Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bulldozer Bob Harbicht's 30 Year Political Legacy: Pension Tracker Shows Arcadia Is Now Insolvent

Pension Tracker is this useful tool that allows adventurous citizens to explore and confirm just how deeply sunk in CalPERS pension debt their local government agency is at this golden moment in time. It also gives folks the opportunity to see where exactly things are going as well.

PT is run by a Dr. Joe Nation, Project Director for the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. As in Stanford University, just in case you had any doubts, or perhaps thought this was some sort of a conspiracy. The revelations to be found there regarding the financial peril many California cities face is pretty sobering. Not that everyone will understand it, of course. Certainly a lot of Sierra Madre's Yes On Measure UUT "Facebook Friends" won't have the foggiest notion of what this is all about. After all, it doesn't address that most important of topics for these folks, which is themselves. But I have faith in the abilities of people like you.

Here is what was reported a few days ago about unfunded CalPERS debt in Sierra Madre (link here). 

There are a lot of interesting and very large numbers there, including that $9,665,477 in "unfunded actuarial liability." What this means is the solons who run the city's affairs have committed to more than $9 and one half million dollars in CalPERS pension debt that they cannot otherwise pay for without first raising utility taxes here a full 66%. Out of an incredible total amount of $36,907,048. And, under California state law, the only way they can do this is to get you to vote for Measure UUT.

According to Pension Tracker, every individual household in Sierra Madre owes $6,754.00 dollars in "unfunded market liability" CalPERS debt. That is what each family living in Sierra Madre is on the hook for right now. And it will go up even more as CalPERS fund investments continue to underperform. Measure UUT is how City Hall plans to collect on that family by family debt to pay for its immense CalPERS liabilities.

Kind of awful, right? While the Yes On Measure UUT people babble disingenuously about the saving the Library or the Police Department, the truth is pension debt in Sierra Madre is beyond the ability of the city to pay without raising utility taxes. Which means claims like "Measure UUT will save the Sierra Madre Police Department" are laughably absurd and untrue.

Of course, even then that 66% increased take will not be enough to fix much of anything, either. That will come in 2018 with either a parcel tax or newly hiked property taxes. But don't worry, you will get to vote on that one as well.

However, and as bad as all that is, Arcadia is even worse off. Much worse, actually. Here are the numbers (link):


What this shows is that Arcadia has a total CalPERS liability of $312,798,284.00. Subtract the total assets number of $207,821,674.00 (which includes things like streets and buildings such as the Police and Fire Stations), and that total owed pension debt (or unfunded actuarial liability) comes to $104,886,610.00. Or, even more dramatically, $15,822.00 in unfunded market liability per Arcadia household.

Right now the City Of Arcadia is shelling out upwards of $14 million yearly in pension cash to its rather poshly compensated employees just to keep up with its current obligations. However, even then this already massive debt keeps increasing, with the breaking point perhaps just a few short years away.

And when did this all come to be? While Bob Harbicht was on the Arcadia City Council and gave away the farm to every city employee and municipal employee union in town. Done in exchange for the political support that has kept him in power off and on for the last three decades.

Why would anyone want to bring this guy back? It's a mystery to me.

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

51 comments:

  1. Bulldozer gave it all away to the unions for political reasons? Naw. He did it because he supports public safety! Yeah, that's it!

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    1. And Platinum Pensions. Yeah, that's the ticket!

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    2. BB is not sincere man. He has a HUGE ego and wants everyone to idolize him.

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    3. Is it true he's in Hawaii and not even campaigning?

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  2. so I'm being asked to raise my own utility tax so in 10 years I can sit back, enjoy my working days in my 60's, pay more in taxes and relax because I know that our City Manager and countless other SM early retires are enjoying their free time and living on a full salary on my dime?

    is that it?

    what happens if the city manager is instructed to default on Calpers - switch to a 401k and have the city attorney sue Calper for fraud

    have you seen the buildings that Calpers built for itself?

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    1. sounds like you need a better job.

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    2. Where can you get one that pays a couple of hundred grand for chalking tires?

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    3. Really, chalking tires? Childish. I'll bet you'll want those tire chalkers the next time a scary bad guy is on your property.

