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-   -   San Bernardino (CA) seeks bankruptcy protection (http://slickdeals.net/f/4867854-san-bernardino-ca-seeks-bankruptcy-protection)

Krazen1211 07-11-2012 06:56 AM

San Bernardino (CA) seeks bankruptcy protection
 
http://www.latimes.com/news/local...6419.story

San Bernardino on Tuesday became the third California city in less than a month to seek bankruptcy protection, with officials saying the financial situation had become so dire that it could not cover payroll through the summer.

The unexpected vote came at the suggestion of the interim city manager, who said the city faces a $46-million deficit and depleted coffers.

"We have an immediate cash flow issue," Andrea Miller told the mayor and seven-member City Council.

Mayor Patrick Morris called the decision, passed on a 4-2 vote, a "stain" on the city. But he said the only other option was "draconian cuts" to all city services, including the police and fire departments.

"It means the bills will be paid," said a dejected Morris, who is not a voting member of the council.

The city's fiscal crisis has been years in the making, compounded by the nation's crushing recession and exacerbated by escalating pension costs, lucrative labor agreements, Sacramento's raid on redevelopment funds and a city reserve that is tapped out, officials said.




Not surprising. California tax and spending with lavish union benefits is collapsing under its own weight.

OhNoItsDEVO 07-11-2012 07:21 AM

At least they've got that train project moving along.

cruizerfish 07-11-2012 07:52 AM

Someone should create a California Apocalypse mega-thread. :D

Elmer 07-11-2012 08:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cruizerfish (Post 51574086)
Someone should create a California Apocalypse mega-thread. :D

Yeah, there will be plenty of material for one....

Elmer 07-11-2012 08:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OhNoItsDEVO (Post 51573440)
At least they've got that train project moving along.




http://ustrainsnow.com/wp-content/up...re-300x225.jpg

chazjr 07-11-2012 01:14 PM

Cities and towns across the state are having budget problems.. Cities and towns across the state are turning into "Cesspools".

Quote:

Someone should create a California Apocalypse mega-thread.
That's true.. Everyone will agree..
"The Biggest problems in this Country are caused by our own Government."

Quote:

If You Live In California Things Just Got A Whole Lot Worse
http://theeconomiccollapseblog.co...-lot-worse
I saw CNBC's "A Greek Tragedy" a couple of days ago..
I thought they were talking about California.. The Parallels were unbelievable..
Big Government, High Unemployment, Unfunded Pension costs, Unfriendly Business enviroment, Huge Deficit..
http://www.cnbc.com/id/47802825/

Its time to Fire up the Moving Vans..

chazjr 07-11-2012 04:46 PM

What happens in California.. So goes the rest of the Country..

Quote:

OH CRAP: A Whole Bunch Of Cities And Counties Are Now Seeing Their Finances Collapse
Mostly California Cities..
http://www.businessinsider.com/ci...z20MQiSHAI

Hawk2007 07-11-2012 05:15 PM

Well, I hope that conservatives and fiscal conservatism isn't blamed for this one.

It's easy to spend money and even easier to spend other peoples money. I doubt the mayor, city manager and local officials have this much trouble balancing their personal checkbooks.

andyfico 07-11-2012 05:25 PM

I don't remember these events taking place while Bush was in office but I'm sure it's his fault somehow.

vaultaddict 07-11-2012 06:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by andyfico (Post 51590326)
I don't remember these events taking place while Bush was in office but I'm sure it's his fault somehow.

I agree...

Deusxmachina 07-11-2012 09:02 PM

I was told illegal aliens are good for the economy.

loop610bob 07-12-2012 05:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Krazen1211 (Post 51572982)
Not surprising. California tax and spending with lavish union benefits is collapsing under its own weight.

Naturally unions. Let's ask San Bern what the problem is.
Quote:

The city was facing a budget shortfall of $45.8 million, and as City Attorney James Penman states, "the mayor and the council were not given accurate documents [regarding the budget]". Penman said that the documents presented to the mayor and council had been falsified for 13 of the 16 years, which masked the city's spending and essentially exasperated the city's financial issues.
So no. It's old fashioned fraud. Course, any of us that know San Bern know it's been on a long slow road to destruction ever since they lost the...

Wait a minute. NONE of you have a damn clue what you're talking about do you? You don't know the history of San Bern, the economy, the surrounding area, nothing, do you?

Then why are you talking about it?

/rim scot, whoop whoop

Elmer 07-12-2012 05:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51598718)
Naturally unions. Let's ask San Bern what the problem is.

So no. It's old fashioned fraud.

Yeah, because unions are never connected to fraud........

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deusxmachina (Post 51594326)
I was told illegal aliens are good for the economy.

I was told there was an Easter Bunny....

Course, I was three at the time.......

loop610bob 07-12-2012 05:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elmer (Post 51598954)
Yeah, because unions are never connected to fraud.......

Yea and neither are contractors. But the truth is you have absolutely no insight into the problem. And neither does anyone else here.

But yea, unions bad 4eva.

TRNT 07-12-2012 06:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deusxmachina (Post 51594326)
I was told illegal aliens are good for the economy.

They are not? Got any evidence for that claim?

gunnerusa 07-12-2012 06:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51598718)
Then why are you talking about it?

Par for the course around here--some wingnut posts a news story they were told to think is really important on Drudge or Rush or one of the constellation of minor morons in Right wing media. Then all the minion-wingnuts rush in spouting various Right-wing slogans that their leaders have indoctrinated them wit, and that invariably have nothing to do with anything in the world of men.

This thread seems to be a particularly refined strain of this phenomenon. Bravo, Righties! :lmao:

SigX 07-12-2012 06:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51598718)
Naturally unions. Let's ask San Bern what the problem is.
So no. It's old fashioned fraud. Course, any of us that know San Bern know it's been on a long slow road to destruction ever since they lost the...

Wait a minute. NONE of you have a damn clue what you're talking about do you? You don't know the history of San Bern, the economy, the surrounding area, nothing, do you?

Then why are you talking about it?

/rim scot, whoop whoop

what about this:

Quote:

The city's fiscal crisis has been years in the making, compounded by the nation's crushing recession and exacerbated by escalating pension costs, lucrative labor agreements, Sacramento's raid on redevelopment funds and a city reserve that is tapped out, officials said.

Foreveryours 07-12-2012 06:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51598718)
/rim scot, whoop whoop

Who's scot?

loop610bob 07-12-2012 08:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SigX (Post 51599854)
what about this:

It's lazy reporting. Everyone that knows San Bern knows the problem. It's been happening for decades. The problem is so f!@#$@ big that you can literally see it at night from an airplane going into LAX at night (you fly right over SB). I'm not kidding.
Quote:

Sacramento's raid on redevelopment funds
This is the actual issue. Decades and gigantic sums of money have been shoveled into the pit in an attempt to recapture what was lost but everyone has known that San Bern was a dead man walking for decades now. You just can't sell enough garbage burritos at Rosa Maria's to make up the tax revenue :D (srsly good tho). The rise of Ontario, CA came at San Bern's expense. Weirdly, it was probably Southwest Airlines (through no fault of their own) that put the final nail in San Bern's coffin.

But of course, unions. Always and 4-eva. Don't mess with the narrative.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Foreveryours (Post 51599936)
Who's scot?

That's mah street cred, y0. Reprezent. heh.

I come from a hole in the ground known as the Inland Empire. I bought a car and drove as far and as fast as I could as soon as I could.

Danman114 07-12-2012 09:00 AM

What is the progressive/modern liberal solution to this?

Run around collecting more taxes last minute?

Federal bailout?

Stiff the unions and other government employees?

loop610bob 07-12-2012 09:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Danman114 (Post 51603850)
What is the progressive/modern liberal solution to this?

To the actual issue of running out of money or to what got us here?

I mean, when you build an economy around say, fish, and life is good for many years and many people get fat and rich on fish and then one year the fish leave and never come back and people spend decades and tons of money researching the fish problem expecting the fish to come back if only they can chum the water correctly...

The city ran into the ground chasing the proverbial fish.

They probably should not be given more money to find fish. But when your entire city is literally built around fish and there hasn't been fish in decades, what do you do? When the land around the wharfs is all ghetto.. when the rich ran away long ago..

San Bern is screwed. Always has been since Norton died. Blue collar work force without work for a long time. A huge swath of their land is unusable and unhelpfully located square in the middle of their city, creating ghettos. Too far from LA to really be a commuter town (though people do it).

Renegotiate with the retirees. Burn all other bond holders. I'd say sell something, but they got nothin to sell.

Danman114 07-12-2012 09:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51604024)
I mean, when you build an economy around say, fish, and life is good for many years and many people get fat and rich on fish and then one year the fish leave and never come back and people spend decades and tons of money researching the fish problem expecting the fish to come back if only they can chum the water correctly...

The city ran into the ground chasing the proverbial fish.

They probably should not be given more money to find fish. But when your entire city is literally built around fish and there hasn't been fish in decades, what do you do? When the land around the wharfs is all ghetto.. when the rich ran away long ago.

Solution to that problem is simple, they people pick up and move to where the work is, and eventually that government just goes away.

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51604024)
Renegotiate with the retirees. Burn all other bond holders. I'd say sell something, but they got nothin to sell.

Burn the bondholders.
Renegotiate (I'd say CAP) retiree bene's.
Renegotiate EVERY contract.
and SHRINK dramatically.

Elmer 07-12-2012 09:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51599304)
Yea and neither are contractors. But the truth is you have absolutely no insight into the problem. And neither does anyone else here.

A strawman and a cryptic self masturbation..... Impressive.....


Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51599304)
But yea, unions bad 4eva.

Today? Especially public sector unions?

Pretty much....

Elmer 07-12-2012 09:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Danman114 (Post 51603850)
What is the progressive/modern liberal solution to this?

Seriously?

Run around collecting more taxes last minute?..... :woot:

Federal bailout?......:woot:

Stiff the unions and other government employees?......:nono:

Elmer 07-12-2012 09:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Danman114 (Post 51605044)
Solution to that problem is simple, they people pick up and move to where the work is, and eventually that government just goes away.

When the "safety net" provided doesn't force people to move where the work is, many won't......

loop610bob 07-12-2012 10:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elmer (Post 51605082)
A strawman and a cryptic self masturbation..... Impressive.....

