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Supervisors to Consider $32.2M Payment to Unfunded Liabilities

A Nov. 13 preview and Nov. 6 highlights from the Marin County Board of Supervisors.

The following provides a list of selected highlights from the Marin County Board of Supervisors' agenda, and is not meant to be an exhaustive list of the entire agenda. Please check out the Cyberagenda for a copy of the complete agenda as well as copies of these reports and others.

Preview

1. Community Corrections Partnership Update

2. Honoring Employee of the Month

3. November to be Named "Family Caregiver Month"

4. Regulatory Improvements Advisory Committee Update

5. Appointments to Various Commissions

6. Update on Meeting with Regional Water Quality Control Board

7. Water Quality Control Board Staffing Agreement

Highlights of the Board meeting on Nov. 13th, 2012

1. Accelerated Payment of Unfunded Pension Liability

Preview

Following up on their October 2nd workshop, the Board will consider authorizing a $32.2 million one-time contribution, or roughly 70 percent of the available one-time sources, toward the County's unfunded pension liability.  If adopted, it is anticiapted that this one time payment would generate ongoing annual savings beginning in Fiscal Year 2014-15 

Need more info?

See the report on the pension payment

Contact: 

Dan Eilerman, County Administrator's Office

2. Emergency Operations Facility Construction Cost Budgeting

Preview

In November 2011, the County purchased the property at 1600 Los Gamos, portions of which are planned to be used for the County's Emergency Operations Facility.  The Board will now consider a staff recommendation to allocate $3.9 million in one-time reserves towards construction and capitol costs associated with the facility. 

See the report on 1600 Los Gamos

Contact:  David Speer, County Administrator's Office

3. Budget Planning for Fiscal Year 2013-14

Preview

The Board will hear an informational briefing on the County's Fiscal Year 2013-14 budget planning and also consider a request to approve the distribution of budget instructions to County departments.  The County's financial outlook is generally improving, but risks of further cuts from the state and federal government remain.  Staff currently project a General Fund operating gap of approximately $4.3 million,  or about 1% of the County's operating budget.  

Need more info?

See the report on FY 2013-14 budget planning

Contact:  Dan Eilerman, County Administrator's Office

4. Appointments to Child Care Commission

Preview

Child Care Commission

Need more info?

See the Boards and Commissions webpage

Contact: Clerk of the Board staff

5. Countywide Plan Amendment

Preview

On September 11, 2012, the Board approved an amendment to the 2007 Countywide Plan that included minor grammatical changes, updates to flooding and land use maps, new language to further explain the role of community plans, and other minor changes.  On October 2, 2012, the Board considered technical changes to three policies related to affordable housing.  Per their request at that meeting, staff is returning with language to clarify that increased densities for affordable housing may be considered, on a case-by-case basis, subject to certain conditions. 

Need more info?

See the report on the Countywide Plan

Contact: 

Kristin Drumm, Community Development Agency

6. Coastal Program Amendments

Preview

On October 2nd, the Board discussed a number of Local Coastal Program Amendments relating to Agriculture and Biological Resources, although due to time constraints was unable to finish its review of all the proposed amendments.  The Board will now continue its consideration of those remaining policy amendments. 

Need more info?

See the report on the Coastal Program Update

Contact:  Jack Liebster, Community Development Agency

Review

Highlights of the Board meeting on Nov. 6th, 2012

   Community Corrections Partnership Update

    Honoring Employee of the Month

    November to be Named "Family Caregiver Month"

    Regulatory Improvements Advisory Committee Update

    Appointments to Various Commissions

    Update on Meeting with Regional Water Quality Control Board

    Water Quality Control Board Staffing Agreement

1. Community Corrections Partnership Update

Preview

At 9am, the Board will hear an update from the Executive Committee of the Community Corrections Partnership on the 1-year program status of the County's Public Safety Realignment Program.

