• CalPers debate update

    The question of the legality of a June 5, 2002 ordinance which granted increases in CalPERS benefits is not a question for the Pacific Grove City Council, according to City Attorney David Laredo. He said that even if the council determines that the 2002 agreement was flawed, the council does not have the authority to overturn it and the matter must go before a court of law.

    ‘”The council may only enact a new ordinance that would cancel it,” he said, citing numerous steps that must be taken including a “meet-and-confer” with the employee associations.

    Laredo said that if it were declared null, such an action would not cancel CalPERS obligations; it would, in fact, accelerate the debt and make it present, not contingent.

    He pointed out that there is not merely an obligation to CalPERS or to the employee associations, there is a legal obligation to the individual employees to keep CalPERS or replace it with another defined benefit plan.

    He advised that in a Superior court action, many other parties would weigh in – other cities, CalPERS, the employee associations and the current employees to name a few. He suggested that such an action would cost the city $20,000 to $30,000 if kept simple, but much more depending on the intricacy of the matter and the level of opposition.

    Stating the agreements should be declared null and void due to inadequate and misleading information and the lack of a proper public hearing, the issue was agendized by Lisa Bennett and Carmelita Garcia. Both voted to set up a hearing, but the rest of the council voted against it despite Bennett’s insistence that the public’s civil rights had been violated.

    The council directed staff to find $10,000 to $20,000 to hire a third-party actuary to look into a two-tier system for new hires.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on August 20, 2009

    Topics: Current Edition, Front PG News


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