Last week, the Bay Area Newspaper Group published a database of public employee pensions as a pension reform proposal by California Governor Jerry Brown was under consideration by the Legislature. The proposed legislation would encourage, but not force city employees to contribute 50% of their pensions by 2018.
Pensions are one of the issues facing San Leandro City Council candidates this year. No candidate has suggested that employees receive a lower pension, but there are differences on whether the City should continue to pay the entire employee portion of the contribution. The current employee contracts were signed in 2010 and expire at the end of 2012.
In District 2, Dan Dillman says he supports moderate pension reform. Morgan Mack-Rose has stated she supports greater employees contributions to their own pensions in order to achieve pension sustainability. Incumbent Ursula Reed hasn't stated any position publicly and abstained from the vote on the current non-public safety employee contracts in December 2010.
In District 4, Darlene Daevu has stated she does not support any change to the existing structure. Chris Crow said he wants a change that is fair. Justin Hutchison has said he doesn't support any change to police pensions contributions, but is willing to consider having the non-public safety employees "pay their own share into the state's retirement fund." Benny Lee hasn't publicly stated his position on employee contributions to their pensions.
In District 6, challenger Hermy Almonte supports employees paying the employee portion of the retirement contribution. Incumbent Jim Prola is very supportive of city employees, but appears to recognize the need for changes in employee contributions to their pensions.
The pension database lists 20 former City of San Leandro employees with pensions of more than $100,000 with the top 10 listed below:
|Name||2011 Gross Pension||Position|
|Ian Willis||$177,187.53||Police Chief|
|Joseph Kitchen||$173,527.12||Police Chief|
|Dale Attarian||$173,095.40||Police Chief|
|David Bohne||$158,232.08||Library Director|
|Dennis Glover||$149,939.52||Police Officer|
|Robert Dekas||$146,198.96||Police Officer|
|Thomas Overton||$136,233.60||Police Officer|
|Robert Maginnis||$126,743.60||Police Chief|
|John Bischoff||$120,406.48||Police Officer|
|Louis Spirou||$119,821.68||Police Officer|
However, the Bay Area Newspaper Group's pension database appears to be incomplete. California Pension Reform's “CalPERS 100K Club” lists former City Manager John Jermanis with an annual pension of $225,357, Marcelus DeCoulode, a former police officer, at $147,378.72, and James O'Meara, also a former police officer, at $129,006.48.
According to the database, there are 428 former employees receiving pensions totaling more than $17 million annually. While 20 former employees are receiving pensions of more than $100,000, most receive much less. Twenty former employees, which likely includes some part-time employees, receive annual pensions of less than $6,000. Overall, the average pension is $39,729.17 and the median pension is $32,605.70. This includes part-time employees and employees with just a few years of service.
Former City Councilmembers and Mayors also show up on the list of those receiving pensions from the City of San Leandro. Those combined pensions total more than $95,000 annually.
|Name||2011 Gross Pension||Position|
|Ruth Maltester (widow)||$14,894.28||Mayor and City Councilmember|
|Tony Santos||$13,292.62||Mayor and City Councilmember|
|Shelia Young||$11,843.84||Mayor and City Councilmember|
|Laython Landis||$5,518.44||City Councilmember|
|Glenda Nardine||$4,934.76||City Councilmember|
|John Faria||$2,994||Mayor and City Councilmember|
Faria is one of the applicants for the District 4 City Council appointment. Former Councilmember Laython Landis now serves on the Oro Loma Sanitary District Board.
The City of San Leandro currently pays the entire portion of the employee contribution to their pensions, at a cost of $3 million annually. Of 13 cities in Alameda County, the only other cities paying 100% of the employee retirement contribution are Livermore (fire and police), Pleasanton (fire and non-management/non-public safety employees) and Berkeley (non-public safety employees) pay the entire employee portion of the pension contribution. However, Pleasanton fire department employees will begin paying their portion of their pension contribution starting in July 2013. The City of San Leandro is scheduled to discuss new employee contracts in closed session at its next meeting on September 4, 2012.Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at August 31, 2012 1:31 AM | TrackBack