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NEWS
By Joseph Serna | September 7, 2011
COSTA MESA — The City Council on Tuesday approved contracting with one law firm to see the city through its workforce outsourcing effort, and a second law firm to defend those contentious outsourcing plans in court. In a 3-1 vote, the council approved continuing to consult with Northern California-based HansonBridgett law firm at $295 to $325 an hour as Costa Mesa puts city services out for bids. Councilwoman Wendy Leece dissented. Councilman Eric Bever was absent. Costa Mesa also tapped the Jones Day law firm at $495 an hour to defend itself against a city employee group's lawsuit that challenges the proposed outsourcing.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com | April 26, 2011
COSTA MESA — Like so much of the debate in the city to date, a public discussion on the costs of Costa Mesa employees' benefits was a mix of optimism and pessimism, some focused on worst-case scenarios and others confident the costs will be minimal. The dichotomy extended beyond city officials and the public Tuesday night. Even the two experts the city brought in to discuss how much the city contributes to public pensions — Richard Santos from the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS)
NEWS
By Erik Holmes | May 17, 2010
A software glitch that caused Orange County to underfund its employee retirement system for nearly a decade will require it to increase pension contributions by $6 million to $7 million annually beginning in 2011 to make up the shortfall, officials said this week. The software error caused the county government and other agencies to under contribute to the pension fund by $228 million since 2001, when faulty coding was put in place; it did not account for special pay some employees receive in addition to their base salaries.
NEWS
By Erik Holmes | April 21, 2010
The Orange County Employees Retirement System, or OCERS, has discovered a software error that caused county agencies to under-contribute to the employee pension fund for employees receiving special pay, creating an unfunded liability of $228 million. That’s on top of the county’s existing unfunded pension liability of about $3.1 billion. The Board of Supervisors was notified of the error April 12. The error has been in place since a software update in 2003, according to OCERS, but it has now been corrected.
NEWS
February 26, 2013
I read Jeff Arthur's Feb. 21 letter, "Mailbag: Commentary overlooked C.M. pension obligations," which contained complaints about my previous letter, "Commentary: I have doubts about Costa Mesa's outsourcing. " I would like to respond to his complaints and point out a few other facts. Arthur complained that I offered no real alternatives to addressing the underfunded pension obligation. I will comment on that statement below. However, I would like to point out that there were no alternatives suggested in his letter, unless you consider his non-specific suggestion that we send our ideas to the City Council and that we support the council's efforts to be fiscally responsible.
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | April 11, 2013
For the city of Newport Beach, the economic situation seems on par with the country as a whole: small yet steady steps toward a slow recovery. City Finance Director Dan Matusiewicz shared that summation at the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce's monthly breakfast meeting Thursday morning at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. Representatives for Assemblyman Allan Mansoor, state Sen. Mimi Walters and U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher — all Republicans who serve districts that include Costa Mesa and Newport — and Newport's Deputy Public Works Director Pat Thomas were among the attendees.
NEWS
By Jon Cassidy, Special to the Daily Pilot | April 3, 2012
Weak investment returns will cost the city of Newport Beach around $1.73 million in additional annual pension costs starting next year, officials have calculated. The California Public Employees' Retirement System, or CalPERS, revised its earnings forecast last month following a dismal 2011, when it had returns of 1.1% in the calendar year. The board cut its projected annual rate of return from 7.75% to 7.5%, due to pessimism about market prospects. The immediate effect of the decision — in pension terms, immediate means July 1, 2013 — is to increase the city's pension liabilities by about 3.8%.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com | February 22, 2011
Editor's note: This adds the attribution in the third paragraph. COSTA MESA — Assemblyman Allan Mansoor, who never shied away from a policy battle as mayor of Costa Mesa, now is proposing state legislation that would remove collective bargaining for public employee pensions in California. Mansoor's office announced Tuesday that he's proposing Assembly Bill 961, which would end collective bargaining for pension benefits for state employees. "As a former deputy sheriff and union member, I know how the process works," he said in a phone interview from Sacramento.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com | October 9, 2010
While civil service pay and pensions are frequent targets for criticism by political candidates in and outside of Costa Mesa, that's not all local police are focusing on when considering who to endorse, according to a questionnaire from the Costa Mesa Police Assn. In a 13-question survey from the Costa Mesa Police Assn. that was presented to local City Council candidates and candidates for statewide office and obtained by the Daily Pilot, only two questions pertained to police retirements and more than half were general policy questions.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | February 5, 2014
It was almost 11 p.m. Tuesday, nearly five hours after the start of the Costa Mesa City Council meeting, when the discussion turned to a touchy subject: pension obligations. That's when the "big boogeyman" of a number, as the city's Pension Oversight Committee Chairman Jeff Arthur called it, was announced: $228 million in unfunded pension liabilities. It's the most current estimated shortfall between what City Hall will owe its retiring employees and what funds are available to pay that contractual obligation, according to Arthur.
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NEWS
By Jeremiah Dobruck | February 1, 2014
The Costa Mesa City Council on Tuesday will consider a plan to take a small bite out of its pension debt by making a series of early payments that could save the city $12 million. By paying $25 million to fire department employees' pension fund faster than planned, the city could save significantly on interest, according to a staff report on the proposal. Costa Mesa accrued that specific $25 million in debt when it retroactively increased pension benefits for fire employees in 2008.
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | November 21, 2013
A nearly four-hour meeting on Costa Mesa's public pension plans Wednesday brought modest debate to the fore of what's been called an "out-of-control" financial situation for taxpayers. The city's Pension Oversight Committee met with Kerry Worgan, a senior pension actuary with the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), who provided them with a chance to hear the pension fund's side of a complex debate. Like many municipalities, Costa Mesa faces an unfunded liability to CalPERS that, according to some estimates, is within the range of $220 million . Eight committee members attended.
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | April 11, 2013
For the city of Newport Beach, the economic situation seems on par with the country as a whole: small yet steady steps toward a slow recovery. City Finance Director Dan Matusiewicz shared that summation at the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce's monthly breakfast meeting Thursday morning at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. Representatives for Assemblyman Allan Mansoor, state Sen. Mimi Walters and U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher — all Republicans who serve districts that include Costa Mesa and Newport — and Newport's Deputy Public Works Director Pat Thomas were among the attendees.
NEWS
By Jeffrey Harlan | March 2, 2013
Pension reform is not exactly a hot topic at my dinner table. In fact, I can assure you that the words have never been mentioned at any family meal. Tuesday evening's Cost Mesa City Council study session about the city's unfunded public pension liabilities revealed that it's not an easy subject to swallow, let alone fully digest. Hired by the city to shed some light on what we're really facing, Stanford economics professor and former state legislator Joe Nation painted a bleak picture for the four council members and dozen or so community members in attendance.
NEWS
February 26, 2013
I read Jeff Arthur's Feb. 21 letter, "Mailbag: Commentary overlooked C.M. pension obligations," which contained complaints about my previous letter, "Commentary: I have doubts about Costa Mesa's outsourcing. " I would like to respond to his complaints and point out a few other facts. Arthur complained that I offered no real alternatives to addressing the underfunded pension obligation. I will comment on that statement below. However, I would like to point out that there were no alternatives suggested in his letter, unless you consider his non-specific suggestion that we send our ideas to the City Council and that we support the council's efforts to be fiscally responsible.
NEWS
By Jon Cassidy, Special to the Daily Pilot | April 3, 2012
Weak investment returns will cost the city of Newport Beach around $1.73 million in additional annual pension costs starting next year, officials have calculated. The California Public Employees' Retirement System, or CalPERS, revised its earnings forecast last month following a dismal 2011, when it had returns of 1.1% in the calendar year. The board cut its projected annual rate of return from 7.75% to 7.5%, due to pessimism about market prospects. The immediate effect of the decision — in pension terms, immediate means July 1, 2013 — is to increase the city's pension liabilities by about 3.8%.
NEWS
By Tim Vasin | December 29, 2011
Two weeks ago, as I was riding back to the firehouse from an emergency response call, a man pulled up on the passenger side of the truck, signaling me to roll down my window. When I did, he delivered the international symbol of ultimate displeasure, shouted "Greedy union firefighters!" and sped off. It's probably worth noting that all of this occurred across from City Hall, a source these days of misinformation that creates the sort of hostility that has otherwise decent people outraged by the appearance of firefighters.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | September 7, 2011
COSTA MESA — The City Council on Tuesday approved contracting with one law firm to see the city through its workforce outsourcing effort, and a second law firm to defend those contentious outsourcing plans in court. In a 3-1 vote, the council approved continuing to consult with Northern California-based HansonBridgett law firm at $295 to $325 an hour as Costa Mesa puts city services out for bids. Councilwoman Wendy Leece dissented. Councilman Eric Bever was absent. Costa Mesa also tapped the Jones Day law firm at $495 an hour to defend itself against a city employee group's lawsuit that challenges the proposed outsourcing.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna, joseph.serna@latimes.com | April 26, 2011
COSTA MESA — Like so much of the debate in the city to date, a public discussion on the costs of Costa Mesa employees' benefits was a mix of optimism and pessimism, some focused on worst-case scenarios and others confident the costs will be minimal. The dichotomy extended beyond city officials and the public Tuesday night. Even the two experts the city brought in to discuss how much the city contributes to public pensions — Richard Santos from the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS)
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