Citizens need to participate in pension reform plan

Letter to editor
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The quote, “the fox is guarding the hen house and the wolves are herding the sheep” came to mind after reading “Outrageous City Pay” (Herald, June 16). According to the article, a committee composed of senior staff met to discuss pension reform and present actionable reform ideas to the city council for approval. How can you have impartial ‘senior staff’ when what they will recommend will directly impact their own pay and retirement benefits? Where is the oversight?  Where is the independent analysis?  Shouldn’t this committee be composed of residents of Rocklin and independent entities, such as representatives of the Little Hoover Commission?   Unfortunately, our city has a very shady history of allowing such conflict of interest, including allowing the former Rocklin City Manager, Carlos Urrutia, to make his own recommendation to the city council for both his salary increases (46 percent two years before his last year of employment) and his retirement package, which would earn him $385,000 in his last year of ‘employment’ as a retiree.  And then to add insult to injury, our city hires another city manager wo makes a starting salary of $195,000 a year. Councilman Yuille comment that Mr. Horst will not get an increase of another two years does not console me.   Check out the California Controller’s office website, which provides the wages for our city for 2009. While Councilman Yuill says that “reform is coming,” I do not think we and believe everything we are told. The city should provide the people of Rocklin a way to measure whether or not the city of Rocklin is “on the right track.” The 2010 wages of Rocklin’s city employees and vendors should be provided on the Rocklin website in plain sight along with the current 2011 city wages.  Details of pay structure, benefits and pension reform should be provided on a consistent basis.  And the financial decisions that impact our way of life should have oversight by independent and citizen review. Elaine O’Deegan, Rocklin