Monday, September 20, 2010

Tom LaBonge and his Million Dollar Pension

One of the issues I am going to take to the forefront in my campaign against corrupt career bureaucrat Tom La Bonge is the massive size of his bloated pension. Tom LaBonge will make himself a millionaire off of the taxpayers just for being a simple public servant. Now, to be quite honest, I don't have all the details yet, but I plan on getting them. I plan on making a public information request from the Pensions Board.

Tom LaBonge worked with John Ferraro for about 15 years in City Hall as one of Ferraros main assistants.
I would imagine he was paid a decent salary...let's say $50,000 a year. Due to corruption in City government and corruption in labor unions who support them, the City workers who retire generally receive a very high percentage of their salary as a pension. So let's say -- for sake of the argument --that Tom La Bonge is going to get an 80% pension on that $50,000 salary. Or about $40,000 per year in pension payments.

Then you add on the fact that he has served since 2001 as a City Council Member, winning a special election after the death of John Ferraro. LaBonge lucked into a situation where his first two years were not counted against him for term limits, but they sure were counted for him in pension plans.

Tom LaBonge has served for 9 years, and another victory in the March City Elections and he will have served 13 years by the time he leaves. This would qualify him for yet another massive City pension. His salary now? $174,000 per year. An 80% pension would put him at about $139,000 per year for his City Council service. Add the first pension and you get to about $180,000 a year that taxpayers have to pay Tom LaBonge to sit around and do nothing for the next 20 years.

20 years of pension payments...assuming Tom LaBonge makes it to 80 years old.... add up to over $3.6 million dollars. Pretty good gravy train - if you can get it.

And this doesn't even include any money he gets from the DWP.
He worked there for several years.
We all know how conservative they are about handing out taxpayer money to their employees.

Now these numbers might not be exactly correct, but I'm not off by a lot.
I'm in the ballpark. And it is a mighty sweet ballpark for Tom. Not so sweet for L.A. taxpayers.

People have been questioning my platform for City Council. One of my main focuses is on the issue of pension reform. The Unions have crushed the City with sky-high, unsustainable pension loads.
People in the private sector couldn't even dream of the gravy that City workers get.

This needs to end and it needs to end now.

One of my first actions would be to create City regulations that prevent "double-dipping".
There are too many City Bernard Parks... who retire from one department to claim a pension, then continue working for the City in another department. I find it extremely offensive that Parks draws a $400,00 pension from the Police Department while he still works full time as a City Council Member.
I consider it theft of public funds. If you are not retired, you should not be drawing a pension off of the backs of taxpayers.

The Labor Unions have created an unbearable situation here in Los Angeles. Taxpayers are expected to shovel out boatloads of cash for people who are no longer working for the City. The very idea of a pension is that it is a stipend that prevents you from running out of money or living in poverty in your older years.
The Unions have twisted this concept to turn it around and demand massive rewards for having once worked for the City, at some distant time in the past.

Why should taxpayers in 2030 have to pay Tom LaBonge $180,000 per year? Because twenty years ago in 2010 he voted to raise parking meter rates and raise DWP rates on voters?

When we get to the election forums for Council District 4, Tom LaBonge is going to be like Lucy Ricardo... he's going to have some "splaining" to do.