Moorlach is right about the O.C. pension problem

A lot of folks seem to forget that Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach predicted the problems that led to the infamous O.C. bankruptcy. I mention this because the O.C. Register announced today that Moorlach “will seek a pension overhaul that will slice public-safety employees’ benefits by one-third.”

According to the Register, “On the chopping block is the “3 percent at 50,” a pension formula that has applied to sheriff’s deputies and District Attorney’s Office investigators since 2002. Sources close to the negotiations told The Orange County Register that Moorlach will soon try to replace that formula with one that would cut any retirement benefits received before 2002 to 2 percent at 50.”

Predictably, Liberal OC blogger Chris Prevatt, a county employee, took umbrage at Moorlach’s proposal, writing that “Pension benefits for public employees are vested once they are established and cannot be taken away.”

I trust that Moorlach, our former Orange County Treasurer, knows more about pensions and benefits than Prevatt does. I doubt he will propose anything illegal.

Rich Wagner, president of the Lincoln Club, told the Register that the county’s unfunded liability is “irresponsible” and shouldn’t be left for future generations to pay with their taxes. I could not agree more!

I am not anti-union, and I don’t think Moorlach is either. But the facts need to be looked at with open eyes – the 3 per cent at 50 pension program is a boondoggle. The O.C. Supervisors NEVER should have approved it. It needs to go. It is not fair to taxpayers to burden us with a liability that will, if unabated, drive us to a second county bankruptcy.

Moorlach’s detractors find it easy to rip him – but he was right about the O.C. bankruptcy. He is an ethical, moral man. He is not the bogeyman that some critics would like us to believe he is. And he is right about these pensions. Give him time to explain himself and I am sure most of you will agree.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.