CalPERS Killing Off California Cities: Modesto in the Crosshairs

Like most California cities, Modesto is about to make the streets less safe, the roads and streets worse, give shorter hours to libraries.  Basic services are being cut, taxes and fees raised while honest citizens suffer, Brown and his buddies are also foisting illegal aliens and so-called refugees on the local communities.

“Brandvold said he asked for these steps, adding that he is most concerned about rising pension costs. The city report states that Modesto expects its pension costs to increase by more than 50 percent in five years.

The city expects to pay the California Public Employees’ Retirement System $21.27 million in its current fiscal year. Local governments across the state are bracing for higher pension costs. The report also says Modesto’s general fund revenues are flat.

But this belt-tightening comes as the council will look at higher pay for some firefighters.

Yup—no more firefighters, just try to keep those on board.  Modesto, like the rest of California will be in a recession starting July1.  Thank you CalPers!

Calpers headquarters is seen in Sacramento, California, October 21, 2009. REUTERS/Max Whittaker

Calpers headquarters is seen in Sacramento, California, October 21, 2009. REUTERS/Max Whittaker

Modesto considers freeze on hiring, promoting as pension costs loom

By Kevin Valine, Modesto Bee,  2/27/17

Modesto is considering a freeze on hiring and promoting workers and a review of spending to help the city weather drastically higher pension costs and a potential recession within several years.

The freeze would not apply to the Police Department’s efforts to increase its staffing from 218 to 240 officers or “other essential positions as approved by the (City) Council,” according to a city report. Mayor Ted Brandvold said the freeze also would not apply to firefighters. The council will consider approving these measures Tuesday.

Brandvold said he asked for these steps, adding that he is most concerned about rising pension costs. The city report states that Modesto expects its pension costs to increase by more than 50 percent in five years.

The city expects to pay the California Public Employees’ Retirement System $21.27 million in its current fiscal year. Local governments across the state are bracing for higher pension costs. The report also says Modesto’s general fund revenues are flat.

But this belt-tightening comes as the council will look at higher pay for some firefighters.

The council will consider on Tuesday approving incentive pay for 18 firefighter paramedics and 33 firefighters assigned to the Fire Department’s technical rescue program. The paramedics would see their incentive pay increase from 6 percent to 10 percent and those in the technical rescue program would receive 5 percent incentive pay. These increases are expected to cost Modesto nearly $191,000 total in its current and its next fiscal year.

Brandvold defended the incentive pay, saying it was an outstanding issue the city agreed to address after reaching its most recent labor agreement with the Modesto City Firefighters Association in April 2016.

The report on the hiring and promotions freeze and spending review does not say how much money Modesto expects to save or the impact on city operations. City Manager Jim Holgersson would report back to the council on this. The review requires the city manager’s office to approve purchases budgeted but not yet made and new spending requests. Brandvold said he envisions the review will be for large purchases and not routine expenditures.

In other action, the council will consider:

▪  Banning smoking in city parks and other publicly owned spaces, including plazas and recreational areas. The penalties for violating the ban range from $100 to $1,000.

▪  Terms for a proposal that would provide American Specialty Healthcare with 150 free parking spaces in two city downtown parking garages for five years. The company is in the process of buying the City Mall office complex at 11th and J streets for its corporate office. In exchange for the free parking, American Specialty Healthcare will keep 150 jobs at its headquarters. The free parking will cost the city $144,000 a year, but a report says that will be more than made up for by the jobs’ economic impact. The firm will relocate about 80 workers from existing sites and eventually hire an additional 100 workers for its headquarters.

 

 

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.