Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 5, 2013 10:46 AM. The previous post in this blog was Portland screws up another intersection. The next post in this blog is Portland water bureau hiring commercial realtors. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

No PERS for Ludlow

The Clackistani rebel chieftain has made good on his campaign promise not to sign up for benefits under the government employee pension system now that he's county chair. That will save the county tens of thousands of dollars over his four year terms, and it's money that Ludlow personally is leaving on the table to make a point. Good for him.

Comments (16)

WOW an act of self sacrifice, when was the last time we have seen a government official do that?

I can't remember it ever happening to be honest.

Wow, that is impressive. Walking the talk. How refreshing.
Great personal cost to him. Thanks, Chair Ludlow!

It's escaping me how this is the solution to the problems of the public employee retirement system.

Allan L: curious to read your solution(s).

For one thing, Allan, it's a message. Using the little bit of bullhorn that he has. For another, it's a campaign promise kept.

I have no idea what his PERS take would have been had he opted in, but I do know individuals who even late in their careers take government jobs (for example, judge) almost just to get a few PERS years in and a retirement package they covet.

I believe he doesn't "need" the money. Wish someone would pass the word to Mike Bellotti. Neither does he.

Could be an interesting discussion around ethics and character as to whether one would or should ever not take something they legally can.

I've thought Bellotti could make a huge statement. Do something for the state. Maybe his hideous example will make the state do something for itself: eg, exclude university athletic department employees from PERS.

Putting one's money where one's mouth is. How refreshing. Now to get the real pigs that are already lined up at the trough to give back a slice of their largess.

Certainly many short time legislators and councilpersons, such as John Ludlow, must have viable retirement programs before they enter the public sector for brief periods of service. The concept of citizen legislator expects that public figures serve for brief stints, not their entire careers. How refreshing to see an example being set.

Acts of sacrifice are not always altruistic. Sam Adams refused to take a step increase when he was a city commissioner. All the others accepted the increase.

Don't get me wrong. I was, and am, a big supporter of Ludlow. I'm just saying....

He wouldn't have gotten PERS. He would have gotten OPSRP, which has been in place since 2003.

When people get all hacked off about PERS, I think what the majority of them are envisioning is the Tier 1 employee making more in retirement than they made while working. There are those employees, but not very many of them in comparison to those who never make it to retirement, or retire under some other formula making less.

Ludlow's potential benefit, if he were able to retire after a term as commissioner would be 1.5 percent multiplied by years of service, multiplied by final average salary. If you take his final average as 77K, that makes his retirement pension about 385 dollars a month. And I don't think he'd be vested after one term as commissioner, and not sure how old he is but I don't know if he could "retire" under the system.

I view his actions as symbolic and kudos to him for keeping his promise. But as to the heart of the matter, I don't think it means a whole lot. In order to "fix" PERS, at least the problems people are really talking about, you'd have to roll back the clock to the late 70s and early 80s. It's problematic since these benefits have already been promised in bargaining. What if your employer of 20+ years came to you and said they'd need you to pay back 15% of your salary already received? You'd feel slighted.

Public employees will/do feel the same way. They counted on something because it was part of their conditions of employment and probably factored into their lifetime plans. If that is altered or taken, they will ask what is given in return.

When ENRON shafted longtime employees by massive fraud, ruining retirements and lives, some were prosecuted. Is it OK for the State of Oregon to pull the same type of move, because it's a state government?

Very nice defense, Eric L. Except that Enron did not just shaft employees,it shafted everyone. Exactly what the PERS board did in the 80s, behind closed doors, comprised only of beneficiaries to the system, constructing even then an unsustainable payout, predicated on the false premise that state employees were not otherwise garnering fair wages.

The State of Oregon is now largely owned by PERS beneficiaries because it is funded by them. It is not the State of Oregon that is trying to "pull this move;" it is the taxpayers outside of the benefit program who are trying to "fix PERS" -- for all of us.

He wouldn't have gotten PERS. He would have gotten OPSRP


Here's the way the O describes what he would have gotten, and what it would have cost:

The 11.99 percent includes 6.13 percent that the employer puts in for a member’s retirement, plus 5.86 percent to cover the system’s "unfunded actuarial liability," or the money needed to pay for current and future retirees. In addition, the county pays -- or "picks up" -- the 6 percent the employee is required to contribute on his or her behalf.

That's the employer contributing 17.99% of salary into a pension, with the employee putting in nothing. That is freaking obscene for a public employee.

If that is altered or taken, they will ask what is given in return.

Avoidance of default would be pretty good.

