not far behind. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 11, 2009 @ 9:27 p.m.

Response to post #2: Back in November, a San Diego actuarial consultant told Aguirre that as of Oct. 31, it was 58 percent funded and the unfunded liability was $2.8 billion. That was reported in City Lights. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 11, 2009 @ 9:29 p.m.

Response to post #6: Good question. Remember, too, that Golding voted for her own pension enhancement. Best, Don Bauder

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AugmentedBallot Feb. 11, 2009 @ 10:40 p.m.

But to be fair, 86 high ticket retirees out of how many City retirees altogether? And, while I know you make no excuses for Wall Street either, at the tip top of $165,870 that's what... a Wall Street per diem? I'm not trying to make excuses myself, truly. But if that's the municipal equivalent to a CEO paycheck, then sure, them that can tie their shoes in the corporate world will.

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Don Bauder Feb. 12, 2009 @ 7:24 a.m.

Response to post #7: I couldn't see that DeMaio's report had the number in the total universe of retirees. I agree with you: private sector top-level pay, particularly on Wall Street, is egregiously insane. However, lower- and mid-level jobs in the private sector are below those in government. Best, Don Bauder

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JohnnyVegas Feb. 12, 2009 @ 11:05 a.m.

But to be fair, 86 high ticket retirees out of how many City retirees altogether? And, while I know you make no excuses for Wall Street either, at the tip top of $165,870 that's what... a Wall Street per diem?

This argument is made all the time from public sector employees, and I always wonder why?

First-The very FEW who get this type of oversized pay on Wall Street have no relationship to 99.99999% of the employed population-so why the comparison to them at all?

Second- Everyone I know thinks that these Wall Street compensation packages are criminal-so are the public empoloyees saying that because a small % of highly educated Wall Street execs are ripping off shareholders that it is OK for the public sector to rip off taxpayers the same way on a MUCH larger scale?

Do two wrongs make a right??? I just don't get this argument by public employees.

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Don Bauder Feb. 12, 2009 @ 11:29 a.m.

Response to post #9: What makes the corporate and Wall Street salaries so interesting is that these moguls always argued they were worth their $50 million annually because their performance was so sterling. Now they have driven the world's financial system off the cliff. Performance? They're not talking about it. Best, Don Bauder

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JohnnyVegas Feb. 12, 2009 @ 1:42 p.m.

What makes the corporate and Wall Street salaries so interesting is that these moguls always argued they were worth their $50 million annually ...

Yes, the CEO's do say that! They are the only ones who say that, or the boards-but no one else is that's for sure.

The notion that they are worth multi million dollar comp packages is absurd.

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Don Bauder Feb. 12, 2009 @ 2:09 p.m.

Response to post #11: Business Week just put out an article noting that chief executives at Japan's largest 100 companies bring home an average of $1.5 million a year. In Europe it's $6.6 million and the U.S. $13.3 million for comparable sized companies. And the Japanese executives fall on their swords more quickly when the results stink. They take pay cuts and get axed much more readily. Best, Don Bauder

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AugmentedBallot Feb. 12, 2009 @ 3:32 p.m.

@ #9/Jvegas -- Again, I'm not really trying to justify municipal high pay by referencing absurdly higher corporate high pay. But I am trying to add perspective. We should recognize that $165,870 represents the very top of City retirement pay. That's why I referenced the corporate heights.

What we really should look at are medians -- in municipal and private. But even there, some caution is advised. Most City jobs are skilled or professional. Comparing those with a private pool that includes a very large entry-level base isn't apples to apples either.

The other point I was making, and that I think is uncontroversial, is that chief administrators in the municipal world are qualified for jobs in the corporate world that pay much better. Turning around and slagging those folks for their "high pay" when they really could earn much better seems misguided.

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JohnnyVegas Feb. 12, 2009 @ 6:11 p.m.

Most City jobs are skilled or professional.

The highes paid jobs in any muni are the PD and FD, and those are not skilled or professional. The requirement for both are a HS diploma with no prior work experience.

. . The other point I was making, and that I think is uncontroversial, is that chief administrators in the municipal world are qualified for jobs in the corporate world that pay much better. =================== No way.

In ALL private sector managment positions there are profit and loss goals that need to be met, no public employee ever has to deal with that. I have never heard of a public sector manager getting hired in the private sector in a similar position unless it was though a personal connection.

I do not beleive a public sector employee could earn more in the private sector. In fact I believe 90% would earn less, some (like PD and FD) much less.

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AugmentedBallot Feb. 12, 2009 @ 7:59 p.m.

the PD and FD, and those are not skilled or professional

The PD and FD aren't skilled? God, I hope that's not true.

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Burwell Feb. 12, 2009 @ 8:20 p.m.

I wonder how much money Jan Goldsmith is siphoning from the taxpayer. He's likely receiving taxpayer funded retirement pay from his stints as Poway Mayor, State Assemblyman, Superior Court Judge, and now he's working on a fourth pension as City Attorney. He will likely go for the gold and take a seat in Congress so he can rape the taxpayer for a fifth pension. Bill Kolender may hold the record for government pensions. He's likely receiving taxpayer funded pensions from his stints as San Diego Police Chief, California Youth Authority Head, and his Federal law enforcement position. When he retires as Sheriff he will collect a fourth taxpayer-funded pension from the County. Bill is also likely collecting social security and a pension from his years at Copley Press. Legislative action needs to be taken to limit the pension benefits of serial pensioners like Goldsmith and Kolender before they and others like them bankrupt us.

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Don Bauder Feb. 12, 2009 @ 10:33 p.m.

Response to post #13: SOME of the San Diego government top officials MAY be qualified for at least middle management jobs in the private sector. Sorry to be so blunt about it. I have dealt with too many of them. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 12, 2009 @ 10:37 p.m.

Response to post #14: McGrory is making a bundle in the private sector. But he had specialized knowledge, particularly in real estate, that made him quite valuable. As I have discussed at length, lawyers go with regulatory agencies, work a few years, let some crooks off the hook and get rewarded with a cushy job at a private sector law firm. But that is quite different. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 12, 2009 @ 10:39 p.m.

Response to post #15: The PD and FD jobs definitely require skills. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 12, 2009 @ 10:42 p.m.

Response to post #16: It would be interesting to see the total pension payments Goldsmith and Kolender will be receiving. Most of this information should be public record. Best, Don Bauder

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JohnnyVegas Feb. 15, 2009 @ 2:05 p.m.

I had no idea McGrory was a licensed lawyer!

PD and FD require skills, but it is no different than a framer, cabinet maker, plumber or dry waller needing skills.

Kolander is already receiving all his pensions except for Sheriff. He meets the age requirement of age 50-60 (with 15 years to spare!).

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Don Bauder Feb. 15, 2009 @ 5:50 p.m.

Response to post #21: My transition was bad. I don't believe McGrory is a lawyer. I talked about government lawyers using their knowledge to go to work for the private sector, and then I quickly went into others at government agencies working the same trick, and cashing in big. Best, Don Bauder

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