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Helping Citizens Understand California County Debt and Finances
 

YourPublicMoney.Com
Introduction

What Are This Website and Newsletter About?

I started publishing YourPublicMoney.Com in 2008 addressed to politically active citizens across the political spectrum in Mendocino County on California's North Coast. Over the past couple of years I've expanded the horizon to begin to include other counties that don't participate in CalPERS but instead have independent County Pension Funds.

The County of Mendocino’s debt crisis is severe and getting worse. Our County is being ground between a rock it mostly didn’t create – the bad economy – and a hard place it mostly did – debt created by its failure to properly fund pensions.

But we're not alone. And we can't solve our problem ourselves.

After years of trying to get County officials to see the extent of our problems and do something I sadly concluded the "financial culture" inside our County is too dysfunctional - the inertia is too great.

The people need to intervene to demand the financial truth - how bad is the debt, how was it created, what are its impacts going to be, what reforms are necessary and what are we going to do about this crippling debt?

County officials have four fundamental financial duties to the people:

  • Tell Us the Important Financial Truths.
  • Manage our County's finances competently and transparently.
  • Protect and build our County's financial strength.
  • Don't force unfair burdens on our kids.

These duties are "self-evident". They aren't "left wing" or "right wing".

County Officials spectacularly failed to live up to these duties over most of the past two decades. This debt is the result.

But we have to face another failure of duty - We the People didn't hold our officials accountable. If we had we would not be watching the broad destruction of County services today.

And - we're not alone. The same thing happened all across California - and in states all across the Union.

YourPublicMoney.Com takes no position on what government employee benefits should be.

We absolutely take the position that whatever benefits and programs the County provides it must fully disclose their expense and properly fund them.

The most important change needed is to build a a strong majority across the political spectrum of people active in politics that government officials will be held accountable to fulfill these duties.

YourPublicMoney.Com's mission is to help citizens understand the unfunded retiree benefit debt of the 21 California Counties that have their own Pension Funds and help create such a majority.

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