If you read or watched any news source yesterday you saw the big ruling on the Stockton, CA bankruptcy case involving whether pension benefits (or liabilities) can take precedence over regular municipal debt. The Times, Daily Post, Daily Journal, Wall Street Journal and Chron all covered the facts but here at the Voice we look ahead to the ramifications, especially for B'game.
The judge was quoted in the County Times saying "California public employeee retirement law....is simply invalid in the face of the supremacy clause of the US Constitution." and he asked "Is CalPERS a state unto itself?". Then he answered his own question with a "no" ruling.
The point for fiscally solid cities like B'game is that we need to realize a dollar of pension liability here is worth more than a dollar in places like Stockton or Vallejo or San Jose. Hence the idea that we need to pay above-market-rate compensation to attract and retain "the best" has some limits. It is incumbent on city leaders to be able to articulate this--and to not screw it up by doing fiscally irresponsible things.