Government Pension Blues

On July 1, Hilda Maldonado will replace retiring Cary Matsuoka (after four years) as superintendent of the S.B. School District. Matsuoka is paid $350,000 plus benefits annually, and Maldonado will begin her salary at $250,000. Assuming Matsuoka receives 80 percent of his average salary as a pension, he will receive $240,000 annually, joining retired Super William Cirone whose pension paid him $218,213 in 2017 and jumped to $274,313 in 2019. So, in 2020, you and I, Santa Barbara taxpayers, will be paying past and present superintendents, a minimum of $765,000. That figure will increase each year for as long as they are alive.

No wonder the state, county and city are going broke! The pandemic only helps to illuminate how government employees use their unions and voting organization to continue their ever-increasing salaries and pensions at the expense of workers in the private sector that are hurting badly. We admire and need our government leaders and workers, but their pay and benefits have rapidly become unsustainable.

There is a movement that has been growing in this state that is looking more closely at how an elite class of government employees are taking advantage of the existing salary/benefit system and using the politicians they help elect to keep it growing. Government employees think they are untouchable. They may soon fine the anger of the “little people” growing as these government pensioners retire as millionaires at their expense. This present system must be reformed.

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