Posted by Edward Moritz, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Feb 7, 2011 at 2:11 pm
Dear Mr. Simitian, Mr. Brown and the rest of the California Legislature......
Until there is a FIX to the outrageous Public Employee Pensions - CalPERS - there will be no real solution to the California Budget Crisis.
Put an Absolute CAP of $100 K on a pension payout to ANY member of CalPERS and then we can talk about a ballot measure to consider extending our already high tax rates. Have the CAP start in two years. That will provide time for all employees receiving those extraordinarily generous pay levels over $100 per year to start doing what those who don't work for the government (know as the majority) do. Start a savings account or investment fund with a portion of their own money. And the CAP will not affect the majority of government employees, just those paid enough to take care of their own future.
The P.R campaigns threatening budgets for schools, public safety, libraries and public parks are getting old. We hear the same song every time government budgets get tight. All these budgetary items will be threatened every year into the future until this unsustainable program of wealth transfer from the private sector to the public sector is addressed. OH! That's right. Mr. Simitian, Mr. Brown and all the other legislatures are on the CalPERS scheme. So their pensions are the problem they don't want to solve. Their pensions come before school budgets and the rest of the services that governments are suppose to provide their citizens.
Mr. Simitian.....Until you have the manhood to establish a clear and certain FIX to Public Pensions, then the citizens have to alternative but to vote NO on tax extensions.
Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of the Atherton: Lindenwood neighborhood, on Feb 7, 2011 at 2:56 pm
In times past when there was a problem at the local level we could always expect the State or the Feds to bail us out - NO MORE. Every level of government is running deficits. Job grow is stagnant, housing prices continue to slide, property tax revenues are stagnant, sales tax revenue is stagnant and income tax revenues will probably decline.
The ride is over and now we have to pay the piper. We have NO choice but to cut local agency budgets and to restructure public employee pay and benefits. Some politicians will try to hold off on these measures but that will just make the day of reckoning even more painful.
Sadly education, at all levels, will have to share the pain.
Posted by Joe, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Feb 7, 2011 at 6:12 pm
Public employees, elected officials, and government representativies always warn of "draconian" cuts. They say everything has been cut to the bone. This is NONSENSE. Salaries and benefits for public employees have not gone down but rather have continue to increase every year during a recession. I imagine 60% to 70% of all government expenses go towards personal costs. If you don't cut personnel costs, the budget problems will remain.
It is time for a CHANGE.
I watched Undervcover Boss last night, the CEO of Frontier Airlines went undercover to see what life was like for the working stiffs. At the end of the show, he told the Frontiers that over a 3 year period, Frontier will raise salaries to the level they were before 10% salary cuts!
Get it! Frontier workers got 10% pay cuts. The Frontier CEO promised to bring salary levels back to what they were over 3 years. Get it!
Most public employees probably have 5% to 10% bigger paychecks NOW than they did at the start of the recession.
Jeez, anyone see the problem?
The politicians won't get it. It is not in THEIR interest to get it.
Only the people can stop this insanity and that is by voting NO each and every time a tax increase is proposed.
Teachers work for 3/4 the number of days the average American works.
Teachers put far less into their retirement and get for more earlier than everyone else.
Posted by new guy, a resident of the Menlo Park: Downtown neighborhood, on Feb 7, 2011 at 8:32 pm
Here we go again with the scare tactics. Menlo Park just gave into the last one with the parcel tax to "save" teachers and keep class sizes low. I am looking forward to what "marketing/fear mongering" speak the establishment comes up with next! How many more words in there thesaurus are there for "bad", "not good", "undocumented", etc.
The sooner we ALL realized the game is over the sooner we can move on to something that works.
I was thinking that Brown would be the one with the scare tactics, but it turns out the strategy is to push the scare down one level to the representatives to "sell it to the people."
Hey, just read the story of Heather Fong, Web Link
annual pension of $229,500 for life...
Oh yea, and our city manager makes $224,500 a year currently.
Please, oh please, someone tell me why I need to pay more taxes.
Posted by Henry Riggs, a resident of the Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle neighborhood, on Feb 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm Henry Riggs is a member (registered user) of Almanac Online
If Governor Brown and friends want voters to underwrite the bad behavior of state government past, we will at the minimum need assurances that we are not just propping up the system that got us into this budget disaster: EXTENDING TAXES MUST BE CONDITIONED ON THE SUCCESSFUL RESTRUCTURING OF CURRENT STATE EMPLOYEE COSTS. It makes no sense for taxpayers to support the status quo with more money - three quarters of the state budget goes to employee costs, and that is where the budget fix has to be made, not in little corners.