Monday, January 25, 2010

CITIZEN'S ALERT: SHOW UP AT VAN NUYS CITY HALL TONIGHT AT 5:30PM FOR SPECIAL COMMUNITY GATHERING BEFORE THE SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING AT 6PM!

[Pictured: Tell this dopey fuck to shut up today and let the people who weren't wrong EVERY STEP OF THE WAY ABOUT EVERYTHING to .handle the cleaning up of YOUR MESS, Mr. grIeg "Everything Is Hunky Dorky With The Pension Money" Smith. See picture below. He's the only one who gets to speak. NOT YOU GREIGGY-POO. Just sit there with that DOPEY look on your face. You've been confused the entire four years I've known your DUMB-ASS. Why don't you not run for your final term and TEACH. That's what losers who can't make it do...THEY TEACH. Do the People of L.A. a favor and DON'T RUN FOR YOUR FINAL TERM. GO TEACH!]

AND NOW ON WITH THE COUNTDOWN...

[Pictured: If THIS guy isn't talking during tonight's City Council Budget meeting at 6pm, START BOOING AND TELL THE DUMB COUNCIL MEMBER TO SHUT UP CAUSE THEY WERE THE PROBLEM! PARKS IS THE ONLY ONE WHO SAID A GOSH DAMN THING THE PAST TWO YEARS! SO SHUT UP THE REST OF YOU INFERIOR-CHARACTERED LOSERS.]

This evening at 6pm, the LA City Council is having a special Budget Hearing meeting at Van Nuys City Hall. At 5:30pm, a lot of activists and neighborhood council members will be gathering on the steps of Van Nuys City Hall for a demonstration and details of what the people are calling for. There will be so many other community members, it will be a great chance to network and discuss important issues with each other.

Here is Ron Kaye's posting with details of this event. I haven't read all the budget details, so don't know how I feel, but a lot of smart people put this together, so I want to post it to get the dialouge going. (I'm sure it's all good stuff, just hope it's not calling for TOO MUCH. But off a quick scan, all the points look like good valid points:
Neighborhood Council leaders will hold a press conference at 5:30 p.m. Monday outside the Braude Center at Van Nuys City Hall to offer solutions to LA's budget crisis and call for full community involvement. At 6 p.m., the City Council Budget Committee chaired by Bernard Parks will hold its first in a series of public hearings on the crisis.

Here are proposals
that NC Budget Representatives drafted Saturday at the conclusion of a series of meetings of the BudgetLA Committee and the Saving LA Project. Many of them are in line with the proposals jointly put forth by the business community.

1) Pension Reform:Increase employees contributions to reflect market rates

2) Raise eligible retirement age to social security age

3) Re-evaluate post-retirement health care benefits

4) Service credit purchase based on actuarial value

5) Add a neighborhood council member to all of the pension boards for transparency and oversight

6) Consolidate the 3 agencies administering LA pension funds

7) Consider additional forms of pension reform including but not limited to:
a) Defined contribution plans
b) Annuity based plans

8) Hire an independent legal council proficient in Chapter 9 filings to explore and advise on the contractual, fiscal, and short/long term effects of such a filing, and share that information with the neighborhood council system in a timely manner

9) Review and analyze the amount of payroll reduction vs layoffs to preserve essential services, not lower employee moral, and avoid unnecessary layoffs in these troubling economic times.

10) Do a full department by department review and consolidate where duplicate services exist.

11) Instruct the CAO to do a 5 year balanced budget plan in order to stop the constant reactionary governing that currently exists. This too will allow for a streamlining of departments and personnel needs.

12) Do a complete cost benefit analysis of E-RIP.

13) Lower the annual service credit for each year worked and cap total pension benefits:
Currently, employees of the city accrue benefits at 2.5%a year for public safety employees, 2.19% a year for general city employees, and 2.1% a year for DWP employees. Employees can retire at 90%to 100% of their final salary as a pension benefit, depending on which plan they are in. We believe the benefits should be capped at 65-75% of the total salary for all city employees, not including overtime, unused vacation and sick days, bonuses, or all other forms of compensation.

14) Defined benefit vs contribution-The Mayor's Budget Committee reviewed the pension reform measures recommended by the Los Angeles County Business Federation. In general, we support most of the recommendations. There needs to be some clarification and possibly some modification of the points raised by the group (please see the attachment).

In conjunction with the Federation's proposal, there is another consideration that must be on the table when renegotiating labor contracts with the City's unions.

We believe it is time for the City to transition employees from the current defined benefit program to a defined contribution plan. We recognize that the feasibility of such a transition would need to be analyzed by experts independent of the various boards administering the civilian and sworn plans.

There would be up front costs, but there could be potentially significant long-term cost savings to the city and added flexibility to plan participants. Up front costs could be financed.

The transition need not be for all employees, for example, participants nearing retirement or with considerable service should or would be excluded. However, other segments should be given a choice; more recent hires along with all new hires should fall under a defined contribution plan.

The reason for this recommendation is based on the unpredictable costs to the city associated with funding defined benefit plans. The funding requirements of these plans are subject to market swings, plan administrator competence, very subjective assumptions and politics. Defined benefit plan participants, although they may assume they are shielded from risk, are not completely- a recent Federal Court decision involving one of San Diego's plans defined the City's subsidy of pension and other benefit plans as a component of compensation - not a constitutionally protected vested benefit. In addition, municipal bankruptcy can require new labor contracts with higher employee contributions (not to mention lower wages).

Defined contribution plans entail assumption of risk by employees, but the risks can be minimized by periodic, scheduled re-mixing of investments, a service offered by managers of almost all such plans. More importantly, the cost for the City will be predictable and controllable. Administration of these plans can be outsourced more easily, thereby eliminating most in-house costs and achieving greater efficiency.

In summary, the objective of the City must be to strike a balance between the risks shared by employees and taxpayers with respect to all retirement and health benefit programs. This is essential to the long-term financial health of the City and the avoidance of bankruptcy.

Time is of the essence. The longer we delay pension and benefit reform, the greater the odds for bankruptcy. The tipping point may be closer than we think.

15) The committee urges the city council, the Mayor, The CAO, and the controller not to employ gimmicks, no half way measures, no stop gap measures and no deferring to the future unless all avenues of the fix have been explored, analyzed and implemented.


SORRY FOR COPY AND PASTING THE WHOLE THING, BUT I AM MORE CONCERNED WITH THE BODY OF INFORMATION GETTING OUT THERE AND BEING READ (AND WHEN YOU MAKE SOMEONE CLICK TO ANOTHER PAGE, SOMETIMES THEY DON'T. AND, THE HEADLINE IS A LINK TO THE ORIGINAL POST FROM RONKAYELA.COM.

MAIN THING...SHOW UP TO VAN NUYS CITY HALL TONIGHT AT 5:30PM FOR A GATHERING BEFORE THE 6PM SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING ABOUT THE BUDGET.

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