Review

The Board heard the update

Contact:  Samantha Klein, Probation Dept

2. Honoring Employee of the Month

Preview

At 10am, the Board will honor Eugene Lew of the Public Works Department with the Employee of the Month award.  As an Equipment Service Assistant, he is well known for not just taking care of business, but going the extra mile to provide the highest possible level of service.  Eugene’s hard work and dedication also go above and beyond as a member of the County’s Urban Search and Rescue Team and also as a reserve police officer.

Need more info?

Review

The Board honored Eugene Lew

Contact: Clerk of the Board staff

3. November to be Named "Family Caregiver Month"

Preview

At the request of Supervisor Rice, the Board will adopt a resolution proclaiming November 2012 as "Family Caregiver Month" in Marin County

Need more info?

See the resolution on family caregiver month

 Review

The Board adopted the resolution

Contact: Clerk of the Board staff

4. Regulatory Improvements Advisory Committee Update

Preview

The Board will hear an informational briefing on the County's ongoing County efforts to identify and evaluate strategies for facilitating the review of development projects that are consistent with the Countywide Plan and other important regulations. 

Need more info?

See the report on the Regulatory Improvements Advisory Committee

Review

The Board heard the report

 Contact: Tom Lai, Community Development Agency

5. Appointments to Various Commissions

Preview

Aviation Commission
Fish and Wildlife Commission
Integrated Pest Management Commission
Major Crimes Task Force Oversight Committee
Mental Health Board
Retirement Board
Strawberry Design Review Board

 Need more info?

See the Boards and Commissions webpage

 Contact: Clerk of the Board staff

6. Update on Meeting with Regional Water Quality Control Board

Preview

The Board will hear an update regarding a meeting that was held with the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) Executive Director concerning potential methods of ensuring timely review and processing of local agency permits 

Need more info?

See the full report on the Meeting with RWQCB

Review

The Board heard the staff update and accepted their report

Contact: Tracy Clay, Dept of Public Works

7. Water Quality Control Board Staffing Agreement

Preview

The Board will consider executing an agreement with various local agencies (the Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit District and the Association of Bay Area Governments) to fund a dedicated Regional Water Quality Control Board staff person who would be charged with expediting the processing of requests for permits and services for the next two years.

Need more info?

