Town Square

Post a New Topic

Court upholds Menlo Park pension reform

Original post made on May 8, 2012

So far the court doesn't see a problem with pension reform initiative Measure L, according to a ruling issued on Monday (May 4).

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 11:10 AM

Comments (14)

Posted by Measure L Supporter, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on May 8, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Fantastic! Thank you supporters, workers and creators of Measure L! Finally, restoring SOME sense in California's fiscal issues. It is my hope that Menlo Park's Measure L stands out as an example for other California cities to follow, and to implement. Thank you Henry and Roy for leading the charge!

Posted by Joanna, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 8, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Awesome! Congratulations!

Please don't let this be the end of the movement to curb waste. There is so much more to do!

Posted by Roy Thiele-Sardiņa, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 8, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Roy Thiele-Sardiņa is a registered user.

Thanks you all for your continued support. Citizens for Responsible Pension Reform [CFRPR] (Measure L) are of course overjoyed at the court decision.

At the same time we are discouraged at the cost to the City to fight the Unions legal challenges. The money the city was forced to spend will deprive our community of vital resources and services.

We hope that this settles any lingering doubt that the citizens of Menlo Park have a legal right to control the costs of providing pensions to their employees (even when our elected official refuse to do so). Our children and grand-children will thank us......

Thanks again for all your support!

Roy Thiele-Sardiņa
Co-Chairman -
Citizens for Responsible Pension Reform

Posted by Steve, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 8, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Yes, congrats!!! Why am I not surprised by the union response? The give me give me attitude can now be changed. The cost to the city should be subtracted from the unions in the next union contract. The citizens should not have to pay for the union mentality.

Posted by Peter Carpenter, a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 8, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

And now look at how far short CalPERS has fallen from of its declared 7.5% goal:

"The California Public Employees' Retirement System, the largest U.S. pension, earned less than 2 percent on investments in the first three quarters of its fiscal year, below its target rate after its stock portfolio faltered."

Web Link

Posted by Tough Love, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on May 9, 2012 at 6:07 am

Quoting ..."Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) argued that not allowing the City Council to increase benefits would prevent the city from being able to negotiate in good faith."

The perverted thinking of Public Unions never ceases to amaze me. I wonder if they would entertain negotiating pension DECREASES for current workers ? That's what's needed.

Public Sector Unions are a Cancer on society. They should be outlawed. Barring that, Collective Bargaining must end.

Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 9, 2012 at 7:53 am

Hey Blue Collar Public Worker you still around? What do you think of your wonderful PERS ROI? Not quite the 7 1/2% you insisted they were going to get, is it? Seems someone told you this would be the case.

Posted by Charles, a resident of another community
on May 9, 2012 at 8:25 am


When did you move to Menlo Park?

Posted by Tough Love, a resident of another community
on May 9, 2012 at 8:45 am

Hi Charles,

I didn't see "Other" as a choice, so I had to pick a (random location). Now I see "another community" as an option, and will use that.


Posted by Jack Tachspeyr, a resident of another community
on May 9, 2012 at 9:54 am

Maybe the Menlo Park Almanac should publish the salaries (by job description and department, no need to name individuals) for all Menlo Park employees. Then they should publish the value of all current and future benefits. They should make certain to include the current year funding costs for future retirement health and pension benefits, and for these invested funds they should assume a lower risk rate of return than the current, totally unrealistic and highly risky 7.75%.

If the Menlo Park Almanac had the courage, the work ethic, the intellectual honesty, and the competence to do this analysis, it is likely they would demonstrate that the AVERAGE total compensation of a city employee (non safety) is around $125,000 per year, and the AVERAGE total compensation of a safety employee is well over $200,000 per year. I could be low-balling this.

Before they're finished, the Menlo Park Almanac might summarize the many programs of paid time off in place. It is likely, for example, that there are compensation time programs, such 9/80 program, common among government workers, whereby you skip a few breaks and a few lunches, and take every other Friday (or Monday) off with full pay, under the premise that you have worked 9 hour days for 9 days, and thus fulfilled your full time work requirement for the pay period. And of course the many holidays and generous vacation and sick leave packages.

Local government employees in California, including the safety classification, are the most overpaid workers in the history of the world. They are bankrupting the country. We are on track, for example, to pay more each year in pension benefits to the small minority of retired government workers, than we will pay in social security to everyone else. This is all a crime of historic proportions, and the reason is because of public sector unions, whose agenda is inherently opposed to the public interest.

Posted by Joseph E. Davis, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on May 9, 2012 at 10:33 am

It is baffling that so many Californians continue to vote for public union supported candidates. It is quite obvious that public unions exist solely to loot the taxpayer in a corrupt bargain with paid-for politicians, and they have been extremely effective in doing so.

Congratulations to Menlo Park on making a step towards fiscal sanity and value for taxpayers' dollars. There are many more such steps that need to be taken.

Posted by S, a resident of another community
on May 9, 2012 at 10:52 am

""The California Public Employees' Retirement System, the largest U.S. pension, earned less than 2 percent on investments in the first three quarters of its fiscal year, below its target rate after its stock portfolio faltered.""

Terrible article. CalPERS began their current fiscal year, on July 1st, with 239.5 billion dollars in assets. As of yesterday's market close total assets were 232.5 billion. The 7.75% assumed rate of return is "NET" of administative costs and fees which average about three billion annually, so this claim of 1.9% returns probably hasn't factored those costs.

I do not trust anything that comes from CalPERS. When they come out with their CAFR (audited financial report), barring a miraculous run up in the markets over the next 53 days, you should expect to see CalPERS report another losing year that will require even higher employer/taxpayer contributuins beginning July 1, 2014 (on top of all the other already scheduled rate increases).

Posted by mrs., a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 3, 2012 at 11:53 pm

I guess then this would include firemen and police men as well? Since they take a big percentage of the tax contributions- and if the salaries do become public they should also include management positions who are paid the highest. I also believe Public Boards should be held accountable, they misuse public funds. While field workers are denied a salary increase some workers in Management in Menlo Park have received a "wage increase" of up to 10,000- from an elected Board- that is suppose to make proper use of our tax dollars!! I don't understand why we should deprive public employees from (benefits and retirement) if they offer our city good and quality services, I have been living in MP for 12 years and I have received excellent services, parks and neighborhoods are clean, police and firemen are always responsive, water and sewer services are great. I guess I just disagree with the "bourgeoisie" of MP !! Thank God I am moving from this town!!!

Posted by Michael G. Stogner, a resident of another community
on Jun 4, 2012 at 10:16 am

Congratulations, to Citizens for Responsible Pension Reform (CFRPR).

If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

David's Tea: now open in downtown Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 6 comments | 2,828 views

On Tour at Selective Schools: Chapman, La Verne, Redlands, Whittier
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 0 comments | 1,596 views

The dress code
By Jessica T | 14 comments | 1,392 views

Anglo Menlo Park
By Paul Bendix | 0 comments | 553 views

Council election, and then some.
By Stuart Soffer | 1 comment | 323 views