Two recent stories of interest in the Los Angeles Times:

Sunday, the Times reported on the future of redevelopment agencies in California, stating that budget cuts will take $2.1 billion from the agencies over the next two years. Some projects — or entire organizations — could be shuttered, the Times reported.

The Times focuses on Los Angeles, but San Diego has an alphabet soup of redevelopment agencies — CCDC, SEDC, etc. — that could be facing similar pressures.

This morning, the Times reported on an unexpected recommendation from a high-level pension official, advising the city of LA to pay off an early retirement package for city employees 10 years sooner than previously advised. Doing so would cost the city $33.7 million more than it had expected to pay next fiscal year. But it’s necessary, the pension official said:

[General Manager of the Los Angeles Employees’ Retirement System Sally] Choi said the pension board’s primary responsibility is to safeguard the financial health of the retirement system, which is charged with delivering benefits to 15,000 retired employees and 30,000 active employees. Any effort to relieve the city’s budget woes should be secondary, she said.

Both Los Angeles City Hall and labor unions are against the plan, with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa attempting to delay a vote on the early retirement package scheduled for today.

Pension concerns, of course, are very familiar here, and there are questions about whether the San Diego Employees’ Retirement System will change how the city funds its program. The key difference: Here, the pension board is considering whether to allow the city to pay less into the retirement system to ease its annual budget pressures.


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