State Pension Fund Has Best Year Since 1997

Hold on to those petitions to gut police and fire pensions, Mayor Morris. The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) just had its best year since Bill Clinton was President.

English: Official White House photo of Preside...

California’s pension fund has best year since Bill Clinton was president(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Los Angeles Times reports the CalPERS pension fund earned an amazing 16.2% return on its investments in 2013:

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which provides benefits to about 1.7 million state and local government workers, retirees and their dependents, said its total investments were worth $282.6 billion as of Friday, the highest ever.

Better known as CalPERS, the country’s biggest public pension fund was especially helped by the stock market’s best year since 1997. Among its holdings, publicly traded shares did best; bonds and commodities did the worst.

The results for 2013 capped a wild ride for the agency over the last 11 years. The fund was especially hard hit during the Great Recession of 2007-09. In 2008, amid the depths of the worst global economic slowdown in half a century, the fund lost 27.8% of its value.

Since then, it has climbed back. In 2011, the fund’s increase in value was a mere 1.1%. For 2012, the rate of investment growth was up to 13.3%. By early 2013, the total value of the fund officially surpassed its pre-recession high.

CalPERS’ overall rate of return for 2013 was more than twice the 7.5% minimum that the fund’s board has said it needs to meet current and future obligations to retirees.

This is great news for cities like San Bernardino because higher investment earnings generated by CalPERS equates to lower pension contributions for cities.

Pension hypocrites like outgoing Mayor Pat Morris will most likely try to minimize this news as it undermines his effort to decimate the CalPERS pension system.

But as the LA Times article also states:

“This definitely takes some of the wind out of the sails of critics,” said Steve Maviglio, a spokesman for Californians for Retirement Security, a coalition of 1.6 million government workers and retirees. CalPERS’ new report makes it “hard to make the case that the sky is falling with returns like that.”

San Bernardino Named Worst Run City in America 2 Years in a Row

It’s not a title any city would want to ever have even once.

It’s certainly not a title any city would want to have twice.

But the City of San Bernardino has managed to pull it off.

English: Downtown San Bernardino

San Bernardino, CA has now been named the Worst-Run City in America for two consecutive years. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

24/7 Wall Street has for the second consecutive year named San Bernardino, California as the Worst Run City in America.

Detroit, Michigan with all of its massive problems couldn’t even unseat San Bernardino from the #1 spot.

This dubious and unwanted honor perfectly highlights the mismanagement and failed leadership of Mayor Pat Morris for the last eight years.

Thankfully Pat Morris will be out of office in less than two months.  But he’s left an enormous mess for his successor that must be cleaned up if San Bernardino is truly going to rise from the ashes like the mythical phoenix.

Murder Rate Remains Tragically High in 2013

The darkest mark on the record of outgoing San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris isn’t the city’s bankruptcy.

The number of murders in San Bernardino is the darkest mark on Pat Morris's record.

The number of murders in San Bernardino is the darkest mark on Pat Morris’s record.

It’s the horrific level of violent crime in the city Morris was twice elected to lead.

“San Bernardino ended 2013 with 46 homicides, one less than the year before,” The Sun reported at the start of this new year.

As Mayor, Pat Morris had the ability to make public safety and crime prevention his top priority.  He failed to do so and the residents of San Bernardino have suffered because it – especially after the economy collapsed.

Now as Pat Morris is leaving office, he is also leaving a huge mess for San Bernardino’s next mayor to clean up.

Not only is San Bernardino bankrupt, but crime is rampant throughout our community as  Pat Morris has turned his back on the Police Department

Should San Bernardino rebound economically, its going to need to attract job-creating business investment.

But businesses are not going to want to locate here if the city remains so unsafe.

Clearly the next mayor – whether it’s Wendy McCammack or Carey Davis – will need to have a completely different approach to dealing with crime than what we’ve had for the last eight years with Pat Morris.

If that doesn’t happen, then it will be extremely difficult to see how San Bernardino can turn itself around at all.

Fred Shorett: A Failed Clone of Failed Mayor Pat Morris

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again:  As a member of the San Bernardino City Council, Fred Shorett has not been his own man working for the people he was elected to represent.

Instead of being a public servant Fred Shorett standing up for what is right, Shorett has been nothing more than a rubber-stamp for Mayor Pat Morris and his failed policies.

Those policies that Shorett blindly backed  drove the City of San Bernardino into bankruptcy, devastated the Police Department allowing violent crime to rise, and chased jobs out of the City leaving over 31% of residents living in poverty.

With Pat Morris soon to step down from office in disgrace, voters have a chance to rid the City Council of his clone, Fred Shorett

San Bernardino does not need a Mini-Morris on the City Council.  It needs leadership.

Shorett Mini Morris Front

Shorett Mini-Morris Back

 

 

 

Crime and Poverty on the Rise in Bankrupt San Bernardino

For the elected officials and staff at San Bernardino City Hall, bankruptcy is the issue that preoccupies their minds.

Pat Morris's failures as Mayor are costing San Bernardino residents by deteriorating their safety and their quality of life.

Pat Morris’s failures as Mayor are costing San Bernardino residents by deteriorating their safety and their quality of life.

But if the bulk of the questions submitted by the public for last Saturday’s Mayoral Candidates Forum are any indication of what’s on the minds of San Bernardino’s residents, they’re preoccupied with rising crime and unemployment.

Federal statistics released this week validate the public’s concerns.

The Sun reported on the crime numbers compiled by the FBI:

The “Crime in the United States, 2012” report showed that violent crime across the nation increased 0.7 percent compared with 2011 statistics, and property crime had decreased 0.9 percent.

But the Inland Empire bucked the national trend in property crime.

San Bernardino showed a 24 percent increase in property crime, with Pomona at 13 percent and Redlands at 14 percent.

“We had significant increases across the board,” said San Bernardino Assistant Police Chief Jarrod Burguan. “Last year we had the 24 percent increase in property crimes, but through July of this year we’ve shown a 5.7 percent decrease.”

Burguan said there are several reasons behind the property crime increase in 2012.

“Personnel cuts, and significant restructuring are just a couple of reasons crime increased,” he said.

Homicides also jumped significantly in San Bernardino last year.

This Labor Day, Remember the Men and Women in Uniform

It’s become fashionable in recent years for politicians to attack and scapegoat the working men and women of America for many of the economic problems our country is facing.

It’s true here in the City of San Bernardino where Mayor Pat Morris and his supporters have attempted to blame San Bernardino’s Police Officers as the source of our city’s financial woes.

These career politicians forget that the men and women of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association go to work every day, risking their lives, to protect San Bernardino’s neighborhoods and families from crime and violence.

They forget that the men and women in the uniform and behind the badge are they themselves someone’s parent, someone’s spouse, and someone’s child.

This video from Andy Hale does an excellent job of reminding us to look at our police officers and law enforcement professionals in this light.

To all those who go to work each day to serve and protect the people of their community, we thank you for your service.

 

 

San Bernardino City Councilmembers Face Election Challengers

San Bernardino City Councilmembers Robert Jenkins, Virginia Marquez, and Fred Shorett are each being challenged for re-election this November.

1st Ward City Councilmember Virginia Marquez faces two challengers this November.

1st Ward City Councilmember Virginia Marquez faces two challengers in the November Election.

As the filing period to run for the City Council came to a close at the end of the day yesterday, the following fields of candidates emerged:

San Bernardino City Council Ward 1

Incumbent Virginia Marquez faces two challengers, Casey Dailey and John Abad.

San Bernardino City Council Ward 2

San Bernardino City Councilman Robert Jenkins is being challenged by Benito Barrios.

San Bernardino City Council Ward 4

Incumbent Fred Shorett has two challengers, Anthony Jones and Kathy Pinegar.

To win a seat on the San Bernardino City Council, a candidate must win 50.1% of the vote in November.  If no candidate reaches that vote level, a Runoff Election is held in January between the first and second place finishers from the November Election.

With only two candidates seeking the Ward 2 City Council position, it is the only race where the November contest will definitely determine the winner.

Filing for the office of Mayor does not close until Wednesday.  Since Pat Morris is thankfully not seeking a third term in the position, the filing period has been extended five days.

With the seat being open and all of the issues San Bernardino is facing, the mayor’s race looks to be a crowded field with the top two November candidates likely going into a runoff.

Pensions Did Not Cause San Bernardino Bankruptcy

There is a a political narrative in San Bernardino spread by Mayor Pat Morris and his anti-public safety allies on the City Council that the pensions offered to Police Officers and Fire Fighters is the main reason the City had to declare bankruptcy.

That is an untrue fiction perpetrated by the Morris political faction to deflect blame away from the Pat Morris’s failures in office and to fuel support for the dangerous cuts Pat Morris and his cronies would like to impose on public safety in San Bernardino.

In November 2012, a study compiled by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley concluded “a high per-capita ratio of police cuts down on violent crime, and saves money.”

The study pointed out “that each dollar spent on police is associated with approximately $1.60 in reduced victimization cost.”

It then went on to rank the 30 most under-policed cities in the United States. San Bernardino came in at #19.

Not in California, but in the United States!

Please note San Bernaridno filed bankruptcy only the months before, and the “exodus” of sworn officers and civilian staff had not even begun to heat up. So the numbers released in the study are “pre-bankruptcy.”

Since that time, Mayor Morris and his City Council Majority attempted to sell the San Bernardino Police Department, and promised the same with the Fire Department.

Returns on Pension Investments Exceed Expectations

Mayor Pat Morris and his cronies on the San Bernardino City Council who blame the City’s financial troubles on public safety pensions had an icy cold glass of water splashed on their propaganda today.

CalPERS – the retirement system for San Bernardino’s Police Officers and Fire Fighters, reported this morning that it’s investment portfolio earned a 12.5% rate of return for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2013.

That return is 1.5% higher than CalPERS had expected.

Taggers Roam Free in Pat Morris’ San Bernardino

Just how bad have Mayor Pat Morris’ public safety policies been for San Bernardino?

One need look no further than an incident that happened a couple of nights back.

San Bernardino police arrested two suspected taggers late Wednesday after they were caught on camera spray-painting a light pole right outside of the Police Department.

An officer spotted the vandalism about 9:30 p.m. on suveillance cameras and went outside the D Street station with several other officers.

Mayor Morris’ failed policy have extremely weakened the San Bernardino Police Department and criminals know it.  His failures put residents and families at grave risk.

If criminals are not afraid of breaking the law a few feet away from the Police Station, how afraid does anyone think they are of breaking the laws throughout the community?