Berkeley Mgr. Grabs $266K Pension

Berkeley Mgr. Grabs $266K Pension

John Seiler:

Say, wasn’t Berkeley the most liberal, progressive, hippest and hippiest place around? The Free Speech movement (pictured at right)? Anti-Vietnam War protests? Political Correctness that would make Mao envious?

Ah, forget it. As it always does, it comes down to money — money grabbed from impoverished taxpayers and given to “do good” government hacks.

The latest is do-gooder Berkeley City Manager Phil Kamlarz, who just retired with a $266,000 yearly pension — plus benefits and cost-of-living raises. Yet his highest annual salary was “only” $250,000 — and was $219,000 three years ago.

Contra Costa columnist Daniel Borenstein explains:

“The deal highlights the city’s generous pension program, which is one of the better plans in the state but by no means unique. The costly program is also $420 million underfunded, a shortfall equal to more than three years of city payroll, according to the city’s latest actuarial reports….

“It shows how absurdly lucrative some public employee pension programs have become. While Kamlarz’s salary was more than those of other city workers, the pension formula is the same for most other Berkeley employees. Indeed, about one-fourth of agencies covered by the giant California Public Employees’ Retirement System are at least as generous….

“[City pensions currently work] out to 49 cents for every dollar of police payroll, 38 cents for firefighters and 27 cents for other workers. Those costs will rise in future years to help cover the city’s huge unfunded liability.

“During his tenure, Kamlarz declined my multiple requests to discuss pensions.”

So much for Berkeley’s “Free Speech” heritage.

Or open government, for that matter.

Actually, of course, all that 1960s hippy-Berkeley idealism was fake anyway — an excuse to drop acid, attend Grateful Dead concerts, live high off the taxpayers’ dollars and impose extreme Political Correctness on succeeding generations.

“Get ourselves back to the garden,” as Joni Mitchell warbled in her “Woodstock” song?

More like: Get back to stuffing the bank account with money ripped off from taxpayers.

— Jan. 9, 2012

 

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  1. Bob
    Bob 9 January, 2012, 14:40

    And how do we fix this?

    The answer from the DemoNcrats is simple: higher taxes, of course.

    So get out there and sign those tax increase ballot measures!

    And vote DemoNcrat in 2012 so the DemoNcrats will get a 2/3 majority and then they can solve all our problems by raising taxes to their hearts’ content! (No ballot measures required!)

    Reply this comment
  2. Bob
    Bob 9 January, 2012, 14:49

    If Kamlarz or his spouse live another 30 years that pension wouuld be worth nearly $8 million, excluding cost of living raises. (And who knows how much his healthcare costs will cost the taxpayers.)

    I can just see it…a new TV show…The 8 Million Dollar Retired Bureaucrat…paging Oscar Goldman.

    Reply this comment
  3. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 9 January, 2012, 19:31

    You don’t have to go all the way to Berkeley to see this stuff. Right in OC both the County Sheriff and the County CEO are double dippers each collecting about $500,000 a year in comp. That’s the same CEO who gave all his buddies in OC executive positions big pay raises during the recession while telling everyone else that we had to sacrifice and weather the storm. So Kamlarz is not the exception to the rule. He is the rule.

    Reply this comment
  4. queeg
    queeg 10 January, 2012, 14:46

    In San Diego mid twenties firemen with marginal education make 90k with overtime…

    What did we do wrong to let fireman make such huge salaries and pensions…

    Reply this comment

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