Hats off to the members of the City of Del Mar’s Finance Committee Pension Sub-Committee for the 18-plus months they spent learning the ins and outs of the City’s $23,000,000-plus pension obligation. They really have a well-researched understanding of the issues and the politics and the challenges of the City’s pension liability, and as we approach the next round of budget discussions we need to lean on them and their knowledge to help guide the decisions we make as a City.
The learning curve for the rest of us is huge; we are fortunate that the Committee has done the hard work for us. I admittedly don’t begin to understand it all, but the bottom line I do understand is that we have terrific City Staff working for us who help make Del Mar a wonderful place to live, and we citizens already have $3 million in side fund debt plus $23 million in pension debt for the work they have done (plus we continue to incur pension expenses as we go forward).
We can’t let these numbers get any larger, we can’t leave the debt unpaid, and we can’t diddle with making minimum payments that end up being 10 times the cost (as Poway has chosen to do). We have some tough decisions ahead of us, and they need to include the commitment to pay our past debts now so that we can move forward on the other projects we desire.