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U.S. Cities Strangled by Cost of Ballooning Pensions (outrage in Beverly Hills)
foxnews ^ | Published August 25, 2011 | By Leah Krakinowski

Posted on 08/26/2011 2:21:11 PM PDT by dennisw

When Beverly Hills residents found out that many of their city’s 950 municipal and public safety employees were earning stunning salaries, 13 weeks of paid vacation, unlimited overtime and other tax-free retirement benefits, taxpayers were outraged and city officials rushed into closed-door sessions to figure out what to do.

These revelations, exposed through the efforts of the city’s hometown newspaper, The Beverly Hills Courier, unmasked an even deeper problem: many California cities, and likely other municipalities across the U.S., are being strangled by the cost of ballooning pension benefits they can no longer afford.

“What we have now is a grab bag of incredible benefits for public employees that are totally detached from what’s been happening in the private sector, and it’s neither fair nor sustainable,” said John Mirisch, a first-term Beverly Hills council member elected in 2009. “When the city was rolling in dough, officials may have thought the salary and pension structure was sustainable, but certainly, it was not fair.”

In Beverly Hills, city employees do not contribute to their own retirement pensions; the city pays everything with half of that contribution being largely tax-free, according to the Beverly Hills Pension Task Force headed by City Treasurer Elliot Finkel, as reported in the Courier. The Task Force presented its findings at a recent city council meeting.

When a city employee retires, he or she is guaranteed a fixed amount that increases every year. If CalPERS funding falls short, taxpayers make up the difference.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: California
KEYWORDS: beverlyhills; corruption; democrats; economy; liberals; pensions; publicsector; publicsectorunions; taxes; unions

1 posted on 08/26/2011 2:21:15 PM PDT by dennisw
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To: dennisw

Average Beverly Hills Employee Pension Over $3.2 Million
Posted Thursday August 25, 2011 – 5:51pm

The pensions promised by Beverly Hills to all of its employees will run to $1 million to over $3 million or more for each one, simple calculations show. Based on The Courier’s calculations, the average cumulative retirement pay for each City worker is $3.321 million. Each year, Beverly Hills turns over to the California Public Employees Retirement System, CalPERS, a certain amount of money. None of the pension is paid for by an employee. All is paid by Beverly Hills.

http://bhcourier.com/article/Local/Local/Average_Beverly_Hills_Employee_Pension_Over_32_Million/79865


2 posted on 08/26/2011 2:22:04 PM PDT by dennisw (nzt - works better if you're already smart)
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To: dennisw

Government Employees have become the most powerful Special Interests group in America.

At some point the voters and taxpayers are going to wake up and cut the head off this beast.


3 posted on 08/26/2011 2:28:08 PM PDT by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: dennisw

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of lib taxpayers! ;-)


4 posted on 08/26/2011 2:28:28 PM PDT by Average Al
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To: dennisw

The Beverly Hill Till Dillies


5 posted on 08/26/2011 2:33:34 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: dennisw

San Francisco may have a leg up on Beverly Hills. SF will cover the cost of their municipal employees to have a gender change. Now every municipal building will have to have 3 restroom. Ladies, Gents and Pot Luck.


6 posted on 08/26/2011 2:34:47 PM PDT by chuckee
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To: dennisw

They should all be imprisoned for theft.


7 posted on 08/26/2011 2:35:12 PM PDT by Gaffer
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To: dennisw

Idiots voted this bunch in....got what they asked for as far as I’m concerned!!!!


8 posted on 08/26/2011 2:35:27 PM PDT by ontap
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To: dennisw

“Earlier this year, citing a budget deficit, the city council sought to make a number of cuts, including eliminating a quarter of its business marketing budget, instituting fee increases for the use of city parks by organized sports, removing special police coverage from local schools, and reducing or eliminating the city’s longstanding two-hour free parking.”

Intereting... park fee increases and increases in parking fees constitute “cuts”??

Where are the cuts in the salaries and the benefits and the number of public employees??

The first that should be cut are the city councilmen.


9 posted on 08/26/2011 2:38:18 PM PDT by aquila48
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To: Presbyterian Reporter

“Government Employees have become the most powerful Special Interests group in America. At some point the voters and taxpayers are going to wake up and cut the head off this beast.”

This is particularly true of federal employees. If you look at the parking lot in any federal agency you’ll see new and expensive luxury cars aplenty. Many feds are dual income couples with government jobs. Typical pay (not including benefits) in the DC area is over $100K.


