Entries by John Moore

The Pension Scandals in Sonoma and Marin Counties

Two Case Studies on How Two Counties Purchased Outside Legal Opinions That Delivered Aggressively Self-Serving Interpretations of the Law in Response to Grand Jury Reports That Found That Substantial Pension Benefits had Been Granted Illegally. Introduction In California, public pensions are guided by different divisions of the government code. The largest administrator is CalPERS which administers […]

The Mechanics of Pension Reform – Local Actions

Part 2 of 2… Introduction In Part One, I enumerated reforms needed at the state level. That list was in part plugging up the “cheats” used to run up the statewide pension deficit of about a trillion dollars. Employee unions control the state legislature, the attorney general, all executive offices and all retirement administrators; therefore […]

The Mechanics of Pension Reform – State Actions

Part 1 of 2… Since the passage of SB 400, adopted by the California Legislature in 1999 (93 for, 7 against), pension deficits have steadily grown in California. According to the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, as of the end of 2015, credible estimates of the total unfunded pension obligations owed by California’s state and other […]

The Fall of Pacific Grove – The City's Tepid Defense of the Vested Rights Lawsuit

The Final Chapter, Part 2 of 4 In June of 2010, the City of Pacific Grove (City) received an initiative petition from a citizen’s group containing the requisite number of signatures. Thereafter the city adopted the petition as an ordinance. The ordinance limited the city’s obligation to pay for employee pensions for work not yet […]

Judge Quashes Pension Reform Initiative in Pacific Grove

Monterey County Superior Court Judge Thomas Wills ruled on June 26th that the 2002 ordinance enhancing public-safety pensions was legally enacted, and therefore could not be voted on by the citizens of Pacific Grove. To put the decision in perspective, Judge Wills encouraged the citizens to Appeal his decision. His decision was based on his opinion […]

Comparing Pension Reform in Pacific Grove vs. Bakersfield

Editor’s note: Several times this year we have published in-depth investigative reports written by John Moore, a citizen activist living in Pacific Grove. This recent letter from Moore was addressed to the local newspapers serving Pacific Grove. Moore is unhappy with the coverage these newspapers have given the city of Pacific Grove’s pension crisis. The […]

Pacific Grove Reformer Alleges Pension Increases Passed Without Due Process

Editor’s Note: Pacific Grove may be one of the smallest cities in California, but it is on the front lines of the battle for pension reform. Facing financially devastating annual billings from CalPERS, citizen activists are uncovering evidence that the pension benefit enhancements passed by Pacific Grove’s city council may not have complied with the […]

All Government Employees and Retirees are Not Equal

Overlooked in the Pacific Grove government employee pension reform discussions is that employees and retirees are real people. In Rhode Island, many retirees who had been promised a modest $25,000-per-year retirement had that sum reduced to $10,000 per year. Their plight is tragic. The discussions in Pacific Grove lump employees and retirees together. The clerk […]

The Fall of Pacific Grove – The Cover-Up by the City After the Hidden Actuarial Report Surfaced in 2009

Part 7 of 7: How the City and Unions Covered Up the Illegal Pension Enhancements In 2009, through a series of public records requests, I discovered a document entitled “Contract Amendment Cost Analysis.” It was the document mandated by State Government Code Section 7507 (for the 2002 pension increase for the safety unions), which said: […]

The Fall of Pacific Grove – Anti-Pension Reform Mayor Claims to Favor Reed Pension Reform

Part 5 of 7: A New Reform Initiative is Proposed Mayor Chuck Reed of San Jose is a genuine pension reform advocate. He has been working on a state-wide pension reform initiative for the last year. On Oct. 15th, the proposed initiative was filed with the state attorney general. Pacific Grove’s Mayor, a dyed-in-the-wool anti-pension […]

The Fall of Pacific Grove – Outsourcing of Safety Services Causes Increased Pension Deficits

Part 4 of 7: How the Unions Control the City’s “Pension Subcommittee” In Pacific Grove (Pacific Grove), the employee unions rule. They have the full support of the city manager, the city attorney, and the council majority. True “collective bargaining” is a myth. The Pacific Grove Charter established a strong city manager form of city […]

The Fall of Pacific Grove – How City Thwarted Reform, and CalPERS Squandered Surpluses

Part 2 of 7: City Attorney Kept Sponsors of Initiative from Participating in Defense of Initiative Part 2 of 7:  In 1927, the City of Pacific Grove adopted a charter that reflects the principles of “home rule” and provides for local control of municipal affairs (California Constitution, Article XI, Section 3[a]). That is why evidence […]