The EU

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

San Berdo Bankruptcy

I checked with my two Brothers on the spelling of San Berdo (San Berdo, San Berdoo, San Berdu) and it was agreed that San Berdo is the answer.

Which is by way of leadin to linking to this article on San Berdo's bankruptcy.  Here is the lede:
Facing the same financial stressors that pushed San Bernardino toward bankruptcy, cities across California are slashing day-to-day services and taking other drastic actions to skirt a similar fiscal collapse.
The thing is, out in California they have actual counties, which can give economy of scale on certain services.

We seem to be avoiding this issue of bankruptcy here in Lowell, and just as well.

Regards  —  Cliff

1 comment:

JoeS said...

Lowell is avoiding that fate, but as its finances get better it is not the time to free up spending, rather the City should continue to look for better ways to do its responsibilities.

Let's look at retiree health care. Without touching the 3rd rail of taking away someone's benefits, the City should look to legislation to relieve it from some long term debt burden. The current practice is to provide full (subsidized at 75%) retiree health care benefits for its retirees. However, one can retire with only 10 years of service, and even those 10 years do not have to be all spent working for Lowell. As town employees move upward to higher-paying City positions, it seems as if the City absorbs the burden of retiree health care.

A more equitable approach would be if the subsidy were limited to the years-of-service in a community, say 2.5% per year up to the maximum of 75%. In that case, someone who retired after 10 years in Lowell and 20 years in some other public institution would have 25% paid by Lowell, and the other 50% paid by other communities where he was employed.

And if the City were to hire one person for 30 years, it would be responsible for the 75% subsidy for that individual. But if rather than one employee for that position for the 30 years, there were 3 10-year employees, current practice would have the City pay for the retiree health insurance 3 times over. With the suggested system, it would be three 25% subsidies, or the same amount as one 30-year employee who retired.