Saratoga News

February 27, 2015

Saratoga News

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Silicon Valley Community Newspapers $1.00 Saratoga's Sara Parden drives toward the basket last Friday when the Falcons played host to Wilcox on Senior Night. The Falcons topped the Chargers and are now headedto the Central Coast Section Division III playoffs. 1 8 5 Hakone will celebrate the Year of the Ram at Lunar New Year event * page 7 Vol. 60, No. 9 Friday, February 27, 2015 $1.00 An edition of the BY KHALIDA SARWARI S aratoga City Council members recently voted unani- mously to pay off half of the city's unfunded pension li- ability, a move that makes Saratoga one of the first cit- ies in the state to take action to secure its future finances. City officials approved a budget adjustment resolution on Feb. 18 to appropriate funding for a $3.3 million payment toward the city's share of the California Public Employees' Retirement System "unfunded accrued liability," an expen- diture that, according to Mayor Howard Miller, represents one of the largest one-time payments in the city's history. "I'm super excited that we have the capability and the flexibility financially to do this," said Miller. "And I'm even more excited that we have a staff and a set of coun- cil members that are financially savvy enough to look this problem head-on and say, 'Let's solve it as fast as possible; let's not let it fester and continue to get worse.'" The council's decision was based on a CalPERS report released in October that showed a breakdown of the city's total $37 million accrued liability at June 30, 2013, to include a $30 million funded portion and a $6.9 million unfunded portion that is expected to grow to $7.7 million by June 30, 2015. "Through discussions with council, a very responsi- ble discussion was made to pay off approximately half of that because CalPERS is charging cities interest at a very high rate for not paying off that liability," city manager James Lindsay explained. The city is estimated to benefit from a savings of about $10 million in interest over time by making the $3.3 million payment, according to Lindsay. The payment covers all of the city's liability for all employees that were hired prior to 2013. For the city's current employees looking forward, CalPERS plans to ramp up over five years the city's portion of those payments to a new higher level that will be sustained for the next 20 or 25 years to recoup all of the money COUNCIL VOTES TO PAY HALF OF CITY'S UNFUNDED PENSION LIABILITY Decision puts Saratoga among state's first cities to secure its future finances A NEWSPAPER PHOTOGRAPH BY GEORGE SAKKESTAD MOVIN' ON UP Saratoga boys, girls basketball teams in CCS Division III playoffs Page 27 Council, page 10

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