It's not cryptic. You just don't know what you're talking about. You can't even be bothered to wikipedia San Bern because you're that intellectually lazy. I don't talk about decades long problems in Ohio because I've never been there and have no idea. But that would never stop you, Elmer. You'll just open your mouth on any old thing like you have a clue. But you don't in this case. Don't be butthurt about being called out. Just get educated or be quiet. Thanks.

Cue righteous indignation in 5..4..3..
Quote:

Originally Posted by Danman114 (Post 51605044)
Solution to that problem is simple, they people pick up and move to where the work is, and eventually that government just goes away.

When the fish go away, the labor goes to the fish. The landowners don't/can't and use government to find them a new source.

Elmer doesn't even have the capacity to pretend to understand, but this isn't one of those cases of unions sucking the town dry. This is a case of landowners using government for decades to try to recoup what they lost. And if government goes down then so what? They've already lost their butts on their property. This isn't new. I'm in my thirties and they were doing this exact same thing when I was in my teens.

The books are bad 13 of 16 years in a town spending its money trying to lure companies to its giant sink hole. Can't imagine where/how the books are bad.

also unions bad rawr

Mike A. 07-12-2012 12:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51605560)

Elmer doesn't even have the capacity to pretend to understand, but this isn't one of those cases of unions sucking the town dry. This is a case of landowners using government for decades to try to recoup what they lost. And if government goes down then so what? They've already lost their butts on their property. This isn't new. I'm in my thirties and they were doing this exact same thing when I was in my teens.

The books are bad 13 of 16 years in a town spending its money trying to lure companies to its giant sink hole. Can't imagine where/how the books are bad.

also unions bad rawr


Appears to be a bit of both based on what I've read.

Quote:

San Bernardino will be the third California city to file for bankruptcy in less than a month. The city faces a $45 million budget deficit, half of which is unfunded liabilities in retirement, workers’ compensation, and general liability accounts. The city drew in $78 million in revenue for the 2011-12 fiscal year.
Quote:

Penman also said at the meeting that for 13 of the last 16 years, the council had been given falsified budget documents. Those documents said the city was in the black when, in fact, it had been deficit spending, he said.
Quote:

Unfortunately, the decline in taxable sales and property values over the last several years has resulted in revenue losses of $10 to $16 million annually. Additionally, previously negotiated compensation reductions will sunset at the conclusion of fiscal year 2011-12 creating an increase in salaries and benefits of $10 million effective July 1, 2012, and increased costs in future years as merit increases resume. Beginning in FY 2012-13, expenditures are projected to exceed revenues by $45 million and absent any changes to improve revenues and reduce expenditures, the City will face increasing annual deficits. The City’s financial constraints are compounded with the depletion of all General Fund reserves, which were as high as $19 million in 2001, and failure to fund long-term liabilities.
So, they were cooking the books on top of declining tax revenues and stuck with big legacy pension obligations which have grown from about $6 million to about $23 million over the past 10 years with related funding costs doubling from ~$1 million in 2006/07 to $2.2 in 2012/13, AND a contract trigger coming up that was going to break the bank. Impressive job. lol

The report of the city's finance dept. to the city council is here:

http://www.ci.san-bernardino.ca.u...obID=13757

Elmer 07-12-2012 04:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51605560)
It's not cryptic. You just don't know what you're talking about. You can't even be bothered to wikipedia San Bern because you're that intellectually lazy. I don't talk about decades long problems in Ohio because I've never been there and have no idea. But that would never stop you, Elmer. You'll just open your mouth on any old thing like you have a clue. But you don't in this case. Don't be butthurt about being called out. Just get educated or be quiet. Thanks.

Cue righteous indignation in 5..4..3..

No, just laughter at your bullshit tough guy bravado and overly high opinion of yourself...... Not to mention your childish and baseless personal attacks. You seem to be responding to posts I didn't make.

You're the one spewing indignant while being as obtuse as possible. If you have special knowledge of San Berdoo that those of us that have lived an hour or two away from it for 40+ years don't, than go ahead and enlighten everyone.

I'm waiting for you to show us that among other mistakes, SB didn't make deals with employee unions that they couldn't afford.

Elmer 07-12-2012 04:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51605560)
Elmer doesn't even have the capacity to pretend to understand,

God Bless the internet.......

loop610bob 07-12-2012 05:33 PM

I mean, is it really fair to put this on the union side of the register when all public works has been doing for the past 20 years as far as capital expenditure is to improve the sink hole? The city decides its future lies in saving the hole. It puts all of its effort towards the hole for 2 decades. All public works effort is put towards widening roads to make the hole more accessible, building facilities and support to make the hole more attractive, etc. etc. etc. And it's the unions fault. For... doing the work for two decades?

And the last of the believers walks away and the city finally breaks under the weight of decades of failing to put lipstick on a pig. And it's the unions fault simply by the act of owing the union money.

That friends, is completely f@#$@# retarded.

Oh, and the city had already cut 20% of its workers and saved $10 mil a year in concessions from the unions. But they lost $15 mil a year in property taxes due to declining values. But yes, unions bad. Narrative. Stay on message, guys. 15.7% unemployment. San Berdoo is a giant sucking hole in the ground that has problems too numerous to count. OH JESUS NOT AGAIN. Narrative. Unions did it. unions rawr bad.

This is probably the wrong time to point out that San Berdoo is both high crime and has an unbelievably high fire threat. The fire a couple years ago that burned up half the mountain and all those houses started down in the canyon on the way up Hwy 18, right smack in San Berdoo's territory. And then there was the Old Fire that killed those people... Sure hope they don't slash police and fire!

Oh right, with the no f@#$@#^ idea what I'm talking about. Google it.


Elmer, I'm blocking you. I don't think I've ever seen you add value to a conversation. You bore me. Just so you don't feel left out when I don't point out that you don't know what you're talking about anymore.

jamegumb 07-12-2012 05:49 PM

So that you all have something of substance to argue about, here's a link to compensation costs in San Bernadino (as of 2010):

http://gcc.sco.ca.gov/Compensatio...tCsu=False

I'd note especially the number of firefighters, engineers, and captains earning well over $100K (check total wages applicable to Medicare) and collecting 3% at 50 pensions.

Does anyone have a specific link to what the "$10 million in concessions" were/are? I've seen the figure listed many times, but can't figure out whether it's an annual or total cost, or whether the concessions are 'real' or just cuts from expected increases.

jamegumb 07-12-2012 05:59 PM

Here's an example of one concession I found (from April, 2011):

http://iepolitics.net/2011/04/15/...nsion-cut/

Quote:

San Bernardino County firefighters have agreed to pay more toward their pension benefits and take smaller raises, but only if other unions agree to the same concessions.

The deal, approved Thursday by 98 percent of the county’s 344 firefighters, is expected to save the county $2.14million per year. It’s part of a larger plan to cut the county’s rising pension costs by $30 million a year.


“County firefighters are hyper-aware of the economic climate out there,” said Bret Henry, president of the San Bernardino County Professional Firefighters, Local 395, the union representing firefighters. “We’re living through the hard times as well. We’re interested in a balanced budget as much as everybody else.”

The key concession approved Thursday is that firefighters will start to pay all of the “employee share” of pension contributions.

The average firefighter’s employee share amounts to 10.6percent of their annual pay, according to the county retirement board, but for years the county has been paying 7percent of the employee share.

That means the average firefighter now pays 3.6percent of their salary into the county pension fund. Under the deal approved Thursday, which takes effect July 2, firefighters will pay the full 10.6percent.

Other concessions include taking smaller annual raises – 2.5percent instead of 5percent – and swapping a health insurance benefit that counted toward pensions for one that doesn’t.
So the city had been paying 7 percent of the firefighter's 10.6 percent contribution prior to this (in addition to their own contribution, which I think now is over 30 percent).

The concessions the firefighters gave back were: 1) paying for something they should have been paying for all along, and 2) taking a 2.5% raise instead of a 5% raise. Also note 3) that these only counted if other unions made similar concessions.

Is this supposed to be an example of "shared sacrifice"?


EDIT: crap, this is County. Let me try to find stuff for City. I'll stick by the editorial comments otherwise.

EDIT2: note also those concessions were later nixed, as not everyone agreed to the shared cuts - http://www.redlandsdailyfacts.com...i_18180609 - not quite sure what happened after that.

vaultaddict 07-12-2012 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elmer (Post 51615984)
God Bless the internet.......

Busting chops!

loop610bob 07-12-2012 06:12 PM

Just a theoretical question. If I run a coffee shop and I run out of money on Tuesday and wages are due on Friday, did my workers put me out of business?

SigX 07-12-2012 06:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51618172)
Just a theoretical question. If I run a coffee shop and I run out of money on Tuesday and wages are due on Friday, did my workers put me out of business?

its possible. where stealing or giving the coffee away for free?

jamegumb 07-12-2012 06:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51618172)
Just a theoretical question. If I run a coffee shop and I run out of money on Tuesday and wages are due on Friday, did my workers put me out of business?

In all honestly, I think you're long on rhetoric and very short of real analysis for this subject. Have a look at the City's firefighter compensation in 2010:

http://gcc.sco.ca.gov/Compensatio...irefighter

Note that this is for the absolute rank/file of firefighters - no chiefs, engineers, etc. are included (they make even more money). The average firefighter here makes a minimum of $70K and a maximum of $95K.

The average total wages of these firefighters (next column over) is over $131K. Then you have to add health/dental/misc. (about 10K - see last column), and city pension (about 40K, based on the 30% of salary) costs.

That's average compensation of $181K per rank and file firefighter.

Could you please acknowledge that maybe, just maybe, some of the "negotiated" salaries/benefits/etc. for the city employees are just too damn high? Yes, the city made other errors (undoubtedly multiple other errors, given their negotiation "skills"). But washing these away as if it's just union bashing exposes your lack of interest in analyzing what's really happening.

SigX 07-12-2012 06:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51618748)
In all honestly, I think you're long on rhetoric and very short of real analysis for this subject. Have a look at the City's firefighter compensation in 2010:

http://gcc.sco.ca.gov/Compensatio...irefighter

Note that this is for the absolute rank/file of firefighters - no chiefs, engineers, etc. are included (they make even more money). The average firefighter here makes a minimum of $70K and a maximum of $95K.

The average total wages of these firefighters (next column over) is over $131K. Then you have to add health/dental/misc. (about 10K - see last column), and city pension (about 40K, based on the 30% of salary) costs.

