Simply amazing. Otay Water District’s board, far from chastened by the reaction to its approving health care for life for top executives, is set to vote today on extending them to all its rank-and-file employees.
From a San Diego Union-Tribune editorial about this grab for more money from Otay’s ratepayers:
Otay officials also argue that the changes will actually save money because the deal given to managers requires them to pay more toward their pensions and to forgo future cost-of-living pay increases. But under the deal, managers will see no reduction in take-home pay because their wages are increased by the same amount as their increased pension contribution.
Beyond that, an analysis by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association raises all sorts of red flags. It found that the benefit changes would require the district to spend $290,000 more starting in fiscal 2012 and would result in a 3,416 percent increase in the district’s unfunded retiree health care liability. The old liability? $49,000. The new sum? $1.72 million.
From a column by Lani Lutar, president and CEO of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, also in the Union-Tribune, whose Watchdog group broke this story.
At the Otay Water District, customer water rates have increased by more than 40 percent over the past two years, and are scheduled to increase again in January by 7.7 percent. Yet, instead of making their own sacrifices alongside ratepayers, the general manager of the Otay Water District recently led the charge to enhance retirement benefits for management with extraordinary lifetime health care and dental benefits for the managers and their dependents. Board members voted 4-1 to approve these lavish new benefits. . . .
This egregious giveaway of ratepayer money highlights a bigger, more troubling issue. The proposal was not requested by a labor union; management proposed the deal for themselves. Now a similar deal is being considered for represented employees with a vote expected Aug. 10.
Here’s Otay Water District’s defense: