Friday, October 31, 2008

California Cities Cut Police Budgets -

"Those full-natured benefits created a bidding war among Northern California cities, and Vallejo negotiated lucrative wage increases with police and firefighter unions to stay competitive. Three years ago, the city agreed to a 20% pay increase between 2007 and 2009; an average police officer now makes $121,000. When benefits are included, the number rises to more than $190,000. By 2007, 80% of Vallejo's budget was dedicated to police and firefighters.

As tax revenue plummeted, Vallejo's finances buckled under the pressure of the labor contracts. Retired Vallejo employees are owed almost $220 million in unfunded pension and retirement-health benefits.

'We did a bad job of long-term forecasting,' said Craig Whittom, Vallejo's assistant city manager. 'We made agreements that were beyond our means.'"

Translation: We didn't think ahead at all.


Think that lack of planning is going on anywhere else in government?

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