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Mission and Role:

To help concerned citizens understand the impact of unfunded retiree benefits on the finances of the 21 California Counties that don't participate in CalPERS but instead have their own independent County Pension Funds - so that citizens can hold County Officials accountable and redirect the finances of their County.

Our Core Values in this Mission:

  • Local Government belongs to the people and its first duty is to serve the people.
  • Subject to that fundamental duty Local Government officials have four fundamental financial duties to the people:
    • Tell us the important financial truths.
    • Manage our government finances competently and transparently.
    • Protect and build our government's financial strength.
    • Don't force unfair burdens on the kids.

Far too many local government officials in California have failed to live up to these duties and today's hugely damaging unfunded retiree benefit debt is the result.

However clearly some local governments have done far better than others - they can't all be painted with the same brush. Those who have fulfilled their duties deserve praise and we all need to learn from them.

Our Most Important Goal:

Broad consensus among active citizens across the political spectrum that these are key duties of Local Government officials and they will be held accountable to live up to them.

About Issues:

Our focus is on the finances and debt of these 21 counties - primarily those in the San Francisco Bay Area - North Coast. We will take positions on other issues only if they directly affect our mission, goal, and core values.

About Officials and Candidates:

We will evaluate elected officials and candidates for office by how well they confront the key financial and debt issues in the County and tell the citizens the truth. Political affiliations and other issues are not considerations. If officials and candidates are not part of the solution, they are part of the problem.


We will be the best and most honest analyst of these aspects of County finances and debt we can be. We will not stop digging until:

  • We know we have published the important truths about the impact of unfunded retiree benefits on County finances and debt.
  • Citizens force their counties to reform financial management and culture.

How You Can Help

Questions and Comments: Let us hear what you have to say. Is something confusing? Is there some other line of analysis I should do? Do you believe it? Click "Contact Us" or the link below my name and send us a note.

Presentations: I'm eager to make presentations to groups and organizations who want to know more about all this. Click "Contact Us" or the link below my name, or give me a call.

Financial Support:Up until now I've done all the work - the research, analysis, writing and communicating. I've also paid the costs of developing the site and all the other associated costs. If you appreciate and want to support this effort, your contributions are most appreciated. We also accept ads on this website and sponsorships for editions of our newsletter. Click "Financial Support".

About Me.

I know a fair amount about economics and economic history. My career background includes an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin in Economic History and Strategic Planning. I've organized and managed several small businesses. I worked in the Bay Area for a decade as Director of Marketing and Sales and CEO of a couple of smaller Bay-Area software companies and with a couple of Venture Capital funded start up firms doing economic and industry analysis, business plans and projections.

I moved to Mendocino County 20 years ago. (I like living in the country - I spent much of my youth at my grandparents ranch in Kerrville, Texas.) Among the businesses and organizations I've been involved with in the County are:

  • A Partner in Hidden Cellars Winery
  • Vice President of the Mendocino Winegrowers Alliance
  • Mendocino County Promotional Alliance
    • A Major Organizer
    • First Chairperson of the Board of Directors
    • Executive Director
  • I was very briefly Executive Director of the Mendocino County Employers Council
  • In the past several years I've performed numerous financial analyses and evaluations of local special districts and certain enterprise functions of local cities. I'm currently providing financial management and planning services for a special district and helping a number of districts explore various options to consolidate operations and organizations.


John Dickerson

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