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Helping Citizens Understand California County Pension Debt and Finances
John G Dickerson



 
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Understand Unfunded Pension Debt. Hold Officials Accountable. Redirect Local Government Finances.

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Retirement Board Refuses to Answer

On 4/22/14 a letter signed by 300 Mendocino County residents was delivered to County and Retirement officials. It asked them a series of questions about our County's unfunded pension debt.

Click here to see the letter, the Retirement Board's response - and how County and Retirement officials once again refuse to tell the People the truth about how and why this debt was created.

First California County Pension Reform Conference May 10, 2014

The first California County Pension Reform Conference was held Saturday, May 10, 2014 in San Rafael focusing on the SF Bay - North Coast Region.

Holly Madrigal

Most Prepared County Supervisor Candidate
To Confront Mendocino County's
Unfunded Pension Debt

Our County's Biggest Threat

Unfunded pension debt is the biggest financial threat facing Mendocino County and our State.

No matter what your top priority for our County is - it probably requires money, and our County is on the road to going broke.

Two-thirds of a BILLION dollars are scheduled to be extracted from our County’s weak economy through 2040 to pay this debt.

It won’t produce one minute of services or fill one pothole. And our County is still creating more debt.

I believe the next recession will push us to the brink of the cliff – and very likely over it. We’re living on borrowed time.

If we don’t act now we'll deeply regret it.

See For Yourself

Holly was one of the few elected officials in Northern California willing to speak at the first County Pension Reform conference last May. Here's a 10 minute video of Holly’s talk. Click here to see and hear what Holly says.

Holly Madrigal at the Bay Area County Pension Reform Conference

SEIU - the largest Mendocino County employee union - pulled their endorsement of Holly in this election because she spoke at this conference. But listen to Holly talking to the unions and employees. Holly's greatest fear is the County will go bankrupt and they won't get their pensions. She wants to reform our County to secure their retirements - not threaten them. The status quo is what's threatening them.

If you want to skip my short description of our debt, go to 4 minutes 30 seconds into the video. That's where Holly's talk begins.

 

Set Aside "Normal" Politics

This is one of those rare times when "normal" politics must be set aside to save the community.

No other candidate for County Supervisor has ever been better prepared and positioned to confront this threat than Holly Madrigal.

I don’t know Tom Woodhouse. I hear good things about him. He’s supported by many people I respect.

This is no slam on Tom. But to me three things make Holly by far much more likely to help make real progress in confronting this huge threat.

• Holly's knowledge about our unfunded pension debt - including how it developed and what must be done to fix what broke - is years ahead.
• Holly is uniquely positioned to greatly expand the reform coalition not only in our County - but really and truly in our State.
• I HOPE Tom would do what needs to be done. But I KNOW what Holly has done and will do - and it's what must be done.

What the Reform Coalition Must Be

Three elections show what California's and Mendocino's reform coalition must look like:
Mendocino County's defeat of Measure C in 2010.
• The passage of local pension reform measures in San Jose and San Diego in 2012.

Mendocino County put Measure C on the November 2010 ballot to raise the sales tax one-half percent for 10 years. We showed they were driven by increasing unfunded pension debt over the last two decades. The County needed to "reform first" and not just ask for more taxes.

We defeated Measure C with a 70% no vote. More Democrats voted against C than Republicans.

The same winning coalition emerged in San Jose and San Diego when half the Democratic Party's voters joined most Republican voters to impose reform of their city pensions.

That's what our reform coalition must look like in Mendocino County - and in California.

As a County Supervisor Holly would be positioned to bring Democrats and County employees in Mendocino County into the reform discussion. AND - she'll encourage other elected Democratic officials to step forward for good government reform.

That's what must be done for reform to win.

 
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