Sheffler: Pension Tweaking Stupid, Dangerous

Bill Sheffler, Clairemont on Jul 20, 2009

Certain trustees on the board of administration of the San Diego City Employees’ Retirement Association took umbrage at the suggestion by City Councilman Carl DeMaio and Councilwoman Donna Frye that they refrain from studying tinkering with the actuarial funding methods.

After all, those trustees, and their Chief Executive Officer David Wescoe, were just gathering information.  And silencing the investigation was compared to the council members meddling in pension business.

Well, I find the board’s curiosity about byzantine actuarial methods to be more than suspicious.  It’s a clear message to the city; “you don’t need to cut spending and live within your means, we’ll front you a few (say 50+) million dollars, nothing needs to change.”

It’s a perverse, destructive message.  It gives strength to the City Council members who are resisting financial reform.  It weakens the mayor and the council minority who hoped to use the current situation to force those stubborn defenders of the status quo to the bargaining table. So it is more correct to say that this SDCERS faction is meddling in the city’s business.

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Mike Foster