Writer shares comments to Antioch council on city’s $150 million in unfunded liabilities

Dear Editor:

Following are the comments I made to the Antioch City Council during the budget session on Tuesday, April 11, 2017.

As to the Budget Staff Report to the City Council from Director Merchant dated 11 April 2017: City Unfunded Employee Retirement at PERS

  1. Agenda Item 1 page 1 / The actual unfunded CalPERS amount is somewhere between $150,000,000.00 and $160,000,000.00.  One hundred and forty million is a low-end number.
  2. Page 2 / Measure C will sunset and will not be renewed by the voters.  The mismanagement and lack of performance will cause it to fail.  I would not vote for a renewal and would work to defeat a renewal.
  3. Page 3 / Transfers from Water and Sewer, if as stated the City is doing a new study please know that if the City of Antioch attempts to transfer funds for Police Services I will immediately file suit to stop the transfer.  The City of Antioch must stop the shell game with transfers.
  4. Page 3 / Memorandum concerning salary increases.  This never should have been approved and needs to immediately be addressed by opening renegotiation with Police and other employees.
  5. Page 4 / Contract Code Enforcement / Fines should be equal to have this break even.  There should not be a $175,000.00 deficit.
  6. Page 4 / Golf Course / The entire golf course and facility is most likely not worth more than 5 million dollars in the open market.  In fact, the value may be as low as 3 million.  But the total amount owed to the City is not in any way sufficient to affect the budget shortfalls that we are looking at in 2018 to 2021.
  7. Page 6 / Measure C /See information in item 2 above.
  8. Page 7 / Measure O/  The City still fails to collect all the money due.  We just took in three new management accounts and none of the properties were registered with the City.  From the consumer side view this is a near failure on the part of the City.
  9. Page 8 / June 30 2019 Proposed Budget.  Director Merchant states correctly that nearly 3.5Million Dollars of expenditure increase is due to Salary and CalPERS.  Looking at anything else will not correct, fix or effect the road to Municipal Bankruptcy.
  10. Page 9 / Employees need to pay 50% or more of any fees paid to CalPERS.  Additionally, the City must terminate “Defined Retirement Benefit” and move to “Defined Retirement Contribution”.

The City of Antioch has 24 months until massive negative spending begins.  Bankruptcy is no more than 24 months from that time.  You can no longer kick the can down the road.

Mark Jordan


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City Unfunded Employee Retirement at PERS
City Unfunded Employee Retirement at PERS

11 Comments to “Writer shares comments to Antioch council on city’s $150 million in unfunded liabilities”

  1. Just a thought says:

    Guess my CALPERS suggestion of huge liability for the city was not such a far off guess. Who can sustain $140,000,000? Only to grow as the younger people retire? This is just crazy for a city to even plan for?

  2. Marty Fernandez says:

    Many people have spoken at council meetings about the unfunded liabilities for many years. All have been ignored. Now we are still being ignored.

  3. Just a thought says:

    This is fiscal irresponsibility plain and simple. Some actuary (if they even use the services of one) is giving very poor advice to those Finance folks and doing Antioch a big disservice – who is watching the henhouse? The wolf?

  4. Frederick Rouse says:

    Completely agree.

  5. Marty Fernandez says:

    I don’t think it is information from an actuary that got us into this. It did cause CalPERS the problems. Antioch, pure and simple, failed to pay the required installments. They said they were a “pay as you go” city only didn’t pay. Last year they paid a few thousand dollars from one time money and spent most of it. Those few dollars couldn’t even touch the interest on what we owe. This all falls on the shoulders of every city council member since the inception of the program. Few of them have consciences so they aren’t even thinking about it if they are still alive. And still no one listens.

    • Just a thought says:

      I guess what I was saying is a good actuary, or auditor, would advise any business that these liabilities have to be funded annually. It is a snowball effect. Just gets out of control with no way of reigning it in. Thus, the bankruptcy result.

  6. Loretta Sweatt says:

    I completely agree…pension plans, other than for police officers is undoable, antiquated, and a benefit of the past…corporations are cutting pensions, or no longer offer pensions, haven’t heard of anyone getting a pension for being a good loyal honest employee for corporations for 40 years….

  7. Marty Fernandez says:

    So you think, Loretta, police officers are the only people who should get pensions? You cannot have it both ways. The current pension of our police officers, and other city employees, is what is bankrupting this city. I love my police officers, everyone of them but the finances of this city have to be our priority. Do you realize their new contract calls for 25% in five years? Where is that money coming from? More than 70% of our city budget goes to pensions. That means service cuts in all other areas.

    • Loretta Sweatt says:

      Crime is bankrupting our city and country.

      • Loretta Sweatt says:

        We have to stop the crime. What would you do the job for? Is Antioch paying more than other high crime big cities, because Antioch is not just a rivertown anymore, is it? A more practical budget instead of luxury items budget might put the city finances in better shape. Maybe run a tight ship at City Hall and make every dollar count and go as far as possible. If you can get officers hired for less, let me know.

        • Loretta Sweatt says:

          And yes, only pensions, for whatever negotiated amounts, for Police Officers only, and that is one way…not both

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