That's average compensation of $181K per rank and file firefighter.

Could you please acknowledge that maybe, just maybe, some of the "negotiated" salaries/benefits/etc. for the city employees are just too damn high? Yes, the city made other errors (undoubtedly multiple other errors, given their negotiation "skills"). But washing these away as if it's just union bashing exposes your lack of interest in analyzing what's really happening.

holy shit. thats crazy

loop610bob 07-12-2012 07:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51618748)
Could you please acknowledge that maybe, just maybe, some of the "negotiated" salaries/benefits/etc. for the city employees are just too damn high?

Page 1 buddy. Note the "renegotiate contracts".

Of course, why is it that the total salary is so much higher than maximum wages? Crazy over the top overtime, possibly associated with BIG ASS FIRES? Just a thought.

Someone's gonna have this conversation about a city in Colorado in a year or two and nobody will have any idea why the salaries were so high.
Quote:

Yes, the city made other errors (undoubtedly multiple other errors, given their negotiation "skills"). But washing these away as if it's just union bashing exposes your lack of interest in analyzing what's really happening.
I would like to point out that this is one of the parts of California most susceptible to massive fires. There was the "big" one of 10, 09, 07, 03.... These guys get in the shit for real and on a regular basis. They don't ride some toy truck on Main St. once a year and save kitties the rest of the time.

That's worth serious money, putting your butt on the line for realsies.

jamegumb 07-12-2012 07:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51619368)
Page 1 buddy. Note the "renegotiate contracts".

Of course, why is it that the total salary is so much higher than maximum wages? Crazy over the top overtime, possibly associated with BIG ASS FIRES? Just a thought.

I would like to point out that this is one of the parts of California most susceptible to massive fires. There was the "big" one of 10, 09, 07, 03.... These guys get in the shit for real and on a regular basis. They don't ride some toy truck on Main St. once a year and save kitties the rest of the time.

That's worth serious money, putting your butt on the line for realsies.

Have you looked at attempts to renegotiate salaries? They don't work to any great extent, which is why there are so many layoffs. Unions cite figures like "$10M in concessions" as if that means any big deal when salaries are still way above what the going rate would otherwise be for similar work.

Excessive overtime for firefighters is due to scheduling. Firefighters generally work 2 days on and 4 days off; this amounts to 48 hours on in a row, or 56 hours on average per week.

Firefighters in CA have successfully argued for these additional hours not only to be compensable, but to be compensable at time-and-a-half. I consider this dubious at best, as most people would be more than willing to take such a schedule (especially considering that the sleeping hours are paid).

No, CA does not have the excessive numbers of fires it used to. Building codes are much much better now than they were back in the day. But then, surely you knew this?

loop610bob 07-12-2012 07:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51619462)
Have you looked at attempts to renegotiate salaries? They don't work to any great extent, which is why there are so many layoffs. Unions cite figures like "$10M in concessions" as if that means any big deal when salaries are still way above what the going rate would otherwise be for similar work.

The city cited that figure in its own budget, not the unions.
Quote:

Excessive overtime for firefighters is due to scheduling. Firefighters generally work 2 days on and 4 days off; this amounts to 48 hours on in a row, or 56 hours on average per week.

Firefighters in CA have successfully argued for these additional hours not only to be compensable, but to be compensable at time-and-a-half. I consider this dubious at best, as most people would be more than willing to take such a schedule (especially considering that the sleeping hours are paid).

No, CA does not have the excessive numbers of fires it used to. Building codes are much much better now than they were back in the day. But then, surely you knew this?
We're talking San Berdoo here smart guy. That canyon burns every single year. Every year they don't get it under control the entire mountain burns. Sometimes it's "only" Crestline and lower Lake Arrowhead. And sometimes it's the whole kit and kaboodle. Maybe that ain't important to you, but they don't want the lowest bidder saving their asses.

Because that's just plain stupid.

But yea, Malibu hasn't burned for awhile so I guess your point is valid...?

jamegumb 07-12-2012 07:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51619572)
The city cited that figure in its own budget, not the unions.

We're talking San Berdoo here smart guy. That canyon burns every single year. Every year they don't get it under control the entire mountain burns. Sometimes it's "only" Crestline and lower Lake Arrowhead. And sometimes it's the whole kit and kaboodle. Maybe that ain't important to you, but they don't want the lowest bidder saving their asses.

Because that's just plain stupid.

But yea, Malibu hasn't burned for awhile so I guess your point is valid...?

You've got to separate City and County. There are also half a dozen other agencies that respond to these fires.

Blah blah blah "lowest bidder" blah blah blah. You keep throwing out garbage as if it does anything to support the notion that rank and file FF deserve $180K per year in compensation. They don't. Hence the rest of your defense just looks silly and completely lacking in substance.

And again, please cite what *actual concessions* were obtained - I'd like to know. The $10M figure I saw came from a city FF: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/l...uptcy.html

Elmer 07-12-2012 08:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51617370)
I mean, is it really fair to put this on the union side of the register when all public works has been doing for the past 20 years as far as capital expenditure is to improve the sink hole? The city decides its future lies in saving the hole. It puts all of its effort towards the hole for 2 decades. All public works effort is put towards widening roads to make the hole more accessible, building facilities and support to make the hole more attractive, etc. etc. etc. And it's the unions fault. For... doing the work for two decades?

And the last of the believers walks away and the city finally breaks under the weight of decades of failing to put lipstick on a pig. And it's the unions fault simply by the act of owing the union money.

That friends, is completely f@#$@# retarded.

Oh, and the city had already cut 20% of its workers and saved $10 mil a year in concessions from the unions. But they lost $15 mil a year in property taxes due to declining values. But yes, unions bad. Narrative. Stay on message, guys. 15.7% unemployment. San Berdoo is a giant sucking hole in the ground that has problems too numerous to count. OH JESUS NOT AGAIN. Narrative. Unions did it. unions rawr bad.

This is probably the wrong time to point out that San Berdoo is both high crime and has an unbelievably high fire threat. The fire a couple years ago that burned up half the mountain and all those houses started down in the canyon on the way up Hwy 18, right smack in San Berdoo's territory. And then there was the Old Fire that killed those people... Sure hope they don't slash police and fire!

Oh right, with the no f@#$@#^ idea what I'm talking about. Google it.

Jame has it right. You're long on rhetoric, and short on substance. There's been lots of fires all over the Southwest. At the same time the Old Fire was burning in SB, the Cedar Fire was burning in my neighborhood. That's not the reason for the SB city employee outrageous wage and benefits.

I'm guessing you're a union stooge. Seems to be your focus.


Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51617370)
Elmer, I'm blocking you. I don't think I've ever seen you add value to a conversation. You bore me. Just so you don't feel left out when I don't point out that you don't know what you're talking about anymore.

I won't feel left out. I just won't get a laugh when another partisan hack doesn't attack me without substance.

Heck, your attacks aren't even as interesting as some of the others, since most of them don't even correlate to anything I've posted.

The2AMBearArms 07-12-2012 08:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51619918)
You've got to separate City and County. There are also half a dozen other agencies that respond to these fires.

Blah blah blah "lowest bidder" blah blah blah. You keep throwing out garbage as if it does anything to support the notion that rank and file FF deserve $180K per year in compensation. They don't. Hence the rest of your defense just looks silly and completely lacking in substance.

And again, please cite what *actual concessions* were obtained - I'd like to know. The $10M figure I saw came from a city FF: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/l...uptcy.html

Not to mention that in many heavily unionized places, the police and fire personnel can retire after 20 years and then get paid till they die (possibly another 40). The idea that a cop/firefighter adds enough value in 20 years worth of work to be paid for 60 is just absurd.

jamegumb 07-12-2012 09:13 PM

As a footnote, the city bankruptcy report also cites the $10M per year figure saved in negotiations (http://documents.latimes.com/san-...cy-report/ - see page 5) - though it fails to cite what exactly the concessions were. The city also notes that no matter what concessions they've received, the costs per employees have continued to escalate: "A major aspect of the problem facing San Bernadino can be found in the fact that while expenditures have been reduced and many positions have been eliminated, personnel costs per employee and overtime costs have continued to increase." (page 21) Also noted is that costs are expected to increase by $10 million annually beginning June, 2012 (outside of coming CalPERS increases).

So whatever concessions they're getting aren't making much of a dent. And they certainly don't seem to be doing anything drastic like, say, compensating employees 25% less for the exact same work performed.

Elmer 07-12-2012 10:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The2AMBearArms (Post 51621314)
Not to mention that in many heavily unionized places, the police and fire personnel can retire after 20 years and then get paid till they die (possibly another 40). The idea that a cop/firefighter adds enough value in 20 years worth of work to be paid for 60 is just absurd.

In fairness, afaik, most of the retirements for police and fire require the retiree to be 50 or 55 to start collecting benefits.

TRNT 07-13-2012 02:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51618748)
In all honestly, I think you're long on rhetoric and very short of real analysis for this subject. Have a look at the City's firefighter compensation in 2010:

http://gcc.sco.ca.gov/Compensatio...irefighter

Note that this is for the absolute rank/file of firefighters - no chiefs, engineers, etc. are included (they make even more money). The average firefighter here makes a minimum of $70K and a maximum of $95K.

The average total wages of these firefighters (next column over) is over $131K. Then you have to add health/dental/misc. (about 10K - see last column), and city pension (about 40K, based on the 30% of salary) costs.

That's average compensation of $181K per rank and file firefighter.

Could you please acknowledge that maybe, just maybe, some of the "negotiated" salaries/benefits/etc. for the city employees are just too damn high? Yes, the city made other errors (undoubtedly multiple other errors, given their negotiation "skills"). But washing these away as if it's just union bashing exposes your lack of interest in analyzing what's really happening.

What is a fair pension for someone earning 70K after say 30 years of service? Give me a per month fig please.

TRNT 07-13-2012 03:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The2AMBearArms (Post 51621314)
Not to mention that in many heavily unionized places, the police and fire personnel can retire after 20 years and then get paid till they die (possibly another 40). The idea that a cop/firefighter adds enough value in 20 years worth of work to be paid for 60 is just absurd.

The claim that people can retire at 40 and then get retirement pension for another 40, albeit a popular claim, nevertheless is an "absurd" one.

loop610bob 07-13-2012 06:07 AM

Gee whiz, can't help but notice all the effort is being put towards disassembling the union costs. Not a single thing being quoted here from the big hole costs. That's weird how that turned out.