See the full report on the water quality staffing request

Review

The Board approved the agreement

Contact: Tracy Clay, Dept of Public Works

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

MFKC November 09, 2012 at 05:53 AM
PEOPLE OF MARIN: LOOK OUT! HIGHER AND HIGER AH DENSITIES.....Subsidized housing is getting taller and taller! Per their request at that meeting, staff is returning with language to clarify that increased densities for affordable housing may be considered, on a case-by-case basis, subject to certain conditions.
Al Dugan November 09, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Who requested these changes on October 2, 2012, the Board considered technical changes to three policies related to affordable housing. Per their request at that meeting, staff is returning with language to clarify that increased densities for affordable housing may be considered, on a case-by-case basis, subject to certain conditions. Please post it on this web site.
Al Dugan November 10, 2012 at 12:01 AM
I recommend the discretionary fund, I thing it has a more political correct name but that what it is, be donate next year in full to the pension deficit. Please respond on this web site.
John Parnell November 10, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Al - Toni Shroyer told me the same thing. That if elected Supervisor, she would move to eliminate this slush fund, but if it didn't pass, she was thinking of using her portion to go to the pensions, instead of not using it at all. And you're right, I could have sworn I saw recently that the supervisors changed the name of the "discretionary fund" to make it more politically palatable. It's now called something like the "Happy Community Improvement Obfuscation Fund".
Bob Silvestri November 10, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Didn't the County just recently say unfunded liabilities are "not a problem?" When the Board of Supervisors begins "pouring water down the drain" by taking $32 million dollars of taxpayer money (70% of the funds they have on hand) to pay down against the County's $370 million dollar pension fund unfunded liability they are making a bargain with the devil. Their liability is growing faster than they can pay it down. When they start paying for this out of general funds rather than out of pension benefit deductions / premiums, there's a lot to worry about. It's a black hole.
Al Dugan November 10, 2012 at 02:09 PM
John, you are right. The the discretionary slush fund truly illustrates the hubris of the county supervisors. They are the ONLY elected officials that can legally give out funds in this manner. The 2001 Marin Grand Jury wrote a scathing report and recommended it be eliminated. What did the supervisors do? They changed the name and made some minor changes that have no real impact on it being used for patronage. For the record the definition of hubris: Hubris ( /ˈhjuːbrɪs/), also hybris, from ancient Greek ὕβρις, means extreme pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power.
Al Dugan November 10, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Bob, can't agree more. This is the Dutch boy running around sticking his figures in the dike. The real value unfunded deficit may be as high as 750M so the use of hard cash may even make less sense at this time as a very small bandaid on a severe wound. They still have not solved the problem of pensions.
Andrew R November 10, 2012 at 07:50 PM
just the term "unfunded liability" should lay caution to the dealings in govt. Just because something is legal, does not make it ethical or even possible.
Bob Ratto November 10, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Maybe the County could hire another consultant to develop a new logo, and incorporated therein should be the motto/words "doing less with more". So, we have Supervisors that have an ongoing slush/political patronage funds (the only such funds in California by the way), this week we raised taxes ostensibly to fund parks, and we are taking a surplus that is about twice the new park tax to pay down unfunded pension liabilities that the county does not believe are a problem...next tax idea...hire another consultant, float a trial balloon, sucker in more taxpayers...the County does not have any type of revenue problem, they have a "no" problem, as in, they don't know how to say such a simple word. On to these little amendments for streamlining AH, this is the new buzzword, projects (good word) should get waivers for fees and environmental review, all in the name of the huge "affordability gap", to help provide "workforce" housing. People need to understand that for every Section 8/subsidized unit provided, taxpayers pay the difference. (it's that darn arithmetic thing!)
Al Dugan November 10, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Thank you Bob Ratto. Logic and arthmetic, two things signifcantly missing with the county supervisors. How dare they they waive environmental review! Where are the poeple that voted for Measure A. Now you want developers to get a pass on their projects without enviornemtal review?
Michael November 12, 2012 at 11:45 PM
as with the general election just concluded, people keep voting in the same people and nothing changes. Here is the same old bunch now casually telling us they will put another $32M of our money down the same black hole funding a financially disastrous public employee retirement fund. Then they turn around and tell us they are really focused on pension reforms. NOT! This insanity will not end until we taxpayers demand 1. immediately end all retirement benefits to any/all public employees (there is simply zero justification for this), 2. immediately freeze any/all increases of any kind to any existing plan or benefit, 3. move to produce legislation to immediately reduce any/all current pension liabilities to include only the money currently at hand and not a penny more. Radical? You bet because that is what it's going to take to end this fiscal insanity. We either do or don't get serious about this significant problem. Public officials are doing NOTHING. The current bunch is anything but serious because they too participate in the insanity are a part of the problem. People like Rice seem more concerned with wasting time to establish more 'feel good' nonsense events like 'caregiver appreciation week'. She obviously doesn't get it.
Al Dugan November 13, 2012 at 12:49 AM
In case anyone wants to see what the Marin Grand Jury said about this fund when the recommended it be eliminated please read the report Supervisor's Discretionary Fund March 13, 2001 at link: http://www.co.marin.ca.us/depts/GJ/main/cvgrjr/2000gj/index2000.cfm This is of course the Marin County web site.
Bob Silvestri November 13, 2012 at 02:27 AM
A review of the 2012 Grand Jury report on the budget reveals that I was too optimistic in my assessment of the pension unfunded liability. On page 18 it states that the County's unfunded pension liability is currently between $700 million and $2 billion! ...not the sums the papers are reporting. And on top of that a healthcare unfunded liability of $383 million. This is a huge sum. http://www.co.marin.ca.us/depts/GJ/main/cvgrjr/2011/advantages_office_independent_budget.pdf
Bob Silvestri November 13, 2012 at 03:40 PM
A cautionary tale about unfunded pension liabilities: How a vicious circle of self-interest sank a California city http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/13/us-bernardino-bankrupt-idUSBRE8AC0HP20121113

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