Richard Rider

Richard Rider
San Diego, California, USA
August 24
San Diego Tax Fighters
Biography of Richard Rider (Updated July, 2011) San Diego, CA 92131 E-mail: * AGE: 66 * EDUCATION: B.A. Economics, University of North Carolina, 1968 * MILITARY SERVICE: Commander, Supply Corps, U. S. Naval Reserve, retired after 26 years (four years active, the rest in the reserve). ** OCCUPATION: Retired stockbroker and financial planner. Lifetime member of the International Association of Financial Planners. Former business owner. * AFFILIATION: • Chairman, San Diego Tax Fighters • National Taxpayers Union • Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association • San Diego County Taxpayers Association * POLITICAL ACTIVITIES: • Successfully sued the county of San Diego (Rider vs. County of San Diego) to force a rollback of an illegal 1/2-cent jails sales tax, a precedent that saved California taxpayers over fourteen billion dollars, including $3.5 billion for San Diego taxpayers. • Actively supported a variety of tax-cutting ballot initiatives including Proposition 13. Has written ballot arguments against numerous county and state tax increase initiatives. • County co-chair of both California term limit initiatives (Prop 140 and Prop 164). • Libertarian Party candidate for governor in 1994. • Candidate for the 3rd District County Supervisor in 1992 (third place among six candidates with about 20% of the vote). • 1993 – appointed to (and then elected chair of) the San Diego County Social Services Advisory Board. • 1996 – appointed as a Commissioner on the California Constitution Revision Commission by state Assembly Speaker Kurt Pringle. • Has been involved in legal actions against City of San Diego to force a public vote on issuing bonds for Qualcomm stadium expansion, convention center, baseball ballpark and other projects. • 2005 – Unsuccessful candidate for Mayor of San Diego, though his reform ideas have since taken hold. • 2007 – Columnist for NORTH COUNTY TIMES and SAN DIEGO DAILY TRANSCRIPT • 2009 - The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association's "California Tax Fighter of the Year" * FAMILY: Married. Wife, Diane, is a retired public high school teacher. Two sons, ages 32 and 27.

AUGUST 6, 2010 8:40PM

CalPERS complicit in Bell scandal -- they lied

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Recently CalPERS expressed shock and surprise at the huge public administrator salaries in the small, poor city of Bell. 

But they lied.

Turns out that FOUR YEARS AGO internal memos at CalPERS expressed concerns about this rip-off -- but no action was taken. 

Even more outrageous, CalPERS stated that while it was a problem to give huge pay increases (and therefore pension boosts) to a SINGLE employee, it was just fine if a GROUP of employees all got the same outrageous raises.  NOW we know why City Manger Rizzo gave big raises to his subordinates (aside from hush money, of course).

CalPERS is a cesspool of scum and villainy.


CalPERS knew about Bell administrators' large raises


Pension fund officials learned about the manager's 47% increase, then last week expressed surprise at the pay hikes.

Evan Halper, Marc Lifsher and Rich Connell

August 4, 2010

Reporting from Sacramento and Los Angeles

Officials at California's state pension fund learned about exorbitant pay raises being given to administrators in Bell four years ago and did nothing to stop them, according to an internal memo obtained by The Times.

The memo, which pension staff sent board members Tuesday, shows that the California Public Employees' Retirement System was asked in 2006 to grant an exemption to its rules so the Bell city manager could get a 47% pay hike and still receive a full pension on his salary.

The pension system learned of the salary hike during an audit and informed Bell officials that an exemption could be needed.

When officials of the pension system learned that several of the city's administrators were getting similar pay hikes, they decided that an exemption was not needed.

"At the time, the city represented that the city manager was part of the top management group or class, and all of the employees in this group or class received similarly large increases," said the memo, written by Lori McGartland, head of the pensions fund's employer services division.

"Based upon those representations, CalPERS granted a one-time approval of the city manager's 2005 increase."

Just last week, CalPERS officials expressed surprise at the hefty increases granted the former city administrator, Robert Rizzo, and two other top officials; it ordered a freeze on their pension benefits pending completion of an investigation by California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown. The three Bell managers have resigned but have not applied to receive retirement benefits from CalPERS.

CalPERS spokesman Brad Pacheco said such large pay hikes can be permissible under his agency's rules as long as they are spread out among a group of employees, as was the case in Bell, as opposed to enriching a single official.