10 posted on 08/26/2011 2:38:27 PM PDT by Starboard
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To: dennisw
Fascinating stuff..thanks for posting...what the paper doesn't talk about...what's the real heart of the matter..is the mindset of the employees AND their incestuous relationship with the city managers. Just because...when the market was hot..they money was "there"..why did they ave to grant such OUTRAGEOUS benefits...13 weeks PAID` vacaation?..are they kidding..AND then...retire at age 0?

BTW..have your seen anything new about Bell?...anyone gone to jail yet?

11 posted on 08/26/2011 2:42:48 PM PDT by ken5050 (Should Christie RUN in 2012? NO!!! But he should WALK three miles every day!)
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To: dennisw

Anyone notice that it is primarily Democrat controlled cities where the salaries have run amok?


12 posted on 08/26/2011 2:46:08 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Islam is the religion of Satan and Mohammed was his minion.)
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To: dennisw

They’re not being strangled by pensions. They are being strangled by the politicans who approved the pensions, and who the idiot voters keep re-electing. As ye sow, so shall ye reap.


13 posted on 08/26/2011 2:52:05 PM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: dennisw

** snicker **


14 posted on 08/26/2011 2:52:35 PM PDT by surely_you_jest
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To: dennisw

That newspaper is trying real hard to be relevant, where was it before all these agreements were made?

They should defunct the city and form a new one, tell everyone associated with Beverly Hills to have a nice day.


15 posted on 08/26/2011 2:57:27 PM PDT by dila813
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To: Presbyterian Reporter

Tyranny is where the government outvotes the public


16 posted on 08/26/2011 3:30:09 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: dennisw

A few months ago on a related thread someone posted pictures from a city council meeting where white retirees were pitted against (current) black residents because of the financial chokehold the retirees had on a city. It is nice to see these bastards exposed.


17 posted on 08/26/2011 3:36:26 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: kearnyirish2

It would have been a hoot for all those white retirees to announce they would be moving out.


18 posted on 08/26/2011 3:45:24 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: dennisw

So sad. Apparently both the electorate and the electeds of these distressed cities can’t read. NYC went through the same issues - thanks to sweetheart union settlements by then Mayor Lindsay - putting a succeeding mayor in deep waters and pleading for (and getting) assistence from the great god FedGov. >PS


19 posted on 08/26/2011 3:53:09 PM PDT by PiperShade
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To: dennisw

Calif legislature is currently busy passing rules that allow illegals to get college at in-state tuition prices & also allowing them to have Cal-grant loans for such college attendance.

White citizens cannot afford to go to Calif schools, but they are pandering to the illegals.


20 posted on 08/26/2011 3:59:47 PM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: dennisw
future Republicans???
21 posted on 08/26/2011 4:34:22 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: dennisw
Considering that the people who actually live and pay taxes in Beverly Hills are largely effete liberal degenerates, I say let them stew in their own juice. Pay your garbageman 100K a year for 3/4 time work. Knock yourselves out.
22 posted on 08/26/2011 4:36:04 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Average Al

“Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of lib taxpayers!”

Looks like de chickens done come home to roost!


23 posted on 08/26/2011 4:42:29 PM PDT by vette6387 (Enough Already!)
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To: hinckley buzzard

“Considering that the people who actually live and pay taxes in Beverly Hills are largely effete liberal degenerates, I say let them stew in their own juice. Pay your garbageman 100K a year for 3/4 time work. Knock yourselves out.”

Only problem is that you can’t make them stay there after they’ve dirtied the nest. They just pack up and leave for the next place, rinse and repeat. The ones that are screwed are the business owner and long time residents that can’t easily pack up and head for a better place. Eventually these cities will spiral down the drain as taxes are raised to pay for the benefits of retirees people will move out thus lowering the tax base requiring further tax increase, rinse, repeat until no one is left to pay for them. That day can’t come too soon enough for me. Actually the day I move can’t come too soon for me.


24 posted on 08/26/2011 6:22:24 PM PDT by trapped_in_LA
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To: ridesthemiles

Bump.


25 posted on 08/26/2011 6:24:57 PM PDT by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: The flash mob who won’t leave.)
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To: dennisw

Vengeance sounds pretty good to me. Doesn’t matter who is hurt. Elect people who will force the city in to bankruptcy, force the pensions to go into the pension trust and they’ll get ten cents on the dollar or so.

It has to stop, we can’t afford this kind of “legalized” theft.

Ignorance has never been a defense for being an accomplice to a crime. Pensions can go broke. The reality is that almost everyone with a private pension already doesn’t have enough money or will go broke before they die.


26 posted on 08/26/2011 6:48:45 PM PDT by Sequoyah101 (Half the people are below average.)
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To: dennisw

When libs in BH say “spread the wealth”, they don’t mean their own.

