Sentinel's Impressive Pension Series

Steven Greenhut: The Santa Cruz Sentinel has produced an impressive series on the state of that community’s pension system and finds what other communities across the state are finding — soaring pensions costs, especially for police and firefighters and resulting in cuts in other services:

“For the past several years, belt tightening at City Hall has focused on shaving costs through layoffs, furloughs, freezing positions and delaying raises.

“The result has been fewer workers earning less while providing fewer services to taxpayers, many of whom have also lost jobs or seen their own income decline.

“Deciding that such a recipe for public service wasn’t sustainable, city leaders have sought a more holistic cost-cutting approach this year, one that zeroes in on a problem that has exacerbated declines in tax revenue and state raids: The rising cost of pensions.”

The series is well worth reading — not just for residents in that community but for insight into how pension increases have wreaked havoc across the state.

MAY 24

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