Updated 8/3/2014 9:10 p.m.
The County of Ventura received and filed a report from Segal Corporation which details some of the ways that the ballot measure would cost the County money if things were to occur as they did in San Jose and the state of Alaska.
We did not agree with all of Segal’s assumptions and think the potential dangers are much larger than reported. We heard this same concern from most of the County Supervisors and from the County finance office that presented the report at the July 29 Board of Supervisors meeting.
Supervisor Kathy Long was quoted by the Ventura County Star as saying, “You have to have a system that is broken, I don’t believe our system is broken.”
The report did not adequately look at the possible financial impact of recruitment and retention. We want to continue to hire the best and the brightest county workers and if the pension incentive goes away and gets moved over to a risky 401(k) then it is very likely that compensation will need to increase. The report accounted for a 1% increase to entice new hires but we’ve already seen officers in San Jose being offered 9% more after going through a similar switch to a 401(k). As it is, a 1% change in such a salary increase would wipe away the alleged savings of implementing the ballot measure.
SEIU 721 is working with coalition organizations through Citizens for Retirement Security (CRS). CRS is actively engaged in working with unions and community groups to oppose the ballot measure.
Chris Mahon of the Ventura County Professional Firefighters Association represented CRS at the Board of Supervisors meeting and spoke up about the horrible possible impact of the measure.
What Are The Next Steps?After the County voted to put the measure on the November ballot, Citizens for Retirement Security filed a lawsuit against the County of Ventura for putting an illegal measure on the ballot. On Monday, August 4, the judge will hear arguments on the case. There is an August 22 deadline to print the ballots for the November election so this is a critical day and hopefully the judge will be able to make his ruling before that date.
Many registered voters in Ventura County were hoodwinked by petition gatherers and we have a lot of education to do on the ballot measure, not just to members whose pension system will be affected but to the general public. If this dangerous measure makes it to the ballot, we will need all members, their families, friends and the community to vote it down.
It’s going to take an army to beat this ballot measure so it’s important to get involved.
This is what you can do:
- Sign up for the Secure Retirement Truth Squad mobile updates by texting tsquad to 787753
- Identify 10 people to vote NO and add them to your Best Friends and Family list
- Sign up for COPE
- Register to vote
- Make sure you are signed up as an SEIU 721 member
- Learn more about retirement security
You can also support Citizens for Retirement Security by:
Related Articles:County supervisors stand behind pensions after reviewing study (VCStar)