The sharp disagreements between public- and private-sector members of Santa Rosa’s pension reform task force aren’t especially surprising.
In fact, they were predictable, maybe even inevitable, when the task force was formed in December by Mayor Ernesto Olivares. The differences also underscore the political challenge awaiting the City Council as it grapples with the rapidly rising cost of retirement pay for public employees, especially the enhanced benefits enjoyed by police officers and firefighters.
The 11-member task force, which meets next on Thursday, was charged with making recommendations to the council, and its private-sector representatives so far have identified three reforms that, in our view, belong in the final report:
• Requiring employees to pay their share of contributions to the California Public Employees Retirement System.
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