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I’m sorry the blog’s been slow, but I’m juggling a lot of things. Hopefully, this week will help me stow some of them away. Here are some quick thoughts.
- We received so many RSVPs for Thursday’s panel discussion on the economy that we made an emergency decision to change the venue. I didn’t want to imagine having to turn people away. And I don’t know who the city’s fire marshal is but I didn’t want to meet her or him. So we moved it to USD’s Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice.
Now, I think, we’ll have plenty of room. Remember, 6 p.m. Thursday. You’ll need to park in that lower lot and take the shuttle or roll the dice and see if you can find a spot up on the street near the building. The moral is: Get there early to deal with that. Thanks to everyone who has shown so much enthusiasm.
I knew that the topic would resonate, but I had no idea.
- City has structural deficit but maintains itself with the inflow of money from a booming market. An economic downturn crashes the party exposes deep imbalance. City faces scary annual bill from the fund that pays its retired workers (EEK!). City manipulates pension fund trustees to give the fund less than the rules say.
So I only have one thing to say: Is this really a script we want to follow again?
- OK, I don’t have just one thing to say on this. Bill Sheffler has been a trustee on the pension board since 2004. He’s an actuary by trade. In other words, this is his expertise — he’s the exact type of person that city law spells out as who can serve on the board. Not only that, he was on the Pension Reform Committee and for the years he’s been on the pension board, he’s been a quiet but diligent, methodical reformer of how they do business over there. Not only is he an expert and a reformer, he’s now got institutional memory that would make another four years from him on that board extremely beneficial. He doesn’t have to be trained. He doesn’t need to be persuaded to reform.
He takes his job as an unpaid trustee very seriously: He works to make sure that fund has all the assets it needs to pay the workers what they’ve been promised and he has tried his best to ensure no money was wasted. This is all he’s ever done.
“Unequivocally, the guy did a lot to serve taxpayers on the board,” City Councilman Carl DeMaio told me when we talked recently.
Apparently, this is the kind of guy the mayor doesn’t want on the board. And if it’s true that the reason he doesn’t want him on the board is because he wants someone who will agree to change the rules so that the fund can be shorted again, well, that’s just nauseating.