◼ Nearly half of Costa Mesa city employees get layoff notices LA Times
Costa Mesa has sent layoff notices to nearly half of its employees in a dramatic austerity program being closely watched by other cities struggling with ballooning pension obligations. ...Costa Mesa is among hundreds of local governments around the country facing massive future shortfalls in what they owe retirees. This year's tab — $15 million out of the city's $93-million budget — is estimated to grow to more than $25 million within five years... Faced with an unprecedented pension and retiree healthcare crisis, "cities are being forced to look at things that would've been unthinkable before," he said....◼ Not just Costa Mesa: San Francisco's Pension Gap Is Truly Terrifying Business Insider
"Clearly they are trying a new model," said Stuart Drown, executive director of the Little Hoover Commission, a bipartisan state public policy oversight agency. "A city that lays off half its staff — by any standard that's got to be considered a big move."
Costa Mesa "appears to have gone with the nuclear option," said Joe Nation, a professor of public policy at Stanford University who is studying the issue of underfunded public pensions.
Faced with an unprecedented pension and retiree healthcare crisis, "cities are being forced to look at things that would've been unthinkable before," he said.
San Francisco's public pension crisis is way worse than many thought, according a new study from Stanford professor Joe Nation.... The report concludes that the only way San Francisco could even begin to dig itself out of its pension hole is through serious pension reform - namely, increased employee contributions. The city's labor unions, however, have made it clear that any changes will meet stiff resistance.