Oh right SD, with the axe to grind.

jamegumb 07-13-2012 07:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TRNT (Post 51625158)
What is a fair pension for someone earning 70K after say 30 years of service? Give me a per month fig please.

How much is the person earning 70K contributing to their pension every year? Does it come with COLAs? And health care benefits for life or no?

Why not just offer SS plus a 401k type benefit with an employer match up to, say, 5% of employee contributions? That would put the government out of the business of providing pension security (which it has proven it cannot handle).

Elmer 07-13-2012 07:39 AM

From the San Bernadino wiki......
Quote:

Government, retail, and service industries dominate the economy of the City of San Bernardino. From 1998 to 2004, San Bernardino's economy grew by 26,217 jobs, a 37% increase, to 97,139. Government was both the largest and the fastest-growing employment sector, reaching close to 20,000 jobs in 2004. Other significant sectors were retail (16,000 jobs) and education (13,200 jobs).[19]
Same ole story. Economy is good, well then lets hire a crap load of government employees, that will indebt the city to costs unsustainable in a down economy.....

jamegumb 07-13-2012 07:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51627130)
Gee whiz, can't help but notice all the effort is being put towards disassembling the union costs. Not a single thing being quoted here from the big hole costs. That's weird how that turned out.

Oh right SD, with the axe to grind.

Again, from the bankruptcy filing: "Reducing ongoing expenses must largely come from ongoing reductions in personnel costs since these costs represent about 75% of total General Fund expenditures. Of the personnel costs in the General Fund about 78% are for public safety." (page 12)

I'm more than willing to discuss other factors regarding the bankruptcy. But you're seriously fooling yourself if you think we're overstating issues by talking about the costs that represent 3/4 of the General Fund.

Or, to quote another story:

Quote:

The city council decided to file for bankruptcy so it can renegotiate its labor agreements. Right now, San Bernardino expects to take in $120 million in revenue this year, but it pays out $126 million to workers and retirees. So before a single city service is performed, San Bernardino is already $6 million in the red.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563...residents/

Note that they're in the red from employee costs alone. How do you propose bridging the gap without serious concessions from the unions?

Now, what are the costs from the giant sink hole you keep describing? Where are your links?

TRNT 07-13-2012 07:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51628946)
How much is the person earning 70K contributing to their pension every year? Does it come with COLAs? And health care benefits for life or no?

The pension is part of the salary/compensation package.


For the sake of this argument assume that the retiree pays the same health fee that active employees are paying.


No COLA.

jamegumb 07-13-2012 08:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TRNT (Post 51629736)
The pension is part of the salary/compensation package.


For the sake of this argument assume that the retiree pays the same health fee that active employees are paying.


No COLA.

OK, so no retiree health care, and no COLA. Does the employee get SS or not?

jaqnabox 07-13-2012 08:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51630812)
OK, so no retiree health care, and no COLA. Does the employee get SS or not?

you only get SS if you pay into it. If you get a full pension, you usually dont pay into SS.

TRNT 07-13-2012 09:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51630812)
OK, so no retiree health care, and no COLA. Does the employee get SS or not?

I am not sure if most on pension get SS or not. So go ahead and assume no SS.

jamegumb 07-13-2012 09:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jaqnabox (Post 51631266)
you only get SS if you pay into it. If you get a full pension, you usually dont pay into SS.

The federal government offers (at least) two different types, as I understand it:

FERS (with social security) - 1 percent of salary per year worked / 1.1 percent of salary per year worked for those with over 20 years

http://www.opm.gov/retire/pre/fer...tation.asp

CSRS (no social security) - 1.5 percent of salary per year worked / 1.75 percent of salary for years 6-10 / 2 percent of salary for years 11+

http://www.opm.gov/retire/pre/csr...tation.asp

Note that CSRS employees contribute 7-8 percent of their salaries to (partially) fund this pension. From what I can tell, FERS employees contribute a bit less than 1 percent of their salaries for this benefit.

Back to the original question, either of these pensions seems generous, though on the reasonable side. (Including SS) You're ending up with somewhere around $40K per year from your $70K salary.

I think my answer would be somewhere around the 1/2 salary range - $35K per year. (This should include SS, if applicable.) And whatever the employee invests in their TSP/401k/other retirement account on the side is of course theirs to keep.

Elmer 07-13-2012 09:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jaqnabox (Post 51631266)
you only get SS if you pay into it. If you get a full pension, you usually dont pay into SS.

State and local employees, teachers, etc., who get a pension, don't pay anything into social security.

http://www.ssa.gov/slge/faqs.htm

Elmer 07-13-2012 09:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51632134)
The federal government offers (at least) two different types, as I understand it:

FERS (with social security) - 1 percent of salary per year worked / 1.1 percent of salary per year worked for those with over 20 years

http://www.opm.gov/retire/pre/fer...tation.asp

CSRS (no social security) - 1.5 percent of salary per year worked / 1.75 percent of salary for years 6-10 / 2 percent of salary for years 11+

http://www.opm.gov/retire/pre/csr...tation.asp

Note that CSRS employees contribute 7-8 percent of their salaries to (partially) fund this pension. From what I can tell, FERS employees contribute a bit less than 1 percent of their salaries for this benefit.

Back to the original question, either of these pensions seems generous, though on the reasonable side. (Including SS) You're ending up with somewhere around $40K per year from your $70K salary.

I think my answer would be somewhere around the 1/2 salary range - $35K per year. (This should include SS, if applicable.) And whatever the employee invests in their TSP/401k/other retirement account on the side is of course theirs to keep.

I believe the examples you used are only for some federal employees.

State and local employers can exempt themselves completely from paying into SS.

WindySummer 07-13-2012 09:36 AM

What are the rules for public & safety pensions for San Bernadino?

Elmer 07-13-2012 09:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WindySummer (Post 51632834)
What are the rules for public & safety pensions for San Bernadino?

As far as?

WindySummer 07-13-2012 09:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elmer (Post 51633024)
As far as?

Percentages (amount) for retirement.

How much money?

jamegumb 07-13-2012 09:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elmer (Post 51632468)
I believe the examples you used are only for some federal employees.

State and local employers can exempt themselves completely from paying into SS.

Yes - I noted Federal at the top but didn't explain my thinking clearly.

Naturally I completely ignore California's asinine way of issuing pensions, which are in many cases way too generous. OTOH, I think the Federal system is closer to sanity so I started there as a basis. I tried to correct as possible for whether or not SS was included so that I could respond to what I thought was the intent of the question being asked.

As long as the state is in the business of providing defined benefit pensions - a business I don't believe we should have a part in - I think we need to change investments to near risk-free. Or, as Moody's has done, reduce the expectation to 5.5% earnings from the insane 7.5% or so that municipalities are currently using. There's no reason taxpayers should be on the hook for these assumptions (and their shortfalls), as taxpayers don't really have a seat at the bargaining table.

jamegumb 07-13-2012 09:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WindySummer (Post 51632834)
What are the rules for public & safety pensions for San Bernadino?

For public safety, it's 3% at 50 - employees can retire at age 50 with 3% of salary per year of service worked (plus COLAs)

For most other general employees, it's 2.7% at 55.

See http://gcc.sco.ca.gov/Compensatio...tCsu=False for details. Both formulas are absurdly generous.

chazjr 07-13-2012 09:52 AM

"The Biggest problems in this Country are caused by our own Government"

San Bernardino Faces Criminal Probe
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1...74970.html

Elmer 07-13-2012 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WindySummer (Post 51633116)
Percentages (amount) for retirement.

How much money?

Depends on the job, but they belong to CALPERS and have had extremely generous retirements, including allowing police and fire employees to retire at age 50 with 90% of their highest wage year, plus COLA and medical benefits for life. Since many of those employees make $100K+ a year, there were many retiring at $90K+ per year. And yes, that means some of those retirees will collect benefits for 40 years or more, collecting far more than they ever collected in salary.

I believe they have changed it to 90% at 55, as several other cities and counties have done. Still not a sustainable system.

jamegumb 07-13-2012 10:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elmer (Post 51633516)
Depends on the job, but they belong to CALPERS and have had extremely generous retirements, including allowing police and fire employees to retire at age 50 with 90% of their highest wage year, plus COLA and medical benefits for life. Since many of those employees make $100K+ a year, there were many retiring at $90K+ per year. And yes, that means some of those retirees will collect benefits for 40 years or more, collecting far more than they ever collected in salary.

I believe they have changed it to 90% at 55, as several other cities and counties have done. Still not a sustainable system.

Yes, many have gone to a two tier system. And yes, it's still not realistic.

Pension reform should be a big progressive topic. What these packages do is squeeze money from every other service governments would otherwise provide.

Elmer 07-13-2012 10:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51633284)
For public safety, it's 3% at 50 - employees can retire at age 50 with 3% of salary per year of service worked (plus COLAs)

Plus guaranteed medical benefits.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51633284)
For most other general employees, it's 2.7% at 55.

See http://gcc.sco.ca.gov/Compensatio...tCsu=False for details. Both formulas are absurdly generous.

Indeed.

And as you pointed out, it's enough to put San Bernadino in the red, all by itself.

What I don't understand, is how those here who think cutting these types of union negotiated retirements is so wrong, think should be done instead. Let the cities raise taxes at will to fund them?

Elmer 07-13-2012 10:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51633656)
Yes, many have gone to a two tier system. And yes, it's still not realistic.

Pension reform should be a big progressive topic. What these packages do is squeeze money from every other service governments would otherwise provide.

Exactly.

Why can't those on the left who rubber stamp these tax funded political gifts back to unions, understand that soon, there won't be money left to fund any of the other government programs they support?

Blind partisanship, I guess.......

WindySummer 07-13-2012 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51633284)
For Public Safety, it's 3% at 50 - employees can retire at age 50 with 3% of salary per year of service worked (plus COLAs)

For PUBLIC employees, it's 2.7% @ 55 yrs

jamegumb 07-13-2012 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WindySummer (Post 51634580)
For PUBLIC employees, it's 2.7% @ 55 yrs

Yes, that's what I referred to as "most other general employees". Apologies if that wasn't clear.

WindySummer 07-13-2012 10:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51634786)
Yes, that's what I referred to as "most other general employees". Apologies if that wasn't clear.

Thanks, you are cyrstal clear.

