SLO City needs to address its financial shortfalls

May 3, 2017

Matt Kokkonen

OPINION by MATT KOKKONEN

As one of the successful plaintiffs on the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of The City of San Luis Obispo’s rental inspection ordinance, I am pleased with the outcome of our lawsuit at this time.

Unfortunately, the city had promised and spent itself into a financial straitjacket. The city will come back again to try to squeeze more money out of property owners and renters to cover its irresponsible pension costs, as shown by the current unfunded pension liability of $150 million.

Having designed and administered pension plans, I can say that the city’s pension and medical insurance benefits are vastly greater than those offered by local businesses. The city benefits should mirror those of the community it serves, not exceed them so greatly.After all, the city residents pay the benefits.

Isn’t it ironic that the taxpayers cannot afford such benefits for themselves, partly because they pay for the city’s rich employee benefits?

The City management has hired itself into a sinking fiscal spiral which must stop. The solutions are to initiate lay-offs with a serious hiring freeze and to meaningfully redesign the pension plan for future enrollees.”

Matt Kokkonen is a financial advisor and long-time SLO resident.







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15 Comments

  1. r0y says:

    “Isn’t it ironic that the taxpayers cannot afford such benefits for themselves, partly because they pay for the city’s rich employee benefits?”

    Yes and no. Most cannot afford it because there is a lack of well-paying jobs (apart from government-related ones, e.g. education, bureaucrat, judicial, etc.) Other than medical (which is being withered away) there’s are not many sustainable jobs: jobs that pay enough to afford living here.

    Didn’t CCN just have a piece (Op-Ed) on where our kids will live, or some such? That’s pretty spot on, one of the largest culprits is REAL ESTATE. This not only makes it unaffordable, but the businesses that DO operate here often cannot pay as much BECAUSE of their RENT. Couple that with the taxes and costs to keep up with regulations, and it’s a bit of a nightmare, really.

    So, in Matt’s piece, the “partly” is just that. So many things to address, but I agree, the fiscal strategy (or lack thereof) of the City (and County… and State…) is paramount.

    (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
  2. SLOBIRD says:

    Every single day this day spends another Million, Billion pr sets a new regulation with fees attached.

    I am sure you are all watching Sacramento and one of the new bills coming that will tax you on the sales of your house for what you ask, SUSTAINABLE HOUSING I answer! The create a problem and then they tax us to resolve the problem. All the fees and regulations on new construction and now middle class can no longer afford to buy. Another government handout!

    Keep voting all these bozo’s in and this will be a continue road to nowhere!

    (18) 22 Total Votes - 20 up - 2 down
    • rukidding says:

      If they tax the sale of a house all that will be is the taking of the equity that someone has earned on their investment. Another step fro the government to go forward and the people to go backwards. Then control then rental market and what we have is 100% government control of housing. Where else is that done?

      (10) 14 Total Votes - 12 up - 2 down
      • SLOBIRD says:

        Not everyone has a lot of equity in the home, Then you take the improvements, insurance, taxes, etc you have paid and of course the Federal and State already get capital gains unless you re-invest.

        (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
      • panflash says:

        “Then control then rental market and what we have is 100% government control of housing. Where else is that done?”

        Oh, I don’t know- maybe North Korea?

        (9) 13 Total Votes - 11 up - 2 down
  3. easymoney says:

    Spot on Mr. Kokkonen…
    The headline says it all and this my friends is exactly what this once great state needs to do immediately.

    Decades of outrageous spending by our “public servants” has brought the one time 6th largest economy in the WORLD to it’s present knees. And, now with Governor moonbeam begging for federal assistance after thumbing his nose at that same federal government for political purposes is truly ironic.
    Today, the state faces a minimum 52 billion dollar shortfall and once again where has the leadership been? Where are all our elected representatives and what are they doing? Every single one is doing all they can to obstruct and poison every thing elected President is doing, all the while begging for help.

    (17) 23 Total Votes - 20 up - 3 down

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