One key for me is that participation in any investment/retirement scheme must be voluntary. Meaning that each participant has the freedom to opt out at the outset of their employment and to withdraw from it at any time thereafter.
A proper rebel here would demand to get cash today instead. What is the value of this cash-today-substitute for PERS participation? I would like to see a court opinion that supports an individual's right to opt out -- to set an example to be followed by others.
They could still contribute to a qualified retirement plan run by private folks. That is, they do not need to lose the benefit of reduced federal taxes for choosing voluntarily to save.
The government has no business running an investment fund funded by captive investors. See Sprague v. Straub, 252 Or 507 (1969) for a decision that allowed the PERS mess to grow.

"That's the employer contributing 17.99% of salary into a pension, with the employee putting in nothing. That is freaking obscene for a public employee."

Very well stated. All about their Cadillac retirement benefit.

Next, we can move on to their Gold Plated healthcare package. $1500 per month for the employee and their family, with maybe a $100/mo co-pay. Tack on another $18,000 per year for each state employee, be they a $50k teacher or a $30k janitor. Now you see why even the lowest ranking employee gets a $55-60k compensation (salary and benefits both) package.

That is freaking obscene for a public employee.


Alan L - The difference? Now we only have to take $999.995M out of the general fund this session instead of $1B for EXTRA PERS contributions.

I don't have a problem with the taxpayers wanting to reduce public employee benefits. I understand it completely. What I am saying is you have to make the reduction in benefits apply to people who didn't already sign up for something else.

Health care, wages, hours of work, incentive pays, etc are all topics of bargaining. PERS could probably be brought up in collective bargaining as well. The fact of the matter is Tier 1 PERS hasn't been offered since 1998, and "PERS" hasn't been offered to employees in about 10 years. The employees hired in the past 10 years aren't going to get "PERS" as complained about in the Oregonian articles.

Jack, hopefully you get involved in local government so you can be on the other side of the bargaining team and lay out what would be a reasonable retirement package for public employees. I'd be curious to know what everyone thinks (taxpayers) is a reasonable retirement, and what it would compare to in the private sector. Thing that's popped up in my mind is PERS, etc are now a problem because the economy sucks. I don't remember anyone arguing the other direction when the economy was good though.

You can't have a political career in Oregon if you try to talk sense to the unions about pensions. Just ask Greg Macpherson.

Also, please stop with "It isn't PERS." All of these people are covered by the Oregon public employee retirement system, or PERS for short. Yes, there are different levels of benefit, depending how insane the legislature was when you were hired. But it's all PERS.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2012
Decoy, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Marqués de Murrieta, Reserva Rioja 2010
Kendall-Jackson, Grand Reserve Cabernet 2009
Seven Hills, Merlot 2013
Los Vascos, Grande Reserve Cabernet 2011
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Forlorn Hope, St. Laurent, Ost-Intrigen 2013
Upper Five, Tempranillo 2010 and 2012
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Topsail, Syrah 2013
Jim Barry, The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2013
Robert Mondavi, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2012
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2014
Boomtown, Cabernet 2013
Boulay, Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Domaine de Durban Muscat 2011
Patricia Green, Estate Pinot Noir 2012
Crios, Cabernet, Mendoza 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Dehesa la Granja, Tempranillo 2008
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #15
Selvapiana, Chianti Ruffina 2012
Joseph Carr, Cabernet 2012
Prendo, Pinot Grigio, Vigneti Delle Dolomiti 2014
Joel Gott, Oregon Pinot Gris 2014
Otazu, Red 2010
Chehalem, Pinot Gris, Three Vineyards 2013
Wente, Merlot, Sandstone 2011
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2012
Monmousseau, Vouvray 2014
Duriguttti, Malbec 2013
Ruby, Pinot Noir 2012
Castellare, Chianti 2013
Lugana, San Benedetto 2013
Canoe Ridge, Cabernet, Horse Heaven Hills 2011
Arcangelo, Negroamaro Rosato
Vale do Bomfim, Douro 2012
Portuga, Branco 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Late Bottled Vintage Porto 2009
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Kristina's Reserve 2010
Rodney Strong, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 28, 2012
Coppola, Sofia, Rose 2014
Kirkland, Napa Cabernet 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve, Napa Meritage 2011
Kramer, Chardonnay Estate 2012
Forlorn Hope, Que Saudade 2013
Ramos, Premium Tinto, Alentejano 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve, Rutherford Cabernet 2012
Bottego Vinaia, Pinot Grigio Trentino 2013
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2011
Pete's Mountain, Elijah's Reserve Cabernet, 2007
Beaulieu, George Latour Cabernet 1998
Januik, Merlot 2011
Torricino, Campania Falanghina 2013
Edmunds St. John, Heart of Gold 2012
Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2010
Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010

The Occasional Book

Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 61
At this date last year: 97
Total run in 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

Clicky Web Analytics