Repeating the Propaganda

Kathy Ryan

I am sure the taxpayers and citizens of Long Beach have all received the city’s piece of propaganda, “Measure A is Putting Your Long Beach Funds to Work.” By lying, the city was successful in passing Measure A, so they are now on a new quest to raid the Water Department for more funds through a Charter Amendment, Measure M.

Our politicians, including my councilmember didn’t feel the need to tell the truth during elections, so she ignored the issue. Not presenting an issue that is damaging to the taxpayers is just like lying; however, my councilmember, like many other politicians doesn’t feel she lied. Times have changed, but right is still right and wrong is still wrong and not telling your constituents the real need for more funds is lying.

The reason for Measure A and now for Measure M is to give the city the ability to rob Peter to pay Paul. Measure A was not to institute an infrastructure program; it was to save the pensions of public employees and at the same time give them raises. The same is true with Measure M. The city wants to raid the Water Department and transfer those funds to the General Fund, allowing them to mask the real problems – the cost of employee compensation and pensions. Starting this year, you and I will start to pay down the employees’ pension debt. Politicians know the employees are “sacred cows,” and their union is never to be challenged.

Even though CalPERS has forced the city to acknowledge the real cost of employee pensions; we, not the employees, will be burdened with the employees’ pension debt of $750 million for 20 years. That is a lot of overdue street repair. The debt for pensions will continue to increase. By 2025, the cost for one safety employees’ pension will be 61.8 percent of salary per year. For a fireman making $100,000 per year the cost of their pension will be $61,800 per year.

California Law stipulates that employees are only responsible for a fraction of their pension costs, 9 percent for service employees and 8 percent for miscellaneous. Because the taxpayers are accountable to fund 91 percent of the pension debt, the City Council is planning to pay for this debt through a Charter Amendment, Measure M, which forces management and the City Council into a second round of lies.

This is a fallacy beyond belief. Instead of taking responsibility and being truthful, our representatives are trying to convince the citizens to vote yes on Measure M. If you haven’t decided how to vote, remember the $750 million in pension debt that currently exists, and the accumulating debt now through 2025 and beyond that will add to that debt. Not only do our politicians not understand the meaning of lying, they don’t understand the meaning of fairness.

Kathy Ryan



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