"Our job is to enforce the statues that govern the retirement law," he said in a statement. "Pay and compensation is the decision of city and county elected officials."

But Pacheco said that Bell officials may have violated other rules and regulations and that CalPERS is assisting law enforcement in its investigation.

Meanwhile, the memo states that CalPERS has expanded an internal probe beyond the city of Bell. "Staff is currently researching the pay of all CalPERS members paid in excess of $400,000 for appropriateness," the memo said.

Also Tuesday, state Controller John Chiang announced he would require all California cities to clearly and publicly report salary information for elected officials and employees. The information would be posted on his office's website beginning in November, he said.

The controller's action came as a Times analysis raised questions about financial data filed with the state by the city of Bell. Bell officials had reported that the city's cost for legislative activities, which includes City Council salaries, fell sharply after 2005. But an investigation by the paper recently found instead that council salaries began rising around that time to nearly $100,000 a year for jobs that amounted to part-time work.

"The absence of transparency is a breeding ground for waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars," said Chiang, who is running for reelection. "A single website with accessible information will make sure that excessive pay is no longer able to escape public scrutiny and accountability."

Tuesday's developments followed Times reports that Bell spent $1.6 million annually on just three city employees, about half of it going to Rizzo's nearly $800,000 salary. After Rizzo resigned, council members slashed their salaries amid intense, national public criticism and an uprising by Bell residents who stormed City Hall meetings.

Council members' sizable pay checks included compensation for their service on multiple city panels, some of which met at the same time or for as little a minute.

Chiang's office is auditing Bell at the request of an interim city administrator. Eight state auditors were at City Hall on Tuesday reviewing records. In addition to the attorney general's inquiry, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office has opened an investigation of Bell's salaries, elections and other matters.

Initial reaction to Chiang's salary disclosure plan was positive. "I think it's an excellent step," said Chris McKenzie, executive director of the League of California Cities. Clear reporting guidelines would be needed to ensure salary information is as complete and comparable as possible, he said. The cities' group also wants salaries of state agency executives and workers made easily accessible to the public.

Atascadero City Manager Wade McKinney, president of a group of 177 city managers in the state, said meeting the controller's new demands for data should be easy. "I think this is information we all have, so I don't think it should be that difficult to add" to existing financial reports, he said.

Local governments must transmit annual summaries of their revenues and expenditures to the controller. Agencies face fines of up to $5,000 for failing to file the reports.

The information is used in reports to the Legislature. Payroll figures are included in total amounts spent on government functions, such as police, but not itemized.

The new rules, which Chiang said would be finalized and issued in the coming weeks, will require public disclosure of compensation figures for each category of local official, including council members and city managers. Individuals will not be named, but even pay for blue-collar jobs will be reported.

"We have to make sure people aren't moving categories or hiding what they are being paid," Chiang said in an interview. "We want to put it in a format people understand."

Los Angeles city salaries, also listed by position, will be posted online as early as next week, L.A. Controller Wendy Greuel said this week.

Under the current system, Bell reported gradually increasing outlays for the legislative branch of City Hall until 2004-05, when expenses peaked at about $195,000, records show. But over the next three years, reported expenses in the same category dropped rapidly, to just $34,483 in 2007-08, the most recent final figures available.

The Times has reported that after a 2005 special election, which allowed Bell to effectively exempt City Council members from a state pay cap, council members' salaries climbed more than 50%, from about $62,000 to nearly $97,000.

It was not immediately clear how those larger salaries were accounted for in the city's financial reports to the state. Bell officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Chiang said the apparent disparity is "obviously a question that needs an answer."

Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times

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Even factoring out the excessively high salaries paid to upper managment in Bell, the salaries of managers in most cities in CA seem to me to be high--often higher than the private sector. I just don't understand how the notion of public service became public employment affluence" at the expense of taxpayers who would dearly love to make 2/3 of the salary and half as good a benefit package.
And yeah, CalPers knew. And if they didn't know, they should have known. I am very hopeful that somehow or another these exhorbitant pensions can somehow be corralled. The salaries and retirement benefits combined at both the state and local level are breaking our backs.
Seems to me I saw recently that of something like 8500 retirees from either the City of San Diego or San Diego County (I don't remember which) the average retirement benefit is $64,000 per year. What percentage of the population of this county do you imagine will be receiving a $5000+ per month pension for life? Not many
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