Elmer 07-13-2012 11:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WindySummer (Post 51634888)
Thanks, you are cyrstal clear.

Yes, just as he was in his original post.

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51633284)
For public safety, it's 3% at 50 - employees can retire at age 50 with 3% of salary per year of service worked (plus COLAs)

For most other general employees, it's 2.7% at 55.

See http://gcc.sco.ca.gov/Compensatio...tCsu=False for details. Both formulas are absurdly generous.


WindySummer 07-13-2012 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elmer (Post 51636288)
Yes, just as he was in his original post.

Thank you.

jaqnabox 07-13-2012 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elmer (Post 51632390)
State and local employees, teachers, etc., who get a pension, don't pay anything into social security.

http://www.ssa.gov/slge/faqs.htm

they dont pay into SS, and they dont collect from it. They pay into a portion of their pension and they are paid out by their pension.

Elmer 07-13-2012 08:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jaqnabox (Post 51642734)
they dont pay into SS, and they dont collect from it.

They don't pay into it while working for the city. If they take a second job, or a job before or after retirement, and work the minimum quarters, they can collect it.

Elmer 07-13-2012 08:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jaqnabox (Post 51642734)
They pay into a portion of their pension and they are paid out by their pension.

They pay a small portion of the cost. The rest is paid by the city. To the tune of 30.1% of the salaries this year.

San Bernadino has a 45 million dollar deficit this year. Their costs for their share of retirements has doubled in the last 5 years, from 11.8 million to 25.5 million.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/201...n-tab.html

loop610bob 07-14-2012 05:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51629592)
Again, from the bankruptcy filing: "Reducing ongoing expenses must largely come from ongoing reductions in personnel costs since these costs represent about 75% of total General Fund expenditures. Of the personnel costs in the General Fund about 78% are for public safety." (page 12)

I'm more than willing to discuss other factors regarding the bankruptcy. But you're seriously fooling yourself if you think we're overstating issues by talking about the costs that represent 3/4 of the General Fund.

Or, to quote another story:



http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563...residents/

Note that they're in the red from employee costs alone. How do you propose bridging the gap without serious concessions from the unions?

Now, what are the costs from the giant sink hole you keep describing? Where are your links?

*cough*

FBI raids airport authority offices [pe.com]

And that's not some far off story I'm pulling from the 90's. That sucker is hot off the presses, less than a year old.

This is every day, man. It has been for 20 years. I'm not blowin smoke here, I'm really not. This thing is a boondoggle and has been forever. Hounding out all the money is tough. Where in their public works budget can you find 20 years worth of all the money for all the roads/infrastructure they ripped up and completely re-did around the entire "airport"?

They can't even get a simple 1 building, couple thousand sq. ft. rehab right. Like, maybe criminal can't get it right. The leadership in San Berdoo has been criminally stupid if not outright criminal forever and ever.

Costly rehab for airport agency headquarters [pe.com]

Again, a story less than a year old. We have two decades and we're just sampling from the last 12 months.

But unions, man. Unions. People took jobs that were offered and therefore it's all the unions fault.

WindySummer 07-14-2012 05:38 AM

Organized employers and disorganized workers is the way to go.

jamegumb 07-14-2012 02:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51652184)
*cough*

FBI raids airport authority offices [pe.com]

And that's not some far off story I'm pulling from the 90's. That sucker is hot off the presses, less than a year old.

This is every day, man. It has been for 20 years. I'm not blowin smoke here, I'm really not. This thing is a boondoggle and has been forever. Hounding out all the money is tough. Where in their public works budget can you find 20 years worth of all the money for all the roads/infrastructure they ripped up and completely re-did around the entire "airport"?

They can't even get a simple 1 building, couple thousand sq. ft. rehab right. Like, maybe criminal can't get it right. The leadership in San Berdoo has been criminally stupid if not outright criminal forever and ever.

Costly rehab for airport agency headquarters [pe.com]

Again, a story less than a year old. We have two decades and we're just sampling from the last 12 months.

But unions, man. Unions. People took jobs that were offered and therefore it's all the unions fault.

I'm all for getting rid of malfeasance everywhere, but the San Bernardino Airport Authority is a separate agency that has ties to the city, county, and other jurisdictions. They don't get money from the general fund talked about earlier - the one that's driving the city under.

In fact, some of their malfeasance seems to be that they're paying the city's fire department costs:

http://www.pe.com/local-news/san-...ffices.ece

Quote:

Several companies hired by the public agencies redeveloping Norton Air Force Base were either overpaid or didn’t actually have a contract, according to an annual financial audit for the year ending June 30, 2011.
In one case, the airport paid the city of San Bernardino’s fire department a total of $724,117 but didn’t execute a contract for the agency to be on hand while Boeing tested its massive 747-8 freighters and other aircraft at the airport.
http://www.pe.com/business/busine...erpaid.ece

Is your case really so weak that you're clutching at "general malfeasance" somewhere in the vicinity to obfuscate the fact that the general fund - comprised of 75%+ of salaries/benefits/worker costs - is already underwater before it even touches the other 25%.

It's shameful just how far your crane your neck to avoid looking at what's right in front of your face. You're the one with the fixed view of unions.

Elmer 07-14-2012 06:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WindySummer (Post 51652290)
Organized employers and disorganized workers is the way to go.

What you fail to understand is what's organized about public employee unions, is the mechanism for politicians to trade union money and election support, for voting for and implementing pay and benefit packages not in the public's best interest, and in fact, to unsustainable levels.

Eventually, the left will awaken to find that what they thought was only turning a blind eye to corrupt methods of electing their favorite politicians, was really the theft of the money that was needed for the very programs their favorite politicians were supposed to implement.

SigX 07-14-2012 07:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51659656)
I'm all for getting rid of malfeasance everywhere, but the San Bernardino Airport Authority is a separate agency that has ties to the city, county, and other jurisdictions. They don't get money from the general fund talked about earlier - the one that's driving the city under.

In fact, some of their malfeasance seems to be that they're paying the city's fire department costs:

http://www.pe.com/local-news/san-...ffices.ece



http://www.pe.com/business/busine...erpaid.ece

Is your case really so weak that you're clutching at "general malfeasance" somewhere in the vicinity to obfuscate the fact that the general fund - comprised of 75%+ of salaries/benefits/worker costs - is already underwater before it even touches the other 25%.

It's shameful just how far your crane your neck to avoid looking at what's right in front of your face. You're the one with the fixed view of unions.

/smackdown

WindySummer 07-14-2012 07:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elmer (Post 51663334)
What you fail to understand is what's organized about public employee unions, is the mechanism for politicians to trade union money and election support, for voting for and implementing pay and benefit packages not in the public's best interest, and in fact, to unsustainable levels.

You are spinning.

Elmer 07-14-2012 07:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WindySummer (Post 51663662)
You are spinning.

The truth is tough, isn't it.......

WindySummer 07-14-2012 09:45 PM

Edit....

WindySummer 07-14-2012 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elmer (Post 51664100)
The truth is tough, isn't it.......

EXPLAIN how the Unions ruined the Middle Class.

Elmer 07-14-2012 11:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WindySummer (Post 51666642)
EXPLAIN how the Unions ruined the Middle Class.

Explain bizarre strawmans.......

chazjr 07-15-2012 05:09 AM

Next up.. Los Angeles and San Diego.

Quote:

So far this summer, three California cities have moved toward bankruptcy and several others are distressed enough that the b-word has left the lips of their elected and appointed officials — including those in the two largest, Los Angeles and San Diego.
http://m.redding.com/news/2012/ju...artner=RSS

Mike A. 07-15-2012 10:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chazjr (Post 51669416)
Next up.. Los Angeles and San Diego.

I'll pick Detroit in the pool as being next. At least at the 'Division 1' level. Likely some other smaller ones here and there.

Elmer 07-15-2012 10:33 AM

Where's the California cheerleaders that usually chime in on anything bad said about their dream state?

jamegumb 07-15-2012 12:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elmer (Post 51647076)
They pay a small portion of the cost. The rest is paid by the city. To the tune of 30.1% of the salaries this year.

San Bernadino has a 45 million dollar deficit this year. Their costs for their share of retirements has doubled in the last 5 years, from 11.8 million to 25.5 million.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/201...n-tab.html

And I think that actually *understates* how much pensions cost the city. Aside from the fact that the system is underfunded (so they aren't contributing enough each year to keep it afloat), they passed pension obligation bonds a few years ago (I think they owe about $50M on them) so they are amoritizing the costs over as many years as they can - borrowing in hopes that something will turn around.

Deusxmachina 07-15-2012 01:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elmer (Post 51673678)
Where's the California cheerleaders that usually chime in on anything bad said about their dream state?

Had to sell their pom pons to pay state taxes.

loop610bob 07-15-2012 06:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51659656)
Is your case really so weak that you're clutching at "general malfeasance" somewhere in the vicinity to obfuscate the fact that the general fund - comprised of 75%+ of salaries/benefits/worker costs - is already underwater before it even touches the other 25%.

It's shameful just how far your crane your neck to avoid looking at what's right in front of your face. You're the one with the fixed view of unions.

I seriously don't get it. There are decades, tens of millions of dollars (if not hundreds) worth of this stuff.

You pull a year worth of worker data, knowing absolutely nothing else about the city or the situation, deem it the most important thing about the failure of a city you hadn't heard of the day before (while dismissing their concessions completely out of hand while simultaneously admitting you have no idea what the concessions were or how they were structured.. yea, that makes sense?), and declare victory.

Um, what? I mean sure, in the completely retarded world of "making up our expertise as we go along" on the internet that makes sense, but in the real world San Berdoo was not killed by unions and you'd have to know nothing about the city to think that.

This "debate" has been incredibly illuminating for me. Never have I seen such a completely and utterly wrong conclusion. Goes to show the tubes don't have the info necessary for real people to make real decisions about what reality is.

But it's so well sourced! Right, because when politicians burn a town to the ground, you can certainly trust their report on who lit the fire. Jesus.

jamegumb 07-15-2012 07:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51682754)
I seriously don't get it.

You could have just stopped there.

Again, you're mixing and matching dozens of arguments to suit yourself best, just to ignore the obvious point that most of the general fund - the fund that they're citing in going through bankruptcy - goes to worker salaries/compensation. And that the fund is underwater already before it pays a dime to anything but its workers.

