The California meltdown caused by the historic housing bubble burst that led to tens of thousands of foreclosures and dramatic dip in real estate tax collections has some other issues coming to the table. Contra Costa County, and affluent suburban Bay Area commuter area is deep in debt, on a scale of some countries.
CC County Supervisors took a first look today at the county’s $2.6 billion projected debt for retiree health benefits and set the bar for a round of labor negotiations later this year, endorsing a pullback in benefits for about 1,100 nonunion employees and retirees.
Those employees, many of them middle managers, (in the real world these would be white collar exempt positions) attacked the supervisors for, among other steps, seeking to cap the county’s health care subsidy beginning in 2010. What kind of plan is so expensive? How about retire at full pay after 20 years plus free HMO coverage. That is what government employee unions have done to the California dream.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, foreclosure filings jumped 57% in March compared with the same month last year and rose 5% versus February, as the nation’s housing market continues to deteriorate.