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    4. When the scary guys show up, the SMPD calls the Sheriffs. Time to cut out the middle man.

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    5. Wrong! The good people of Sierra Madre are tying to drive SMPD out of buiness, and have the nerve to berate them for leaving.

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    6. The SMPD priced itself out of Sierra Madre. They fired themselves.

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    7. When the scary, scary nights descend upon Sierra Madre, the SMPD calls...
      LA County Sheriff Dept.

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    8. No, they saw the writing on the wall, citizens don't support them, don't want to pay them and then start the boo-hooing about loyalty and desertion starts when they leave. Silly sierra madre...

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  3. It's no different than what Co Po Co is doing. Co po co is given orders for city hall to hire more city employees and given more Calpers ... Pension packages out. The pensions got to go and be replaced with 401k. Also, want to hear the big secret. behind closed doors ciy council gave our city manager a 9% + raise plus more benefits. I wonder who really owns the new 2016 red mercedez convertible, city hall or the city manager. You got my No Vote on All UUT Taxes and also my vote to Repeal All UUT taxes. Do you really think our city manager is worth $350 a year including benefits and a red mercedez?

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    1. As Will Rogers said:
      Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.

      Amen to that!

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    2. It's pretty obvious the Utility Users Tax (UUT) is a CalPERS tax for Arcadia, just like it is next door in Sierra Madre!

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  4. Clearly this is unsustainable.The question is when will the madness stop ? Will it stop before the money runs out ?
    When Arcadia starts borrowing more the fund CalPers, the interest rate it must pay for such risky and unsecured loans will soar.That will be the death spiral .And then Harbicht,Aguilar and all the other conspirators will slink off having taken a 'haircut' on their Platinum Pensions. But we taxpayers will have a bankrupt City with minimal assets ,huge liabilities and a hostile citizenry.
    It will be interesting to watch this train wreck .Only Barry Gold seems to have the honesty to address this issue and the City doesn't even list him as a Candidate on their City website - basically they just gave him the middle finger.
    You get the Government you deserve Sierra Madre.

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    1. The Two Johns are just kicking the can down the road. They know that Sierra Madre is facing a serious CalPERS debt problem, but lack the honesty and courage to talk about it. Arcadia? What a mess.

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    2. Barry Gold is not a candidate on the ballot, therefore cannot be listed on the website. Barry is a write-in candidate because he didn't file for candidacy prior to the deadline. Rules are rules in this democracy.

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    3. Tune into this blog tomorrow so you can see just how wrong you are.

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  5. Co po co and hardbedian have proven they don't have the ability to cut spending and termite all Pensions. Why are they once again running for city council.they are all on a ego trip, just like the federal government. There needs to be a revolt.

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  6. I think there is a solution, lets ask John Who and Sho Tai to come to sierra Madre city Hall, buy a permit, and sell gem coins, John co po co will endorse it along with sierra madre drilling a water well in long beach and digging a trench with a water hose to sierra madre, what an idea?

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  7. oh, we finally figured it out why the city council and city manager have continued to make bad decisions, they were found to be smoking the dead wisteria vine located over huck fins head at the entrance of city hall. I find that grounds for termination

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  8. I guessing Arcadia can file for 'bankruptcy protection' like San Bernardino did and here is the proof. http://www.sbsun.com/government-and-politics/20160329/san-bernardino-settlement-pension-obligation-bondholders-to-get-40

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    1. San Bernardino Dumps CalPERS as Pension ‘Death Spiral’ Looms
      http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/09/01/san-bernardino-dumps-calpers-as-pension-death-spiral-looms/

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    2. From the article:
      "...After a five-hour screaming session last Monday, the San Bernardino City Council’s conservative majority voted 4-to-3 in favor of dissolving its 137-year-old City Fire Department and turning fire protection responsibilities over to the county..."

      Wow, turn over a local public safety department to the county agency that doesn't use CalPERS? Sounds like what Sierra Madre should be doing with it's part-time police dept.