I do appreciate your implications that the people who run the city have malfeasance everywhere, but somehow the contracts they've negotiated with the worker unions are sacrosanct and have nothing to do with putting the town under. Seriously, you don't get it.

loop610bob 07-16-2012 05:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51683086)
You could have just stopped there.

Again, you're mixing and matching dozens of arguments to suit yourself best, just to ignore the obvious point that most of the general fund - the fund that they're citing in going through bankruptcy - goes to worker salaries/compensation. And that the fund is underwater already before it pays a dime to anything but its workers.

And the counter argument being put forth is based on exactly two things, both of which are garbage.

1. A commentary on the budget put forth by sitting politicians that blames everyone and anyone except themselves. This is somehow a trustworthy document. Brilliant!

2. A statement of how much SB firefighters made. Absolutely no context is given or even pretended on their overtime. Did they roll out to support on a fire somewhere else? Did a federal disaster occur that paid back the city for their time? You have no idea and don't even pretend to! But hey we can't let that stop us from making sure we all know you don't like it and boy that's good enough for us!

We (actually you) don't know and literally have zero insight into that process, but we can't let that stop the ignorance train from steaming straight ahead!

I'm sorry. Did I miss some other "damning" piece of evidence that supports your argument?

Quote:

I do appreciate your implications that the people who run the city have malfeasance everywhere, but somehow the contracts they've negotiated with the worker unions are sacrosanct and have nothing to do with putting the town under. Seriously, you don't get it.
Page 1, buddy. We've already covered this. Somehow I'm not demanding enough blood?

Elmer 07-16-2012 08:28 AM

Again, from the San Bernadino wiki......
Quote:

Government, retail, and service industries dominate the economy of the City of San Bernardino. From 1998 to 2004, San Bernardino's economy grew by 26,217 jobs, a 37% increase, to 97,139. Government was both the largest and the fastest-growing employment sector, reaching close to 20,000 jobs in 2004. Other significant sectors were retail (16,000 jobs) and education (13,200 jobs).[19]
When during a rising economy, by far the biggest growth in jobs, was in government jobs, with all of the pension costs, etc., what would be the expected result during a down economy?

jamegumb 07-16-2012 08:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 51690418)
And the counter argument being put forth is based on exactly two things, both of which are garbage.

1. A commentary on the budget put forth by sitting politicians that blames everyone and anyone except themselves. This is somehow a trustworthy document. Brilliant!

2. A statement of how much SB firefighters made. Absolutely no context is given or even pretended on their overtime. Did they roll out to support on a fire somewhere else? Did a federal disaster occur that paid back the city for their time? You have no idea and don't even pretend to! But hey we can't let that stop us from making sure we all know you don't like it and boy that's good enough for us!

We (actually you) don't know and literally have zero insight into that process, but we can't let that stop the ignorance train from steaming straight ahead!

I'm sorry. Did I miss some other "damning" piece of evidence that supports your argument?


Page 1, buddy. We've already covered this. Somehow I'm not demanding enough blood?

Actually, it's you that's done zero research on the subject. You've posted about some random "malfeasance", yet pointed out nothing about actual dollars that affect city operations. You've looked at no actual budgets. You've made no attempt to truly educate yourself.

I bothered looking at an actual year of expenditures for the entire staff. And I posted the link to it so that people could look at the salaries and benefits to come to their own conclusions. I don't know why you'd think this is some random data, but for S&G here's firefighter data from the year previous: http://gcc.sco.ca.gov/Compensatio...irefighter

Average salary subject to Medicare (after throwing out the three people who did not work fulltime): $124,069; again add dental/medical of about $10K plus pension contribution of ~$37,000 for compensation of $171,000+ for rank and file firefighter. But then I suppose 2009 was anomalous, too. :rolleyes:

I'd post 2011, but it's not available (the only two years available from the state controller are 2009 and 2010). Maybe you should bother actually researching some of your claims to actually provide some details on how they affect the bottom line of the city. Meanwhile, I've got some questions for you. As I understand it, you work in Houston (or did) for a public agency. In comparison to CA:

1) What pension compensation packages do Houston public safety workers earn?

2) Are any of the compensation packages comparable to 3% at 50? Can workers in Houston retire with 90% of their salaries after 30 years worked, plus medical and a COLA for life?

3) Assuming Houston pension plans are less, is it that much more difficult to be a public safety worker in CA?

4) Assuming Houston pension plans are less, how is it possible the department has actually stayed staffed? Surely nobody's willing to work for any less than what the workers in CA earn.

5) CA only -- many of these workers toiled for 20+ years under less generous compensation packages; 2% at 50 or similar (this was the maximum allowed until SB400 passed in 1999). Then they received retroactive benefit increases to 3% at 50. Since many of these pensions have valuations in the million dollar plus range (try doing a time value of money of $100K for 20+ years), this was a gift to these workers of $500K or more. What did these public safety employees do the year of the increase to earn this money?

And of course, this problem is not isolated to San Bernardino; you can find similar stories up and down the state, c.f. http://www.ocregister.com/article...721--.html

This is why your arguments fall so flat - municipalities across California are in deep, deep fiscal trouble. Are they all guilty of malfeasance similar to what you cite in San Bernardino (even though you've given no specifics as to how it affects the general fund that's underwater)? Or maybe is it worth looking at the things they definitely do have in common - excessive compensation packages to employees?

Xygonn 07-16-2012 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WindySummer (Post 51652290)
Organized employers and disorganized workers is the way to go.

Certainly the results of disorganized employers and organized workers have not been so great. Wouldn't you agree?

WindySummer 07-16-2012 02:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xygonn (Post 51697590)
Certainly the results of disorganized employers and organized workers have not been so great. Wouldn't you agree?

Yes in CA, generally anything related to public safety and other areas, IMO. I live in a low crime area, so I'm not exactly unbiased. Perhaps there are indeed nationwide budgetary problems.

jamegumb 07-16-2012 06:05 PM

And CalPERS earns a solid 1 percent in the latest fiscal year. Sure glad we taxpayers are guaranteeing the 7.5% annual return all of these bloated pensions are based on...

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/16/...tment.html

Elmer 07-16-2012 07:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WindySummer (Post 51702908)
Yes in CA, generally anything related to public safety and other areas, IMO.

I'm pretty sure this thread is about a city in California.....

Quote:

Originally Posted by WindySummer (Post 51702908)
I live in a low crime area, so I'm not exactly unbiased.

The budget issues in California cities are not limited to "high crime" areas. San Diego has a very low crime rate, making Forbe's top 10 safest cities to live in in 2010, yet they are reportedly also considering bankruptcy.

The influx of public union money into local elections in California, installed regimes in most cities that rubber stamped union demands for pay and benefits.

chazjr 07-18-2012 07:34 AM

Bankrupt Cities of California The Future of America?

Quote:

The failure of liberal leadership in California, is this what Americans in other states can look forward to in their towns?
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/ba...z20z7R4aON
Quote:

Bankrupt California towns the fruits of liberal leadership

Recently more liberal California communities have succumbed to the pitfalls of out-of-control city spending and benefits for elected officials, municipal employees, and administrators who have profited off the public’s hard-earned money with their bloated and collectively bargained pensions, healthcare packages, and other perks not always within the public purview. Cooked books by California politicians have been responsible as city officials over-appraised real estate property values in order to increase tax revenue bases as part of the problem.
http://www.allvoices.com/contribu...leadership

chazjr 07-19-2012 05:38 AM

Next up.. Compton, Calif. Then Victorville, Montebello, Los Angeles, Oakland..!!

Quote:

Famous California City Poised To Become State's Fourth To Go Broke

Compton, Calif. could be the fourth city in the Golden State to seek bankruptcy protection.

At a city council meeting Tuesday, officials announced that Compton is set to run out of funds by Sept. 1. Compton, which has only 93,000 residents, faces a deficit of $43 million after having depleted a $22 million reserve, reports Reuters.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/201...r=Business
Quote:

Compton May Be The Next City To Go; Then Victorville, Montebello, Los Angeles, Oakland

It's a safe bet to add Montebello and Victorville to the list. Moreover, some of the big guns will eventually go under as well.

Unsound pension problems will be the death of many cities. I consider Oakland and LA to be sure things. It's just a matter of time.

Delays in filing will only waste more taxpayer money. Eventually cities will catch on and there will be a flood of bankruptcies.
http://www.businessinsider.com/co...and-2012-7

chazjr 09-03-2012 07:37 AM

A WAY OUT? California Community Considers Bold Response To Foreclosure Crisis

San Bernardino Eminent Domain Fight Closely Watched By Other Struggling Communities
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/201...f=business

Deusxmachina 09-03-2012 09:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by chazjr (Post 52940034)
A WAY OUT? California Community Considers Bold Response To Foreclosure Crisis

San Bernardino Eminent Domain Fight Closely Watched By Other Struggling Communities
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/201...f=business

When the billionaires in San Bernardino living in their billion-dollar homes and taking out home equity loans now can't afford to live in those homes anymore, now they get a bailout, the people who loaned them the money for their billion-dollar homes get screwed, and then those loan givers will have to raise prices on everyone else to make up for it?

Who is going to want to loan money to a San Bernardino resident for a house ever again?

loop610bob 09-06-2012 01:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 51694192)
Actually, it's you that's done zero research on the subject. You've posted about some random "malfeasance", yet pointed out nothing about actual dollars that affect city operations. You've looked at no actual budgets. You've made no attempt to truly educate yourself.

Dude. Brah. I lived there for decades. Every day. I saw what was happening. Pointed out nothing about the actual dollars that affect city operations? I've said over and over what they've been trying to do with the money to make the city work again. They've tried for decades. They failed. That's why they failed. The base went away and they tried to save it. And they failed. That's the reality of the story. Period.
Quote:

I bothered looking at an actual year of expenditures for the entire staff. And I posted the link to it so that people could look at the salaries and benefits to come to their own conclusions. I don't know why you'd think this is some random data, but for S&G here's firefighter data from the year previous: http://gcc.sco.ca.gov/Compensatio...irefighter

Average salary subject to Medicare (after throwing out the three people who did not work fulltime): $124,069; again add dental/medical of about $10K plus pension contribution of ~$37,000 for compensation of $171,000+ for rank and file firefighter. But then I suppose 2009 was anomalous, too. :rolleyes:
I don't know. Let's try a random request from a fairly reasonably random source. If I google "2009 fires", what do you think I'll get? I mean, if I get something about big forest fires in southern California and particularly in San Berdoo, wouldn't that completely invalidate what you're saying here? That would be the piece of evidence that completely obliterated your point right?

