UPDATE: The MWD Board will take up this matter at its meeting on Sept 15.
The Metropolitan Water District, one of the shadowiest and least transparent agencies in California is contemplating raising its employees pension benefits. The Register opines about it here and makes reference to an original story by Teri Sforza here .
With bad news about how its own pension plan has been rocked by huge CalPERS investment losses, and with financially teetering state and municipal governments it seems like a poor time for the MWD to be grabbing for more tax-payer backed gravy to benefit a giant gaggle of water bureaucrats. Plus, the MWD just passed along a water commodity rate to its members that we are all paying for.
Fullerton is original member of the MWD and has been represented for a long time, some say way too long, by a fellow named Jim Blake – as we wrote about here .
UPDATE: The MWD is scheduled to take up this matter at its meeting on September 15.
Jim has been on the MWD Board for so long that almost nobody can remember when he went on back in the 80s (1980s, that is). The people who originally appointed him are all long gone. But Jim has well-managed his continual reappointment without anybody else getting a shot at the job. Well, now he’s got an issue that may just spell trouble for his lengthy tenure.
Blake has always been a big pro-staff drum-beater, and its hard to imagine that if, left to his own devises, he wouldn’t go for the pension jack. If he goes for it now, the people who appointed him may discover that it is they who are ultimately responsible for the actions of their appointees. Under ordinary circumstances this might not bother Fullerton’s own pension spiking gang too much. But 2010 is an election year, and we feel certain that this the pension increase will become an issue if it goes through. The city council needs to know that this continued fiscal recklessness will not be tolerated.