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Monday
Jun262017

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Orange County): Unfunded public employee pension liabilities -- Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach: "How 5 O.C. cities are working to pull down the rising cost of a pension 'mess'" .... 

* Orange County Register:  "How 5 O.C. cities are working to pull down the rising cost of a pension 'mess'" - From the Register:

Local cities are set to dedicate millions of dollars more per year on top of already-determined payments to try to bring down unfunded employee pension liabilities that are running up to seven times higher than a decade ago.

With California’s pension crisis clearly defined, cities are beginning to budget for even larger payments to the state retirement system to keep ahead of interest. Newport Beach has committed to paying roughly $9 million more a year through 2038, and it’s exploring setting aside money in a trust. Without taking action, the city’s projected unfunded pension liability for the new fiscal year starting July 1 would balloon to $353 million, compared with $46 million 10 years ago.

Costa Mesa will add $500,000 a year, Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach about $1 million each. Costa Mesa’s unfunded liability is projected at $246 million for fiscal 2017-18, up from an estimated $46 million 10 years ago. In Huntington Beach, the latest number is $363 million; a decade ago, it was $79 million. 

“Why are we in this mess? Well, everybody’s in this mess,” said Huntington Beach Assistant City Manager Ken Domer. The reason depends on whom you ask.

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Here are local cities’ strategies for paying down their unfunded pension liabilities: ...................

Saturday
Jun242017

LOCAL GOVERNMENT: "Montebello school district officials discussed ways to 'reward' certain companies, notes about contract meeting suggest"; "Massive development may come to long-blighted East Oakland site"; "Secretary of State alleges politics may have caused Orange County supervisors to reject cost-saving voting system"; "San Jose police confiscate 2,700 pounds of illegal fireworks . . ." ...  

Saturday
Jun242017

POLITICS (National, State/Vermont): Sen. Bernie Sanders, wife Jane Sanders, FBI investigation?: "Jane Sanders lawyers up" ....

***Sen. Bernie Sanders, wife Jane Sanders, FBI investigation?

* POLITICO Magazine (Harry Jaffe):  "Jane Sanders Lawyers Up" - "The strange story behind the federal investigation that has rattled Burlington, Vermont, and put Bernie and Jane Sanders on the defensive." - From POLITICO:

Bernie Sanders was in the midst of an interview with a local TV reporter early last month when the senator fielded an unexpected question about an uncomfortable matter. “There’s an implication, and from at least one individual, an explicit argument that when they called for an investigation into Burlington College that you used your influence to secure a loan from People’s United—”

The senator cut him off.

Sanders is used to fielding softball questions from an adoring local press, but his inquisitor, Kyle Midura of Burlington TV station WCAX, had a rare opportunity to put him on the spot. Investigative reporters had been breaking stories about a federal investigation into allegations that the senator’s wife, Jane Sanders, had committed fraud in obtaining bank loans for the now defunct Burlington College, and that Sanders’s Senate office had weighed in.

Sanders had never responded to questions about the case, but he took the bait this time. Briefly. “Well, as you know,” he said, “it would be improp— this implication came from Donald Trump’s campaign manager in Vermont. Let me leave it at that, because it would be improper at this point for me to say anything more.” 

Midura leaned in. “You’ve previously said it was nonsense.” “Yes,” Sanders responded, “it is nonsense. But now that there is a process going on, which was initiated by Trump’s campaign manager, somebody who does this all of the time, has gone after a number of Democrats and progressives in this state. It would be improper at this point for me to add any more to that.”

End of conversation. But not the end of the investigation or the potential for damage to the senator from a small New England state who has rocketed to the top of the world of progressive politics nationwide. Sanders and his wife have been trying to ignore the federal investigation since reporters for VTDigger, an online publication, confirmed the FBI’s involvement in April .................

Saturday
Jun242017

POLITICS/EDUCATION (New York): New York City school system, control?: "New York City Officials Raise Pressure Over Mayoral Control of Schools"; "No Deal, Just Blame, on Mayoral Control of New York City Schools"; editorial, "Albany Turns Its Back on City Schools"; also, "Does It Matter Who Runs New York City Schools?" ....  

***New York City, control, city schools?

* New York Times:  "New York City Officials Raise Pressure Over Mayoral Control of Schools"

* New York Times:  "No Deal, Just Blame, on Mayoral Control of New York City Schools"

* New York Times (editorial):  "Albany Turns Its Back on City Schools"

***ALSO:

* New York Times (Kate Taylor):  "Does It Matter Who Runs New York City Schools?"

Saturday
Jun242017

SACRAMENTO: SB 562, universal health care: "'Woefully incomplete' universal health bill dead for the year in California"; "California shelves single-payer health bill"; "California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon shelves single-payer healthcare bill, calling it 'woefully incomplete': "Single-payer health care put on hold in California as leader calls bill 'woefully incomplete'" ....