Governor Brown Issues Pension Reform Recommendations

Water Districts take note!  Governor Brown has just come out with his pension reform recommendations.  While many of the local agencies have already taken steps towards reforming pensions, our Water Disricts are far behind the curve, especially HWD.  (See Gov. Browns reforms at the link below).

Since our elected Water Board officials won't speak up about their opinions on pension and benefit reform in general without being specific on the current MOU negotiations, we are only left to wonder if they are acting in the ratepayers best interests in the current negotiations.  Given past performance and General Manager Weston's backing of his employees and their performance and value (and he is negotiating for us, the ratepayers), we can only assume not.

Time for all our state, local and municipal elected officials to take a serious bite out of the pension benefits.  Good start Jerry but can you convince the rest of the liberal spenders in Sacramento to go along?

Views: 65

Tags: David Smyle, Governor Brown, Helix Water District


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Comment by David Smyle on April 14, 2011 at 6:15pm

Mr. Slater:


The point I was making towards Mr. Westons comments when people question the high level of beneifts given to HWD employees are basically that his employees deserve them because they are hard working and highly skilled. He does not address the fact the high level of compensation both in salary, pension and benfits provide to HWD employees is far in excess of what the private sector offers for similar positions and qualfiied staff and also far in excess of other public agencies except for water districts who for some reason think their employees deserve the cadillac benefit and pension plans being given to them at the ratepayers expense.  Your point about Mr. Weston not being adversarial with his employees only goes to make my point that the rate payers should not have an employee who benefits from the same pensions and benefits negotiating for them as it is if nothing else a conflict of interest.  The past performance comments relates to the last two MOUs where Weston negotiated on behalf of the rate payers and made no substantial reductions to ratepayers cost of employee pensions or benefits and had the two MOUs last 5 years where no changes could be made quickly while ratepayers continually had their rates go up which could have been reduced in part if employees were made to pay a "fair" share of their benefits and pensions.  No one is disputing Westons performance as the GM running the water  district or the employees performance in keeping our water clean.  That does not however somehow equate to paying him or the employees the high benefits or pensions because they do the job they are hired to do.  Every employee no matter what job they do or where they work should do it well because that is what they are paid to do.  Water employees are not special in that respect.  There is no doubt our water ratess will continue to rise and there is no doubt the water employees are not the sole reason for that but the lavish benefits and pensions are part of the rate calcuation and they should be brought into line with the rest of the normal world because if they aren't, the pension and benefit liabilites and payments for retirees will cause the rates to skyrocket in the future which is the current problem with most public agencies and why agencies are having to layoff, outsource or do pension reform to survive because the tax payers feel they have paid enough.  Water rate payers don't have the same power to vote no on water rate increases like the tax payers.  If they did and the HWD didn't get their automatic revenue increases, the HWD would be forced to do something about their expenses and mainly the payroll costs but they aren't and the fact there has been no pension or benefit reform inthe last 10 years is squarely on the backs of the Board and Weton who supposedly negotiates on behalf of the Board (or us ratepayers).  I hope that expalins my position a little clearer.

Comment by Tom rabin on April 13, 2011 at 11:16pm
Just so I got this straight, the U.S is on it's ear because of water district employees and Stanley is a materdebater.
Comment by Bill Slater on April 8, 2011 at 9:52pm
I love your comments Mr. Stanley, they are amusing. I guess you just don't like anyone challenging or disagreeing with your statements. How do you possibly come up with comparing me to Quadaffi supporters????? A little far stretched and over exaggerated, wouldn't you say. Mr. Smyle, could you elaborate on the meaning of your statement above"Given past performance and Weston's backing of his employees and their performance and value"? Are you inferring that the employees of HWD are low performers? Also, do you believe the relationship between the employees and the General Manager should be adversarial? Would you judge the performance of Weston's tenure solely on the benefits received by the employees and nothing else, or will you just say that the fact that Weston is a high performing GM is expected and not give any credit to him?
Comment by David Stanley on April 1, 2011 at 9:22am
David, you'll have to be more careful in the future about what you say in your comments. Fellow named Slater, a self-professed government supporter, not unlike Quaddafi supporters, who feels our antaganistic and unresearched comments are profane and our goal is to pull down his beloved government figures. Even though correct in everything you say, you and the rest of us have become targets for the Progressive Socialist Democrats and cheerleaders of government activities.  David Stanley

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