Rather than just tell the truth about the city's immense debt, or how things got as bad as they have, instead we get the "Citizen’s Financial Advisory Committee." People specially selected to come to a conclusion the city really wants, but lacks the honesty and courage to say themselves. You need to pay more taxes.
The Arcadia Weekly has an article up on their website about this predictable and hardly novel nonsense. The sales pitch from City Manager Lazzaretto is particularly cloying, and not exactly honest since never dares to say why Arcadia is so deeply in the red. Even though he clearly knows the reason why this is. Here is a brief, though bitter, taste.
Arcadia Convenes Citizen’s Financial Advisory Committee (Arcadia Weekly link): The Citizen’s Financial Advisory Committee recently held its first meeting to review the City’s long-term financial forecast and to begin its import work to provide recommendations to the City Council regarding the City’s financial future. The committee is composed of five long-time Arcadia residents with backgrounds in financial management and planning and is tasked with making recommendations to preserve Arcadia’s excellent city services, including cost-containment measures, opportunities for efficiency, and potential sources of locally-controlled funding.
“People live in Arcadia because we offer a higher quality of life and better local services than other surrounding cities,” said City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto. “Unfortunately, with the rising cost of services it’s no secret that we face some tough decisions ahead. The city convened the Citizen’s Financial Advisory Committee to provide independent oversight and make thoughtful recommendations on how to preserve our high quality of life.”
You get all of that? The always composed Dominic Lazzaretto is talking out of his vastly overcompensated golden keister about city finances. And why shouldn't he want to do so? He stands to benefit personally from any increase in taxes to the residents of Arcadia. Dominic is singing for his supper.
Or, more likely, the posh six figure CalPERS pension he plans to start living off in the not too distant future. Money that he could start collecting in less than a decade.
Chances are Dominic has already picked out his Winnebago.
Let's save the "Citizen’s Financial Advisory Committee" a lot of time and effort and get straight to the point. This is about Arcadia's massive CalPERS debt. Do you want to see a very big number? According to a Stanford University website called the California Pension Tracker, as of 2015 Arcadia owes CalPERS well over $613,000,000 million taxpayer dollars.
OK. So now you can send the advisory committee home. Give them a cookie, a handsome certificate, a pat on their stalwart heads from the Mayor, and call an Uber and forward them to their last known address.
Here is a chart that Stanford University website has provided for you. Link here.
Do you know what would be fun? Put Roger Chandler, Bulldozer Bob and Sho Tay in front of the people of Arcadia and have them explain how they managed to put the city so deeply into dutch with CalPERS. All of that benefits money they shoveled to the likes of the cop union in exchange for campaign political endorsements has obviously added up.
If the people of Arcadia are going to be asked to fork over more money, shouldn't they at least get a little truth in exchange? Well, there it is.
But don't expect to hear any of that from City Hall. They think its their own personal money, and would be offended if you asked.