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Lodi City Council tied on funds for retiree health care

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Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 10:39 am, Thu May 16, 2013.

There will be no money set aside to pay for the future costs of city retirees’ health benefits, after a tied vote by the Lodi City Council on Wednesday.

According to a recent report, the city is about $3 million behind on saving up for increasing costs of health care benefits for a certain pool of current and future retirees. Council members considered a resolution to earmark about $700,000 to use next time the bill comes due for those benefits.

The money comes from refunds from San Joaquin County on overpaid property tax administrative fees.

With the addition of some funds from city departments, the total would reach nearly $1 million, or a third of what’s owed.

The council was torn between the prudence of setting money aside for the future, and a reluctance to isolate funds that could go to current projects in need.

“Everybody has a house payment. Do you have the money in the bank to pay off the mortgage? No. But as long as you have a job, you can make the payment,” said Councilman Phil Katzakian.

“But setting the money aside is like creating the bank account you might use to pay that mortgage,” said City Manager Rad Bartlam. “It doesn’t come close to fully funding (it). But it begins to show that we are cognizant that we have a liability and are taking a small step.”

Councilwoman JoAnne Mounce said it is key to follow the advice of auditors, who recommend the money be set aside.

The final vote was 2-2, with Katzakian and Nakanishi voting against, and the resolution did not pass. Councilman Bob Johnson was not present.

Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at sarap@lodinews.com.

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  • Doug Chaney posted at 10:47 am on Fri, May 17, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 499

    I see that the rate is set to go up 2.6% per year, like it or not. This will turn into another Lodi electric with residential footing the bill for the large wineries and corporations.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 10:44 am on Fri, May 17, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 499

    These are your good old boys at their best. Take care of the good old boys and girls and they will take care of me. While lining my own pockets.

  • Doug Chaney posted at 10:42 am on Fri, May 17, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 499

    Council person Mounce, you know as well as I do that the developers were supposed to have paid for the unnecessary and unneeded water treatment plant, too. That is until the three amigos pandered to tehm and stuck the ratepayers of Lodi with the tab while developers like Geweke, Katzakian, Gillespie and Doucette stuffed their pockets with that $45 million or so. Now that you and the rest of the council have given Gillespie some sort of amnesty or pardon from their contracts at Reynolds Ranch and the two Gateway projects, I see the building already has begun at RR, apparent with a Starbucks and then a mattress franchise, with more to come soon. And now Gillespie is licking his chops to build senior housing? Council certainly had to know knew these projects were coming up at RR, yet you let the developer off the hook anyway? And rumors are Doucette and FCB want to also start building more of their tract homes? Who is paying for the infrastructure of the present building going on at RR?

  • Jackson Scott posted at 1:05 pm on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    Jackson Scott Posts: 382

    Katzakian's way of thinking is exactly how so many people lost their homes in foreclosure. Sure, they could make the mortgage payment but if you lost your job you got behind in your house payments, and BOOM! No house.

    I'm glad to know PK & AN think they know better than the auditors, city staff, and plain old common sense. Not setting money aside now is like not saving for your retirement. Phil, do you have an IRA, stocks, etc? Of course you do. So why not use the same financial planning when you're wearing your CC hat?

    They are hoping that times get much better and that Lodi will have a huge surplus in the future and that that CC of that day will do the right thing. PK & AN know they will not be on the CC long so they hope the voters will not remember who didn't do the right thing in May 13.

  • JoAnne Mounce posted at 7:16 am on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    JoAnne Mounce Posts: 17

    In other action: I voted NO to the wastewater rate increase because developers have never paid their fair share of impact fees for the upgrade to White Slough and the rate payers should not bare the entire cost.

  • JoAnne Mounce posted at 7:14 am on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    JoAnne Mounce Posts: 17

    Lodi News, please report the new accurately.

  • JoAnne Mounce posted at 7:13 am on Thu, May 16, 2013.

    JoAnne Mounce Posts: 17

    First off, the city does not provide health care to retirees. Second, the vote was Hansen, Mounce is favor of setting aside funds to cover the money due CalPers for a set of benefits the city no longer offers and Katzakain and Nakanshi voted no. To view the actual video - http://lodica.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=652



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