Typical.


27 posted on 08/26/2011 7:31:44 PM PDT by Tzimisce (Never forget that the American Revolution began when the British tried to disarm the colonists.)
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To: dennisw
...many labor groups, now at the bargaining table with city agencies across the state, are agreeing to lower-tier pension benefits for new employees, wage cuts, and even layoffs among public safety employees – concessions they wouldn’t have agreed to several years ago.

That will mean fewer millionaires patrolling the streets.

28 posted on 08/26/2011 7:46:10 PM PDT by randog (Tap into America!)
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To: Starboard
If you look at the parking lot in any federal agency you’ll see new and expensive luxury cars aplenty.

In my state we have specialty plates (like most states), one of them being a bright red and orange fireman's plate. They're mainly found on luxury cars and expensive SUV's and trucks.

29 posted on 08/26/2011 7:48:40 PM PDT by randog (Tap into America!)
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To: hinckley buzzard

The math has NEVER added up. The garbageman gets 100K per year for life, and can retire in his 50’s. To generate that amount of money you’d have to have investments worth MILLIONS of dollars, and returns that keep up with and exceed inflation. The garbageman never put more than a token amount into his retirement during his working years. The rest HAS to come from people still working. And it isn’t chump change. So we get to have 4 people to pay the SS benefits for retirees and God knows how many people to support just one retired municipal employee. You can’t squeeze that much blood out of a turnip.


30 posted on 08/26/2011 7:51:16 PM PDT by boop ("Let's just say they'll be satisfied with LESS"... Ming the Merciless)
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To: dennisw

Thanks for posting. Very interesting. DEFUND socialist collectives, foreign and domestic.


31 posted on 08/26/2011 7:57:02 PM PDT by PGalt
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To: dennisw
Typical of the thinking in this city: Proposed Beverly Hills Garage Ordinance
32 posted on 08/26/2011 8:53:59 PM PDT by Oatka ("A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." –Bertrand de Jouvenel)
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To: dennisw

Looking forward to the NCR (New California Republic) someday.

(one can hope)


33 posted on 08/26/2011 8:54:50 PM PDT by Soothesayer9
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To: dennisw
city officials rushed into closed-door sessions to figure out what to do.

In Kansas we have an open meeting law where they can not carry out public business behind closed doors.I wish DC had the same law.

34 posted on 08/26/2011 9:00:30 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to GOD! Thomas Jefferson)
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To: dennisw

LOL!
Government employees and politicians are brazenly, shamelessly looting the taxpayers - - wow, stop the presses.


35 posted on 08/26/2011 9:01:15 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: GeronL

They had already moved out; that was the “black” grievance. Apparently they were supposed to stay there and be mugged/killed by the “youths” because that is where their pension was paid (and deserved to be re-distributed by the animals).


36 posted on 08/26/2011 11:08:07 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: Blood of Tyrants

That’s because people who vote for Dems are inherently idiotic knuckleheads and trust government to do the “right” thing.

Again, idiots.


37 posted on 08/27/2011 12:47:48 AM PDT by Ernie Kaputnik ((It's a mad, mad, mad world.))
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To: Oatka
That retarded two-car garage ordinance contributes to global warming because green lawns and shrubbery are ripped out to be replaced by black asphalt and concrete. “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot”
38 posted on 08/27/2011 6:28:27 AM PDT by dennisw (nzt - works better if you're already smart)
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To: dennisw
Great post---thanks.

REFERENCE----SCANDAL ROCKS CALPERS: Boss Forced Subordinates To Pay Millions To Consultant Cronies
Business Insider | 03/15/2011 | John Ellis
FR Posted by SeekAndFind

The LA Times breaks some major news: In a scathing report, a former chief executive of the California public employee pension fund (CALPERS) was accused of pressuring subordinates to invest billions of dollars of pension money with politically connected firms.

A 17-month investigation also found that Federico Buenrostro Jr. — along with former pension fund board members Charles Valdes and Kurato Shimada — strong-armed a benefits firm to pay more than $4 million in fees to consultant Alfred J.R. Villalobos, who later hired Buenrostro.

The report, prepared for the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CALPERS) by Washington law firm Steptoe & Johnson, comes amid widening attacks on public employee pension funds in California, Wisconsin, Iowa and other states for providing lavish benefits that cash-strapped governments can no longer afford.

The findings of insider dealings at CalPERS could provide fresh ammunition to Republican lawmakers here who want Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown to convert traditional pensions with guaranteed payments for life into 401(k)-type plans that rely heavily on employees' own contributions.(Excerpt) Read more at businessinsider.com ...

