Mr. Paul Walters, who now stands astride our county seat of Santa Ana like a colossus as both Police Chief and appointed City Manager, gets a starring role in an LAT piece that just came out this very second, regarding several cash-strapped cities’ intention to demand that their employees begin paying more toward their pensions.
To summarize, Santa Ana, which has a Grand Canyon-sized $300 million deficit (which a certain local blogger blames completely on some guy named Dave Ream) and had to pay over $11 million in pension costs for its employees last year while letting workers go left and right, is looking to follow Governor Brown‘s suggested forumula that workers begin to pay 8% of their paychecks to their own retirements, while the cops and firefighters, who have better pensions, should pay 9%.
These workers, naturally, feel like they’d be taking a pay cut by agreeing to that, as the City’s covering of those pension payments was originally a negotiation to compensate for pay raises the City couldn’t afford. But as Colossus Walters sorrowfully pronounces to the Times, “The here and now is employees will have to pay more for their retirement. And that’s the future too.”
I don’t follow all this enough to have much of an opinion one way or the other right now, but it sounded like a story that a lot of you would like to argue about here. And thanks to the anonymous tipster who sent me the link, so that we could have this OC Blogosphere scoop before all those other bastards! …