Who’s going to end up paying for it? | TheUnion.com

Who’s going to end up paying for it?

I recently read in a publication that Grass Valley, Nevada City and Nevada County have very serious unfunded liabilities.

Namely: Grass Valley $4,000,000, Nevada City $900,000 and Nevada County $48,137,000.

These are unfunded pension plan liabilities. This study was done by SESF (Sierra Environment Studies Foundation).

Their Web site is sesfoundation.org.

The study states that the public agencies hired CalPERS (California Public Employees Retirement System) to counsel in the administration and investment of these funds; that these debts have grown substantially because these governmental agencies have continued to grant high pay raises and increase the public employees pension benefit plans.

A few years ago, Nevada City increased its pension plans 25 percent. Nevada City also pays both employer and employee contributions to the pension and social security plans. Hmmm.

There has been a growing trend nationwide for public agencies to have employees’ compensation packages more closely reflect those in the private sector. I assume that one way to cover these unfunded liabilities may be by raising taxes and fees, but another way may be to follow the more conservative private sector practices in administration of the benefit programs.

Shouldn’t our public agencies (Nevada City, City of Grass Valley and Nevada County) publicly address their situations and present their plans as to how they will correct the situation, rather than to allow their unfunded liabilities to continue to magnify?

Joe Vielbig

Grass Valley

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