Diary

One of California’s thousand points of mud

I say “mud” because manure sounds too clean somehow

One of the problems in California is what to do with the huge cost of pensions, especially in the face of huge losses in the pension investment system. Add to that the following;

As The Times’ Rich Connell reports, pension spending is a growing concern for city budget planners. The city could face a $1-billion budget shortfall in 2010-2011, and an even larger deficit the year after, chiefly because of pension investment losses, according to the city’s top budget analyst.

Connell’s review of city records found that Los Angeles Councilman Bernard Parks, City Hall’s budget committee chief, who is warning that soaring payroll and pension costs threaten the city’s financial stability, receives $22,000 a month in city retirement benefits in addition to his $178,789 a year salary.

Bernard Parks is the former LAPD Chief of Police from 1997 to 2002, when he was essentially forced from office over his handling of the infamous LAPD Rampart Scandal.

To be sure, his service in the LAPD was long, going back to 1965 (although his Wikipedia entry describes his having made Sergeant a scant four years later when he would barely be past being a rookie), so without a doubt he would have a pension coming to him, but $264,000
a year? Over one million dollars every four years! In addition as a current LA City Councilman he receives $178,789 in salary, not counting whatever benefits he’s entitled to with all his income and benefits are combined.

I’ll take that retirement package!

Bernie is LA City Hall’s Budget Committee chief, and as such has been smack in the middle of some raucous debates over who to lay off and what services to cut in the sagging economy, which prompted him to respond to one phone interviewer’s question by saying;

“I don’t discuss my salary or my pension and I earn both of them,”

As I’m sure everyone in LA currently earning a huge pension as well as a working salary twice what most get in California every year feels that way, he’ll have loads of fun getting anyone to go along with any reasonable cuts as he is proposing.

Remember, this is just one of many current and former legislators in this state scooping in tax dollars with a shovel every year.

Sure, let’s look at laying off teachers and firefighters first.