Mailbag: Commentary overlooked C.M. pension obligations

Charles Mooney is long on comments, but short on solutions ("I have doubts about Costa Mesa's Outsourcing," Commentary, Feb. 15). After reading Mooney's comments, I have doubts about Costa Mesa's long-term financial stability.

Costa Mesa already spends $19 million of its $101 million annual revenues on pensions and retiree health benefits. Yet Mooney discounts City Council cost-saving measures, bashes the charter proposal and offers no real alternatives.

According to California Public Employees' Retirement System's October 2012 memos, police pensions are short $74 million for 300 people, fire pensions are short $52 million for 200 people, and "miscellaneous" pensions are short $70 million for 700 people. The pensions are about 66% funded; 66% was a "D" when I went to school. In addition to pensions, the retiree health benefit is $34 million short. The total shortfall of $230 million is a real problem.

I encourage Costa Mesans to be part of the solution. Suggest your own cost-saving measures to the council and support its efforts to be fiscally responsible.

Jeff Arthur

Costa Mesa


Estancia's heroes

I too would like to recognize the Estancia High School administrators who truly put their lives on the line when a deranged parent came on the campus last week to retrieve a student ("Estancia staff was brave," Commentary, Feb. 21).

Assistant Principal Mike Sciacca and Principal Kirk Bauermeister had no idea whether the person had a lethal weapon or the [BB] gun he possessed when confronted last week. After the police arrested the man, these men said they were "merely doing their job." At the time, I'm sure they didn't realize they were putting their lives on the line. In light of all the latest mortal craziness, Mr. Sciacca and Mr. Bauermeister should be recognized by the entire Harbor-area community as our own home-grown heroes.

Pete Rabbitt

Newport Beach


Desalination plant

[The Huntington Beach] Poseidon Desalination plan is a boondoggle plan like every one they have proposed since Tampa Bay [in Florida] ("Poseidon is protested at meeting," Feb. 15). They sold the idea of a desalination plant to the Huntington Beach City Council by promising it would never cost the city rate payers because Poseidon was paying for the entire desalination plant themselves.

Now, they are planning on floating a bond. They blamed Tampa Bay [for operational problems] because they claimed Tampa didn't let them finish the project. Desalination isn't perfected yet and will be another failure that H.B. will be paying for if we go any further with this company from Connecticut.

H.B. doesn't need the water and our streets are going to be dug up to get the water to Costa Mesa, where they are planning on selling it. I don't know if it's purchased yet. Many of their deals have fallen through.

Eileen Murphy

Huntington Beach

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