The Cost to Taxpayers of Enhancing Sonoma County Employee Pensions

By Edward Ring
In the early 2000s, along with many other cities, state agencies and counties in California, Sonoma County enhanced their employee pension benefits. As of 6/30/2018, Sonoma County’s pension system had $2.7 billion of invested assets, but nearly $3.1 billion in actuarial accrued liabilities. To what extent is its $400 million unfunded liability attributable to the...

TAGS: Edward Ring, pensions, Sonoma County, unfunded liabilities

Were Pensions Benefits Retroactively Enhanced Without Notifying the Public?

By Edward Ring
In 1999, at the height of the stock market runup fueled by the internet bubble, California’s state legislature passed SB 400, which increased pension benefits for officers with the California Highway Patrol. Over the next several years, pension benefits were similarly increased for government employees working in nearly every one of California’s cities, counties, state agencies,...

TAGS: "California Rule", pensions, PEPRA, Section 7507, Sonoma County

In the Last 25 Years, Sonoma County’s Pension Liability Rose ELEVEN TIMES Faster Than Tax Revenues

By Ken Churchill
In August of last year retired attorney George Luke sued the Sonoma County Employees Retirement Association (SCERA) and the Board of Supervisors (BOS) because according to County records they did not follow the law when pensions were increased in 2002 and 2003. According to the law, before increasing pension benefits the supervisors are required to...

TAGS: pension reform, Sonoma County

Sabotaged: North Bay Business Journal On-Line Poll on Project Labor Agreement

By Kevin Dayton
On January 22, 2014, the North Bay Business Journal (covering Sonoma, Marin, and Napa counties in California) began an on-line “Pulse Poll” asking readers to vote on whether they supported a proposed government mandate for construction contractors to sign a Project Labor Agreement with unions as a condition of working on Sonoma County projects over...

TAGS: Project Labor Agreements, Sonoma County

Election Gains for California Unions in 2012 Drive Push for Project Labor Agreements

By Kevin Dayton
The explosion of Project Labor Agreements on government projects in California since the November 6 elections is not surprising to long-time observers of labor union initiatives at local governments. In the six months after the November 2008 Presidential Election, emboldened and confident construction trade unions won Project Labor Agreements at eleven local governments in California. It...

TAGS: California high speed rail, California High-Speed Rail Authority, City of San Diego, Coast Community College District, Ohlone Community College District, Rancho Santiago Community College District, San Diego Convention Center Expansion, San Diego Unified School District, Solano Community College District, Sonoma County