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=2009+fires
Quote:

I'd post 2011, but it's not available (the only two years available from the state controller are 2009 and 2010). Maybe you should bother actually researching some of your claims to actually provide some details on how they affect the bottom line of the city.
Protip: The '09 fires cost $8 million to fight and seriously injured a couple of guys. And I'm the guy that doesn't bother actually researching some of my claims.

:lol:
Quote:

Meanwhile, I've got some questions for you. As I understand it, you work in Houston (or did) for a public agency. In comparison to CA:

1) What pension compensation packages do Houston public safety workers earn?
I don't know. I don't know what they get there. And there are different level of compensation based on hiring date here. I am a plan D. My boss is a B. There's too many variables and I don't know the ins and outs of B because it changed significantly halfway through. You need a higher math degree to figure it all out.

Quote:

2) Are any of the compensation packages comparable to 3% at 50? Can workers in Houston retire with 90% of their salaries after 30 years worked, plus medical and a COLA for life?
Again, depends on plan. I get 1.8% per year for the first 25, 1% after. So 30 years would get me 50% on the nose. No COLA. But I can't retire no matter what until I satisfy the rule of 75 (age + years of service), so I think I can leave at the earliest at 54 years old, which will get me ~44%.

The old timers had a better deal in that they had COLA built in at like 4%, but they had to pay in 4 or 5% a year to get the defined benefit. When they realized it was still not sustainable even with pay in, they killed COLA and smashed benefit accrued per year from like 3-4% to my 1.8%.

Quick aside: That dirty no good liberal Bill White (who was crushed in the last governor election by our god fearing coyote shooting Governor Perry) actually went to the voters and had a city constitutional amendment overturned so he could change the formula to make it balance in the future. Then he got ground up by the Perry machine as just another free spending liberal of liberal Houston. God bless Texas.

I know the retirees pay a part of the medical and I remember thinking "holy s@#$ that's high" when I saw the number but I don't remember what it is.
Quote:

3) Assuming Houston pension plans are less, is it that much more difficult to be a public safety worker in CA?
Well having lived in both places, I can tell you the cost of living difference is positively incredible. If my house was as far away from downtown in LA as it is Houston, you would have to add a digit to the front of the value of my home and it probably wouldn't be a 1. Even gas costs a crazy amount more in CA. Having said that, I wouldn't disagree that it's screwed.

But having said that, my grandma retired from the LA libraries after 34 years and she lives in a trailer park home for old people. We've tried to get her someplace nicer but she won't have our "charity". So I don't know who is getting fat on the hog but it sure as hell ain't the library nerds.
Quote:

4) Assuming Houston pension plans are less, how is it possible the department has actually stayed staffed? Surely nobody's willing to work for any less than what the workers in CA earn.
My great grandma's place in La Canada was a total loss of the structure tear down and it sold for $1.1 million. My house is half the distance to downtown (relatively), on more land, the structure is incredible, all my neighbors are doctors or lawyers or big oil engineers, we're in the nicest public high school district in the city, and we paid less than $350k signed sealed delivered.

The point of all that is that someone's gotta pick up the difference.
Quote:

5) CA only -- many of these workers toiled for 20+ years under less generous compensation packages; 2% at 50 or similar (this was the maximum allowed until SB400 passed in 1999). Then they received retroactive benefit increases to 3% at 50. Since many of these pensions have valuations in the million dollar plus range (try doing a time value of money of $100K for 20+ years), this was a gift to these workers of $500K or more. What did these public safety employees do the year of the increase to earn this money?
I don't know but I'm calling my councilman.
Quote:

And of course, this problem is not isolated to San Bernardino; you can find similar stories up and down the state, c.f. http://www.ocregister.com/article...721--.html
My whole bitch about San Berdoo is San Berdoo specific. Has every other city in CA screwed the pooch? I dunno. Prolly. San Berdoo is different.
Quote:

This is why your arguments fall so flat - municipalities across California are in deep, deep fiscal trouble. Are they all guilty of malfeasance similar to what you cite in San Bernardino (even though you've given no specifics as to how it affects the general fund that's underwater)? Or maybe is it worth looking at the things they definitely do have in common - excessive compensation packages to employees?
They probably are. I have no idea and don't really pay much attention to CA. I got the f@#$ outta there as soon as I had a leg to stand on, so maybe I'm not the best person to ask.

Your point is made, but the aggregate doesn't always hold up when we take that aggregate to the micro. San Berdoo is a smoking crater in the ground because of many things. The union is, perhaps rarely, not one of them.

I don't know alot of things. I'm pretty sure CA is screwed up because of the pension system. I can't imagine the unions not sinking their hooks too deep for too long into CA. That seems totally likely. In the aggregate, sure, I'm sure a pretty robust bloodletting is in order.

loop610bob 09-06-2012 01:50 PM

Jesus Christ I just realized that after I retire (assuming 30 years), my property taxes TODAY and medical copay will leave me in the red. I need another job.

LivninSC 09-06-2012 02:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deusxmachina (Post 52941220)
When the billionaires in San Bernardino living in their billion-dollar homes and taking out home equity loans now can't afford to live in those homes anymore, now they get a bailout, the people who loaned them the money for their billion-dollar homes get screwed, and then those loan givers will have to raise prices on everyone else to make up for it?

Who is going to want to loan money to a San Bernardino resident for a house ever again?

What am I missing? I am not sure if you've ever been to San Bernadino but I'd be willing to bet there aren't any Billionaires living there. I could be wrong however...

Deusxmachina 09-06-2012 03:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LivninSC (Post 53022484)
What am I missing? I am not sure if you've ever been to San Bernadino but I'd be willing to bet there aren't any Billionaires living there. I could be wrong however...

I said billionaires because so many people complain about "rich people" getting bailouts when they do the wrong thing, and whether these people are billionaires or not, they may get a bailout as well after doing the wrong thing.

If these people were all billionaires, there'd likely be a lot of uproar about the proposed bailout. But they're not, so there isn't. And yet, bailouts aren't free. Someone, somewhere, loses. And that includes possibly the people who did the right thing and don't need a bailout having to pay more for loans in the future because the entire city will be a higher risk due to eminent domain.

LivninSC 09-06-2012 03:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deusxmachina (Post 53023098)
I said billionaires because so many people complain about "rich people" getting bailouts when they do the wrong thing, and whether these people are billionaires or not, they may get a bailout as well after doing the wrong thing.

If these people were all billionaires, there'd likely be a lot of uproar about the proposed bailout. But they're not, so there isn't. And yet, bailouts aren't free. Someone, somewhere, loses. And that includes possibly the people who did the right thing and don't need a bailout having to pay more for loans in the future because the entire city will be a higher risk due to eminent domain.

Fair enough. I actually didn't think about that potential backlash. If I were a responsible person looking to move to SB I'd be pissed if my loan cost more/had a higher rate because the city had a certain policy. As it is loans likely cost more because of all the foreclosures but this may make it even worse...

Elmer 09-06-2012 10:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 53021330)
Jesus Christ I just realized that after I retire (assuming 30 years), my property taxes TODAY and medical copay will leave me in the red. I need another job.


A second job, a better paying job, save more money, or work longer than 30 years.......

loop610bob 09-07-2012 08:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elmer (Post 53032388)
A second job, a better paying job, save more money, or work longer than 30 years.......

On the drive home yesterday I realized my math was wrong and I was estimating half. Crisis averted.

Working longer comes with significantly diminished returns. After 25 years accruals go from 1.8%/year to 1%. I'll probably go to a contractor and double or triple my salary there once I hit 25.

The guys at wastewater don't go past 30 because they all die. You can't do this and not expect consequences. My old boss died on the job of a heart attack. My new boss (25 yrs service) just had a heart attack a few months ago. Vietnamese guy. Eats the healthiest I've ever seen. No family history of problems. It just is what it is.

Elmer 09-07-2012 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 53040618)
On the drive home yesterday I realized my math was wrong and I was estimating half. Crisis averted.

Excellent. It must have been a great relief to realize that you were wrong.


Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 53040618)
Working longer comes with significantly diminished returns. After 25 years accruals go from 1.8%/year to 1%. I'll probably go to a contractor and double or triple my salary there once I hit 25.

Sounds like a no brainer......

loop610bob 09-07-2012 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elmer (Post 53043028)
Excellent. It must have been a great relief to realize that you were wrong.

I was, uh, yea. Kinda freaking out.
Quote:

Sounds like a no brainer......
They're just such lying cheating bastards. Every damn one of em.

Elmer 09-07-2012 01:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loop610bob (Post 53044492)
They're just such lying cheating bastards. Every damn one of em.

Politicians?

Yes, well, that's why some of us would prefer to give them less power, rather than more.....

jamegumb 11-14-2012 07:33 AM

Reuters just did a fairly long special report on San Bernardino:

http://www.reuters.com/article/20...HP20121113

Quote:

Originally Posted by Reuters
(Reuters) - When this sun-drenched exurb east of Los Angeles filed for bankruptcy protection in August, the city attorney suggested fraudulent accounting was the root of the problem.

The mayor blamed a dysfunctional city council and greedy police and fire unions. The unions blamed the mayor. Even now, there is little agreement on how the city got into this crisis or how it can extricate itself.

"It's total political chaos," said John Husing, a former San Bernardino resident and regional economist. "There is no solution. They'll never fix anything."

Yet on close examination, the city's decades-long journey from prosperous, middle-class community to bankrupt, crime-ridden, foreclosure-blighted basket case is straightforward — and alarmingly similar to the path traveled by many municipalities around America's largest state. San Bernardino succumbed to a vicious circle of self-interests among city workers, local politicians and state pension overseers.

Little by little, over many years, the salaries and retirement benefits of San Bernardino's city workers — and especially its police and firemen — grew richer and richer, even as the city lost its major employers and gradually got poorer and poorer.