=======================================

Federico Buenrostro Jr., CEO of CalPERS from 2000 to 2008, accepted tens of thousands in gifts from Alfred R. Villalobos. Villalobos’ company Arvco Capital Research got more than $47 million in commissions for selling $4.8 billion in securities to CalPERS from 2005 to 2009.The California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s outside money-managers paid $180 million over the past decade to middlemen they hired to win business from the largest U.S. public pension, according to a report examining the use of so-called placement agents.

Villalobos represented New York private-equity firm Apollo Global Management and New Jersey-based Medco Health Solutions Inc. (MHS), the largest U.S. prescription-benefits manager. The report said the middleman exercised undue influence over Buenrostro and hosted former board members at his Lake Tahoe retreat, after which the board members voted in favor of Medco’s $26 million contract to manage pharmaceutical benefits for more than 300,000 members of Calpers’ preferred- provider organization health plan.

The report said Villalobos, who had no experience in pharmaceutical-benefits contracts, was retained as a consultant by Medco for $4 million after company CEO David Snow and Buenrostro were hosted at Villalobos’ Lake Tahoe home in May 2004.Villalobos later played host to Snow and three Calpers board members — Charles Valdes, Kurato Shimada and Robert Carlson — in September 2004, according to the report.

As members of a Calpers committee, Valdes and Carlson later voted to award the contract to Medco, while Shimada injected himself into discussions on the contract although he didn’t sit on the committee, the report said.

SOURCE http://tinyurl.com/4dbbwlg

39 posted on 08/27/2011 6:41:01 AM PDT by Liz ( A taxpayer voting for Obama is like a chicken voting for Col Sanders.)
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To: dennisw
That retarded two-car garage ordinance contributes to global warming because green lawns and shrubbery are ripped out to be replaced by black asphalt and concrete. “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot”

That would be a great defense. At the least, it would give the enviros a severe case of angst.

40 posted on 08/27/2011 9:15:31 AM PDT by Oatka ("A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." –Bertrand de Jouvenel)
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To: dennisw

Hey you couples making $250K/year pay your fair share of my multi-million dollar union retirement.


41 posted on 08/27/2011 11:59:10 AM PDT by No Left Turn
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To: dennisw

Hey you couples making $250K/year pay your fair share of my multi-million dollar union retirement.


42 posted on 08/27/2011 11:59:14 AM PDT by No Left Turn
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To: Liz

Alfred R. Villalobos-—

You post was the visible part of his bribery of CALPERS officials who are not Gov’t workers of course. They merely administer the pension fund of California Gov’t workers. Undoubtedly cash payments (kickbacks, bribes) were deposited into Mexican and other offshore banks which are hard to trace unless a real forensic accounting investigation is done of Alfred R. Villalobos and his company


43 posted on 08/27/2011 12:57:12 PM PDT by dennisw (nzt - works better if you're already smart)
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To: dennisw

As the CIA says-—crooks always leave a paper trail.


44 posted on 08/27/2011 1:02:48 PM PDT by Liz ( A taxpayer voting for Obama is like a chicken voting for Col Sanders.)
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To: Presbyterian Reporter

Government unions are doing to the USA what the auto workers unions did to Detroit.


45 posted on 08/27/2011 4:21:36 PM PDT by haroldeveryman
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To: trapped_in_LA; hinckley buzzard

“Only problem is that you can’t make them stay there after they’ve dirtied the nest. They just pack up and leave for the next place, rinse and repeat. The ones that are screwed are the business owner and long time residents that can’t easily pack up and head for a better place. Eventually these cities will spiral down the drain as taxes are raised to pay for the benefits of retirees people will move out thus lowering the tax base requiring further tax increase, rinse, repeat until no one is left to pay for them. That day can’t come too soon enough for me. Actually the day I move can’t come too soon for me.”

What TIL said BTTT. I saw it in Arizona, Florida, Virginia and Texas. They ruin their own states and move elsewhere (Cali to AZ and TX, Maryland and DC to VA, and NY/PA/NJ to Florida). If I had a dollar every time I heard the plaintive whine of the NY imports in Florida...”WHY OH WHY don’t they have any good DELIS down here!?!”

The one thing they won’t do, thank God, is accept new income taxes. The leftist imports might spend everyone else blind, but they’ll never have their income taxed again.


46 posted on 08/27/2011 10:11:07 PM PDT by LibertarianInExile (Rick Perry sweep the polls? Naw, the illegals he's coddled in Texas do all his sweeping.)
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