The 70% Solution
Original post made by Common sense, Atherton: other, on Aug 7, 2013
Question: How many police departments in the Bay Area make a cops' pension contribution for him, in addition to providing the employer match?
Answer: One. Atherton.
Question: Same as above, replace California for Bay Area.
Answer: One (as far as I can check). Atherton.
Question: Will the APOA purchased city council of Wiest and Lewis roll back this practice in contract negotiations?
Answer: Hell no. The APOA is going to get what they paid for.
In an alternative universe in which the Atherton town council was actually trying to work for the taxpayers of Atherton, the following obvious measures would be taken to reduce the parcel tax down to about 50% of its current level. It would only need to be kept at the 50% level for four more years to pay down unfunded liabilities and perform capital improvements, and then go away entirely.
Reform #1: Stop making a cops' pension contribution for him. Just make the employer contribution, like every other city does. A no brainer, right?
Reform #2: Unfortunately it may not be possible to roll back an existing cops pension from the 90% level. At least reduce it for new hires. A no brainer, right?
Reform #3: Reduce Atherton police officer pay from the 70th percentile of neighboring cities to the 50th.
APOA: "If you do that, no good officers will work in Atherton."
Answer: Baloney. Plenty of good cops would figure getting median Bay Area police pay †hardly shabby in exchange for working in the least dangerous city in the Bay Area is actually a pretty good deal.
By "least dangerous" I mean a cop has never been killed or even truly injured in the line of duty in Atherton. Ever. There are no gangs, no violent crimes, no armed robberies, no businesses to rob. The list goes on and on.
These reforms probably make too much sense. They benefit the Atherton taxpayer, not the Atherton cop. For this reason, the city council members Lewis and Wiest probably will regard them as foolish, inflammatory, or just plain mean.
But in the alternative universe in which council members actually represent the people who vote for them and pay the taxes in their city, rather than the union who gave them money to win the election, it's hard to argue with these reform measures. They make good sense.