Unions poured money into city council elections, and the city council poured money into union pay and pensions. The California Public Employees' Retirement System (Calpers), which manages pension plans for San Bernardino and many other cities, encouraged ever-sweeter benefits. Investment bankers sold clever bond deals to pay for them. Meanwhile, state law made it impossible to raise local property taxes and difficult to boost any other kind.

etc.


gunnerusa 11-14-2012 07:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 54774806)
Reuters just did a fairly long special report on San Bernardino:

Gosh, that's horrible! And the housing collapse had absolutely nothing to do with their problems, huh? Amazing! :shake:

http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/w...and-prices.jpg

paperboy05 11-14-2012 07:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gunnerusa (Post 54774982)
Gosh, that's horrible! And the housing collapse had absolutely nothing to do with their problems, huh? Amazing! :shake:

Who said it didn't? Did you even read the article?
Quote:

Last decade's housing boom had papered over the deep economic problems stemming from the shutdowns of a huge steel mill in the 1980s and the Norton Air Force Base in the 1990s. Now the boom was over. Tax revenues were poised for a big fall: Between 2007 and 2011, they dropped 30 percent, according to Husing, the regional economist.

Yet on this day in 2007, the city was about to raise pension benefits again, in a deal allowing non-public-safety workers to retire at age 55 with a pension equal to three-quarters of their salary. Called "2.5 at 55," it calculated annual pensions at 2.5 percentage points of final salary for each year worked - 75 percent for 30 years.
Also:
Quote:

In bankrupt San Bernardino, a third of the city's 210,000 people live below the poverty line, making it the poorest city of its size in California. But a police lieutenant can retire in his 50s and take home $230,000 in one-time payouts on his last day, before settling in with a guaranteed $128,000-a-year pension. Forty-six retired city employees receive over $100,000 a year in pensions.

Almost 75 percent of the city's general fund is now spent solely on the police and fire departments, according to a Reuters analysis of city bankruptcy documents - most of that on wages and pension costs.

IN THE DARK

San Bernardino's biggest creditor, by far, is Calpers, the public-employee pension fund. The city says it owes Calpers $143 million; using a different calculation, Calpers says the city would have to pay $320 million if it left the plan immediately.

jamegumb 11-14-2012 07:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gunnerusa (Post 54774982)
Gosh, that's horrible! And the housing collapse had absolutely nothing to do with their problems, huh? Amazing! :shake:

http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/w...and-prices.jpg

It had a lot to do with it - the housing bubble was a significant factor that allowed labor to 'negotiate' for better and better compensation packages that appeared sustainable on paper but were founded on a house of cards (which was exposed when the bubble burst).

Is this really your total response to what's going on here?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Reuters
Meanwhile, San Bernardino continued to boost wages along with benefits. The average salary for a full-time San Bernardino firefighter in 1997 was $75,610, adjusted for inflation into 2010 dollars. By 2010, it was nearly $147,000, according to a Reuters analysis of Census Bureau data.

Since the housing bubble has come and gone, should employee compensation for these workers be returned to the 1997 levels (adjusted for inflation)? Or are you just for keeping the current compensation packages while pretending that the problem comes from somewhere else?

gunnerusa 11-14-2012 08:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 54775246)
Is this really your total response to what's going on here?

Yes. The article is a prime example of bad, agenda-driven "journalism."

jamegumb 11-14-2012 08:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gunnerusa (Post 54775752)
Yes. The article is a prime example of bad, agenda-driven "journalism."

Your attitude seems to be a fine example of what we were discussing in the other thread: how is it possible to address problems when people can't even acknowledge what they are?

We responded to your aside, noting it was contributory but not the ultimate issue. You're choosing to act like an ostrich.

gunnerusa 11-14-2012 09:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 54777382)
Your attitude seems to be a fine example of what we were discussing in the other thread: how is it possible to address problems when people can't even acknowledge what they are?

There's nothing new about wedge issues. It certainly serves Wall Street's interests to have us debating whether cops make millions too much rather than Wall Street's theft of trillions.

Deusxmachina 11-14-2012 09:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gunnerusa (Post 54777800)
There's nothing new about wedge issues. It certainly serves Wall Street's interests to have us debating whether cops make millions too much rather than Wall Street's theft of trillions.

Plenty of those Wall Streeters would be broke right now and living in a cardboard box. But they got bailed out. Who bailed them out?

The topic of this thread is "bankruptcy protection." Who gave Wall Street bankruptcy protection?
Goldman Sachs got 100 cents on the dollar. Deplorable.

andyfico 11-14-2012 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 54774806)
Reuters just did a fairly long special report on San Bernardino:

http://www.reuters.com/article/20...HP20121113

Unions FTL! Parasites! :)

jamegumb 11-14-2012 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gunnerusa (Post 54777800)
There's nothing new about wedge issues. It certainly serves Wall Street's interests to have us debating whether cops make millions too much rather than Wall Street's theft of trillions.

Even if you feel this way, it's a shame that you feel that you're only able to focus on one robbery at a time. NTM Wall Street seems to have had little to do with bankrupting CA towns, outside of the fact that many localities here (through CalPERS and other sources) bet their pensions on the market, amassing such lucrative gains through time that they felt invulnerable and able to grant unsustainable benefits to their own personnel.

Anyway, I think you should remove yourself from the thread. Since you don't seem interested in actually discussing the topics here.

chazjr 11-18-2012 08:32 AM

After bankruptcy, Vallejo, California experiments with letting voters make budget decisions.
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2...ke-budget/

Elmer 11-18-2012 08:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gunnerusa (Post 54777800)
Congratulations to President Obama on his re-election, and congratulations to the American people, who spoke with one voice for upholding freedom, democracy, and the American way!

:rolleyes:

kilacam19 11-18-2012 10:56 AM

Cant San Bernardino just turn over there pension to to the PBGC since they declared bankruptcy?

Mike A. 11-18-2012 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kilacam19 (Post 54910212)
Cant San Bernardino just turn over there pension to to the PBGC since they declared bankruptcy?

Don't think they deal with public pensions.

SigX 11-19-2012 05:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamegumb (Post 54774806)
Reuters just did a fairly long special report on San Bernardino:

http://www.reuters.com/article/20...HP20121113

absolutely amazing, the compensation some people get via pensions. I will neve understand why people support things which are obviously unsustainable.

chazjr 11-20-2012 08:45 AM

Pensions are out of Control.. Click thru Slideshow..

8 Outrageously Cushy Government Pensions
http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Med...oYslvKa.99

SigX 11-22-2012 07:58 PM

calling anon...

rrc06 01-25-2013 06:22 AM

Sounds like a pile of steaming you-know-what.

Budget officials flee San Bernardino amid bankruptcy chaos
[reuters.com]

Quote:

A rush to the doors in San Bernardino city hall threatens the city's ability to qualify for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection by robbing it of the people with the experience to answer questions from the court and creditors. If those questions are not answered, the judge could deny bankruptcy protection, experts say.

San Bernardino's interim city manager Andrea Travis-Miller has quit and will start a new job on February 19.

The city's finance chief Jason Simpson is also expected to leave soon, a source inside the city said. The city's head of human resources has also quit, as has its head of code enforcement.
Quote:

There are few other, if any, officials with a deep understanding of the city's finances. Their loss calls into question whether San Bernardino has the ability to present a viable plan to satisfy creditors, and a bankruptcy court, that it should qualify for bankruptcy protection.
Quote:

The next major decision for the federal judge overseeing the case is whether the city should be granted bankruptcy protection. Such protection safeguards the city from creditor lawsuits until its finances are restructured under the auspices of the court.

The city's biggest creditor, California's public employee's pension fund, has opposed San Bernardino's quest to seek bankruptcy protection. Without it, the struggling city will likely face multiple lawsuits in state court for unpaid bills, at a time when its officials say it can barely make payroll.
Quote:

Losing its top two budget officials at such an important stage will only add to San Bernardino's difficulties to achieve bankruptcy protection, said Karol Denniston, a municipal bankruptcy expert with Schiff Hardin in San Francisco.

"This is a situation with all the makings of a legal disaster, because the expectations are that a judicial process can sort out the unsortable," Denniston said.

"The court cannot determine (bankruptcy) eligibility if creditors have not been given sufficient information. Now we have a lack of staff. There is insufficient money," Denniston said, adding that the city has so far failed to come up with a convincing bankruptcy plan.
Quote:

The case is emerging as a landmark legal battle because the city has taken the unprecedented step of halting payments to Calpers, America's biggest public pension fund.

Because of that move, San Bernardino is potentially testing whether the pensions of government workers take precedence over other payments in a municipal bankruptcy, which could have ramifications for other creditors, including Wall Street bondholders, as more cities and towns have trouble meeting their obligations
Does anyone besides me see the humor in public-sector workers (city officials) screwing over other public-sector workers (CALPERS)? :lmao:

Danman114 01-25-2013 06:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rrc06 (Post 57116194)
Sounds like a pile of steaming you-know-what.

Budget officials flee San Bernardino amid bankruptcy chaos
[reuters.com]

Does anyone besides me see the humor in public-sector workers (city officials) screwing over other public-sector workers (CALPERS)? :lmao:

This is why companies like Hostess have to pay executives their bonuses while the company heads off the cliff. If you don't, your just left with a steaming pile of mess that will cost more in the long run to figure out.

What happens if they don't get bankruptcy protection?

rrc06 01-25-2013 06:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Danman114 (Post 57116758)
What happens if they don't get bankruptcy protection?

I was wondering the same thing. I imagine it ends up hurting the city and its residents more than anyone else, in the long-term.

Mr.Ritz 01-25-2013 08:51 AM

You ever been to san fran.. Its a disconnected rich white people far from the problems.

LivninSC 01-25-2013 09:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr.Ritz (Post 57120278)
You ever been to san fran.. Its a disconnected rich white people far from the problems.

You ever been to Delhi? It's full of brownish red people, many of which have problems far worse than those of the people in San Bernadino :confused:

Krazen1211 01-25-2013 12:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr.Ritz (Post 57120278)
You ever been to san fran.. Its a disconnected rich white people far from the problems.

Actually San Francisco isn't even 50% white.

chazjr 02-09-2013 07:44 AM

Rich Californians Are Fed Up With The State's Crazy Taxes –– Here's Where They Should Move
http://www.businessinsider.com/we...z2KPvMNEvK

rrc06 11-11-2013 03:58 AM

Looks like CA should just hire a legal team for all of their cities :lol:

Desert Hot Springs, California, May Weigh Bankruptcy
[bloomberg.com]

chazjr 11-22-2013 07:41 AM

For the third year in a row, California is the worst-run state in America.

The Best and Worst Run States in America
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/bes...03958.html


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