Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Boot Camp" Examines Pension Cloud over Government Budgets

Over the past week I was in California.

It was  chance to get away and do some work writing for the upcoming book I am writing with Lee Fairbanks called Pension Plunder.

I was invited to the Bootcamp by Jack Dean the publisher of Pension Tsunami.
Jack works with California Pension Reform CFR and they were the hosts for the event. California provided a nice break from winter and the Bootcamp provided me with a good reason for a get-away

I had a chance to share lunch with Marcia Fritz the founder of California Foundation for Fiscal Responsibility  and Scott Baugh Former Republican Leader, California Assembly. It was a very interesting day and provided lots of insight into issues that elected officials and city managers have in dealing with the aging time bomb. 

The seminar was a sell out and there were an additional 350 people listening to the program live over the internet. There were a wide range of people in attendance from self proclaimed unions thugs to elected city councilors, mayors and taxpayer groups.  At lunch we were joined by the City Manager and an elected official from Loma Hills California. 

The event was presented to better help key decision makers better understand the pension tsunami and hear about timebombs set to go off for municipalities around California.  The biggest surprise were the costs of OPEB's (Other Post Employment Benefits). 

Although the focus of the event was California all governments at all levels have identical problems when it comes to the issue of employee entitlement packages. A lot of discussion was had around the changes that have to be implemented in order for the system to survive. 

Marcia told me the biggest challenge of the issue is understanding exactly what the problem is and making people aware.  There is a lot of myth and misinformation out there about the problems that exist and the Bootcamp was a great way to start to begin the discussion on what needs to be done. 

The feature speaker was Girard Miller and he had some very interesting perspectives. His presentation was called The Power of No. He has written many articles and papers about pensions and the key issues surrounding reform. Poor Pension Math

I hope that in future blogs I will be able to share some of the details of the information that we heard. There was a wide range of experts and they focused on those issues that can make a big impact for taxpayers and their employees. 

"Boot Camp" Examines Pension Cloud over Government Budgets

 Lawmakers Head to Pension Boot Camp

Bill Tufts 
Fair Pensions For All

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