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Where Do You Stand on the State of Public Employee Compensation?

The governor is pushing reforms for retirement benefits at a time when the salaries and benefits of our public officials is being scrutinized. Your thoughts?

The two most recent columns by political correspondent Dick Spotswood have been especially revealing commentaries about compensation of our local public employees, and you deserve a spot to contribute your own comments.

In the July 15 piece, Spotswood goes over the list of best-compensated employees of public agencies in Marin, zeroing in on the package earned by Deputy Chief Eric Nickel at the top of the list. Eight of the top 10 highest remunerated public employees are firefighters, he writes. 

In the July 8 piece, Spotswood how Gov. Jerry Brown's planned reforms for public employee retirement compensation — including the elimination of "double dipping" — is being handled by those running for a state Assembly seat. assesses the race.

Do you have viewpoints you'd like to share? Add a comment below. 

M. Calwald July 16, 2012 at 01:50 PM
The waste in our local government all the way up is outrageous. As a government employee you can retire at 56, then get a job at a local city (who you have an 'in' with because you worked with some buddies at your former city/county job)---you don't have to work on any ground hog day or really work at all---you can shuffle papers and get paid a lot more than the private sector that has to hustle for business. The WSJ did an article a couple years back where the average private sector annual wage is $60,000 compared to the government employee's average annual wage of $80,000. Our government---local, county, state, federal is morally ripping us off.
Tom MacDonald July 16, 2012 at 07:25 PM
On Tuesday night the Novato City Council will be voting to approve the new two year labor agreement. It will be another missed opportunity to negotiate meaningful reform. Show up and let your thoughts be known. A number of us are very disappointed in the negiation results and are seriously considering a pension initiative in Novato. Stay tuned.
Brant July 18, 2012 at 05:45 PM
The total cost of employment of public sector employees should be appropriately related to the total cost of employment of private sector employees. If public sector employees want a greater portion of their total compensation to be paid in retirement, then a lesser portion must be paid to them during their active working years. That's only fair. CalPERS earned 1% on their $233 Billion pension fund last year - 6.5% less than the amount needed to meet their projections. That is a $15,000,000,000 shortfall that will have to be made up by public sector employers. Ultimately, the taxpayers will pay that amount, either through increased taxation or reduced services.
Tina McMillan July 18, 2012 at 05:54 PM
How can we possibly keep up if the retirement accounts continue to earn less? The Marin county Civil Grand Jury recommended the develpment of a "watchdog" committee to oversee the work being done by the county Supervisors as they felt less was being done for less. They did not believe the Supervisors were accountable to anyone at this point and it was suggested that an initiative would be needed.
JAN September 17, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Civil Service and its pension plans were never much of a big deal. When employment for all was a given civil service was an also ran as far as a profession. Government employees made generally less than the common sector but enjoyed a marginally better retirement and had job security. Now, a new day has arrived and the "common sector" ain't so good, no more. Hence the out of work or under employed need a quick and easy target for their wrath. Enter cops, firemen and any civil service worker. That crummy job with its better benefits looks mighty good and mighty tempting when you are out of work or under employed. There may be room to argue about pension reform but if you want to find the real parasites look at Wall Street or your local mortgage lender. The problem isn't at the middle of the employment ladder it's at the top.

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