Pensions are the catch of a lifetime

City workers getting lifetime retirements at age 55 landed the catch of a lifetime. Public pensions are a Ponzi scheme with the working man at the bottom of the pyramid.
Encinitas has four retired workers guaranteed more than $100,000 annually. One earns $12,000 monthly. Each year the list grows. Private workers not only have to pay for their own retirement but also the retirements of multiple city employees.
How much do you need in your 401K to get you $12K monthly for life risk free? How hard should you have to work to pay for some city employee’s guaranteed retirement?
Public unions use candidate endorsements as bait to catch trophy-sized pensions. The self-serving relationship between public unions and city officials has to end. In Oceanside, police were given a 5 percent increase a month before the residents learned the city was short $3.6 million.
In Encinitas, the sheriff’s union paid for billboards to elect Kristin Gaspar. In San Diego’s plan to move workers to private 401K the police union is exempt. Last week San Diego police negotiated a pay raise while other city employees took 6 percent pay cuts.
The hook is we are paying more and getting less. Local governments increase city worker benefits and cut services. The Bureau of Labor reports 50 percent of local city costs are labor.
Encinitas Deputy Mayor Stocks is endorsed by the police union and a former fire chief who collects a pension of $12K monthly. During Stocks’ terms in office, firefighters got $8 million to build new fire stations with bigger TVs with no improvement in response times. Encinitas city employees cheered when the council awarded them a 35 percent benefits increase.
Elected officials are supposed to represent taxpayers not city employees. The $30 million Hall Park remains a vacant field.
North County needs to drain the pension fishing hole that is sapping financial resources. Last week, Teresa Barth told residents that Mayor Bond and City Manager Cotton agreed to her request to put pension reform on the agenda.
Bond has 60 days to make it happen. Barth wants the discussion in an open meeting. Earlier this year in a closed meeting concerning a pension issue Stocks, Bond and Gaspar approved of City Manager Cotton getting what was called an extra paycheck that spiked Cotton’s pension. Cotton gets $6,400 monthly in pension and another $15K in a monthly deal with the city. Barth opposed it saying the $45K could be saved for taxpayers.
As a kid, April meant trout season. At the crack of dawn, Dad would drive my siblings and I down dirt roads, his green Ford F-150 lurching along with four kids packed on the seat. Through the windows we’d see them. Swarming mosquitoes and black flies. There was a price to pay for landing a trout that included perseverance, courage and a fair amount off Calamine lotion.
My dad would park and turn to the four of us saying “let’s get moving, the fish aren’t going to jump in the truck.”
His point being life doesn’t just happen. Success and results require our active participation.
North County officials need to get moving on pension reforms. Taxpayer money needs to go to fund community services like parks, roads, schools and seniors. City employees and public pensioners have reached their limit. The season of taxpayer funded retirements is closed.


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