It seems that everyone loves to see a good makeover. You know those before and after pictures that show a disheveled mess magically transformed into a palace? Well it seems that is what the Committee for Pension Fairness of the Ventura County Taxpayers Association would like you to believe they are doing by placing an initiative to defund public sector workers retirement funds.
The Huffington Post’s article by Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Gary Cohn says it all. In the July 24TH publication of, Pension Cutters Hope California Ballot Measure Could Start A Domino Effect, you can read the well written facts. What we’re seeing here in Ventura County is what we’re seeing all over the country, out-of-state, dark money forces — the Koch Brothers — dropping in and creating poorly written, ideological ballot initiatives that will rob workers of their modest retirements. More than 90% of County worker’s, like myself, who have been loyal lifelong county employees look forward to retiring with pensions of less than $30,000 per year. With this ballot initiative I stand to lose it all.
There are always a few bad apples, and I won’t insult your intelligence and say that Ventura County’s pension system is perfect. Over the past few years there have been County workers like Marty Robinson and Sheriff Bob Brooks’ who have stacked their retirement pay to earn over $200,000 per year. But this doesn’t mean the whole retirement system is rotten and needs to be trashed.
Reforms are necessary, and have been moving forward with Jerry Brown’s Pension Reform Law that rolled out January 1, of this year. On the county level we need to continue pulling in the reigns but not at the expense of jeopardizing the foundation of the working class.
The coalition, Citizens for Retirement Security, is seeking a judgment on the validity of this November’s ballot initiative that threatens to uproot the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937.The much awaited ruling will take place on Monday, 8/4/14 at 8:30 in VC Courtroom 43. I hope many of the nurses will be there.