The Truth Squad

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Feb 19, 2017 3 Comments ›› HerbMeiberger

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  1. Patrick Monette-Shaw says:

    An Open Letter:

    Dear Ms. Silva, Mr. Muscat, and Mr. Halloran,

    In the “Truth Squad” department, you have some overdue explaining to do.

    As executive directors or president of the Management Executives Association (MEA), IFPTE Local 21, and the Police Officers Association labor unions, respectively, how do you look yourselves in the mirror in the morning after pocketing your respective members’ monthly union dues, and then turn right around and deliberately lie to your dues-paying members that SFERS’ Pension Fund lost $1.5 billion last year? Surely, you must each know that’s an outright, blatant lie.

    All you have to do is watch the video of SFERS’ December 14 Board meeting posted on-line at SFGOV TV at http://sanfrancisco.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=175&clip_id=26782, during which SFERS’ General Consultant (Allan Martin), SFERS’ CIO Bill Coaker, and SFERS’ Executive Director Jay Huish each informed the Retirement Board that no such thing had happened, and that the Fund had, in fact, earned a positive rate of return? Instead, it appears that the small decline in the Fund’s overall valuation of about $200 million is due to having to pay out pension benefits, including the retroactive COLA payments secured by the POB lawsuit.

    The slight decline in valuation was caused by pension benefit payouts, as evidenced by the Fund’s positive rate of return. Can any of you add or subtract? Do any of you understand the relationship between rates of return and pension asset values?

    Why are each of you lying through your teeth to your members using Donald Trump-size lies? IFPTE, the MEA, and the POA have betrayed the trust of their members!

    This is completely disgraceful. Any respect I previously had for each of you has flown right out of the window. You’re collectively spreading misinformation and outright lies! Don’t the 56,5290 of us Miscellaneous members deserve a seat at the SFERS’ Board’s table?

    No other public pension plans in California have all of their elected Board member seats controlled by police and fire Public Safety members! Why should SFERS in San Francisco be any different? Won’t this set a dangerous precedent?

    Each of you owe an immediate apology and retraction to all of your members whose trust you have betrayed!

    Patrick Monette-Shaw

  2. Patrick Monette-Shaw says:

    Another Open Letter:

    Dear Retired Police Captain Al Casciato,

    I note with interest that in your two campaign mailers I’ve received in U.S. Mail — that, frankly, I wouldn’t even use for toilet paper — and in your two official candidate statements (one enclosed with the ballots sent by the Department of Elections, and the other printed in RECCSF’s November issue of its News & Views newsletter), and also on your campaign web site that you have deliberately failed to mention that you served for 43 years as a San Francisco cop to hide from voters that you’re a retired cop, apparently hoping to hide the fact that if you win, “Public Safety” (police and fire) would control all three of the elected seats on SFERS’ Board.

    Are you ashamed that your great service to the City across those 43 years — for which San Franciscans are grateful — was as a cop? Or are you just trying to conceal this fact to potential voters so they won’t easily understand that Public Safety wants to control all three of SFERS’ elected Board seats?

    An honest person would disclose in candidate statements and mailers that you served for 43 years as a cop. Why are you being dishonest about this fact? So you can get free travel to exotic locations to attend financial-related meetings paid for on SFERS’ dime, and avoid those travel expenses out of your own pocket — even though you earn an annual pension from the City of $208,937 and shouldn’t need to rack up frequent-flyer miles from our Pension Fund?

    Finally, in the “Truth Squad” department, why haven’t you advertized the fact that in the four years since you resigned from SFERS’ Board, you haven’t attended any (zero!) of SFERS’ 56 full-Board meetings since you quit. Is it painful, or just an embarrassment of riches to you, that you’ve been AWOL — missing in action — all that time?

    You must surely know that in my December-January Westside Observer article (What Price for a Seat at the Table?) — that is also posted on my web site (www.stopLHHdownsize.com) — I had pointedly asked you to withdraw from this election in order to preserve fair, balanced representation on SFERS’ Board for the 56,529 retired and currently active Miscellaneous members who deserve a seat at the table.

    We’re not for sale, Al. Let me ask you this again: Haven’t we earned — or do we not deserve — balanced representation and a seat at the table?

    Respectfully Submitted, and In Solidarity Captain Casciato,
    Patrick Monette-Shaw

  3. HerbMeiberger says:

    Patrick:

    You are absolutely correct. SFERS is governed by a 1932 Charter, where all elected commissioners are elected “at large” and serve all members. All other public pension funds in California are “1937 Act Counties,” which have elected seats designated for various groups.

    For example, at CalPERS, there are designated seats for Police, Fire, Active Miscellaneous, and retirees. So, in an election for an active miscellaneous seat, only active miscellaneous members can vote.

    Therefore, Captain Casciato could never have the ability to unseat a miscellaneous member who holds that designated seat. That is why he does not wear his uniform, display his badge, or state that he’s a cop in all his literature.

    You correctly point out Captain Casciato’s failure to identify himself as a cop and former member of SFPD in his ballot statement and all his literature is his strategy to keep the wool over the eyes of all voters. He is trying to accomplish something that is not permitted in any other pension fund in California.

    Why not?

    Look what mischief happens when a majority of police and fire officers hold board seats. Dallas Police and Fire has had a run on the fund, requiring a massive bailout.

    http://www.wfaa.com/news/proposed-changes-to-dallas-police-and-fire-pension-benefits-rejected/372150630

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/dallas-police-and-fire-pension-fund-beset-by-withdrawals-1479750029

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dallas-police-and-fire-pension-plan-problems-caused-by-extraordinary-decisions-2016-12-14

    http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Dallas-Police–Fire-Pension-Withdrawals-Blocked-405537366.html

    What could go wrong with a majority of police and fire fighters controlling the board? I don’t want to find out!

    Thank you for your vigilance, and Happy Holidays
    Herb

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