Union Democrat staff

The watchdogs are failing

To the Editor:

Where did the watchdogs (elected officials and managers) go?

Like you, I paid a hefty price for ours. Some were old hands at playing the game while others were new, but they all were with keeping us fiscally safe and they failed miserably.

Unfortunately their failures have currently cost us dearly and it looks like we have a bleak and unforgiving future liability.

I have seen and only used the open source documents that confirm my greatest fears. These documents are known as CALPERS Annual Reports and Audited Financial Statements. See the Unfunded liability sections for Post Retirement Benefits.

Groveland Community Service District (GCSD), Tuolumne County, Sonora and any other Public Agency you want to look at has these same public documents and it takes a minimal amount of time for you to check your watchdogs out. For example, GCSD reports for June 30, 2011 state:

Post retirement unfunded liabilities for medical: $2,202,513.

Post retirement unfunded liabilities for pension (misc.) $3,706,923.

Post retirement unfunded liabilities for pensions (safety): $943,118

Total unfunded liabilities: $6,852,554.

Chris Caskey, of The Union Democrat, reported Dec. 7 that my figures cause a stir. Mr. Caskey failed to mention that these were not my figures but the factual figures reported to GCSD by the above agencies.

I'm of the opinion that we need to fire many watchdogs and managers, get our heads out of the sand, face up to our past failures and keep track of what our watchdogs are doing, (sleeping) in the warmth of tax dollars, providing our employees with benefits without consideration of the post retirement costs, and the greatest failure of all, not telling the taxpayers, ratepayers and citizens who relied on their integrity to keep us informed. These recommendations also apply to public reporters such as The Union Democrat.

Virgil McVicker, retired CPA