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  9. 2016-03-29 seems like a more current set of issues that are rival ant to Arcadia, California issues at this time don't you think? Both have one thing in common they were not watching the bottom line and kept licking the can down the road for someone else to solve the looming problem that has finally stood up and threatens to bite them all.

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  10. While I was out picking up lunch at Panda today I noticed a young man in a police cadets uniform from Sierra Madre . Have we always had cadets or this a new program ?

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    1. It is the latest attempt Giannone has put together to save the SMPD. Hire kids right out of school, pay for their academy costs in exchange for a 5 year commitment to work for Sierra Madre's police department. Meaning that instead of getting seasoned veteran Sheriff's deputies, we get green cops right out of the police academy. Oh, and at a greater cost. Of course.

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    2. And the minute they have some experience with SMPD they'll quit and go somewhere else, after we the taxpayers pay for it.

      What.A.Waste.

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    3. The SMPD has had a cadet program for years even when the program had a full staff. This is nothing new. The cadets do clerical work, some dispatch, and work events. They are not sworn officers and can't give tickets or carry a gun. It might help if you to get the facts.

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    4. Actually that is Chief Giannone's plan for rebuilding the SMPD. You must have missed that one.

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    5. I didn't miss anything. I am a police volunteer and there have been cadets at the police station as long as I can remember.

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    6. Good luck with that. The LA Sheriff's Dept. has fully trained Deputies now. I'd rather have full-time protection NOW.

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  11. f this City wants to get out of the red there will need to be more compromise from everyone in it and that means allowing for tax revenue to come in. This place is popular place for out-of-towners so we need more sales tax revenue from them. The downtown area has more sales tax exempt services that don't contribute to our City revenue. I'm all for preserving the City lifestyle but not at the expense of falling behind. We can preserve what Sierra Madre is about by sacrificing one aspect of it (Sierra Madre Blvd.,)we should open Sierra Madre Blvd. to higher volume sales tax driven stores instead of services which don't tax. There are many reasons to vote NO on UUT and this is one of my reasons.

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    1. It would be great if you want to open a business in town that has higher tax driven sales. I'm sure the city would welcome you with open arms. Not, of course another liquor store as one person suggested at the city council the other night - suggesting we all try and support our town by patronizing Happy's and The Bottle Shop.

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  12. Employing newly graduated Police Cadets is what we are paying a Chief of Police hundreds of thousands of $ for the rest of his life for !
    How enthusiastic will those 5 year conscripts be once they realize there is virtually no crime here? And if there is we need to beg for help from the Sheriffs anyway.
    So why not just hire the Sheriffs and save some money - and get real Policing in Sierra Madre?

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    1. Just when you think things can't get and more ridiculous.

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  13. Lets talk UUT taxes 1) if the older folks are on fixed incomes, city hall reduces the uut tax or eliminates the taxes completely, or the city utility costs, and then raises the UUT Tax so the middle class, if we have any can pay it! What a great concept!

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    1. Prop 13 Yes Chair EddieMarch 30, 2016 at 4:18 PM

      Paying taxes is for little people

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    2. what are you talking about? are you retarded?

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    3. You think if a family of 4 makes under 24,000 dollars they should pay as much tax as you? shame shame shame.......... go take a farmers land or something if your bored

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    4. We can all join together and end taxation inequality by voting no on Measure UUT.

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    5. Utterly false. The reduced tax proposed is for "very low income" people, (reduced from "low" on the previous measure.) That means only a fraction percent are able to claim an exemption. I am on a fixed income, however pay my full share of the UUT. You are clearly unable to grasp the concept
      of what this measure is all about. Check your facts.

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  14. Bob also has an alleged relationship with EDI Media in West Covina an alleged front for the PROC communist dictatorship in mainland China

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    1. I'm shocked.

      Not really.

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  15. Love the cartoon. Arcadia loves it's dozers.

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  16. Bob Harbicht is a horse's arse.

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  17. "Subtract the total assets number of $207,821,674.00 (which includes things like streets and buildings such as the Police and Fire Stations),"

    I don't think so. $207.8 mill is the assets in CalPERS only. Not physical or other city assets. A retraction is in order.

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    1. Please explain what "the assets in CalPERS" would be. I am not sure you've thought this through.

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