This video is totally worth watching. Let me set the scene for you. It’s late at the City Council meeting, around 10:00 p.m. at this point. The City Council has just finished a huge agenda item about the budget. There’s still one agenda item up next about Other Post Retirement Benefits and the creation of a combination irrevocable trust program to help the OPEB liabilities that we all know are an issue if the funding is not set aside now. More information at the link if you’re interested.
Now, remembers that the seriousness of OPEB liabilities is something that Trish Spencer specifically called out as being important. Probably because her advisers at the time told her that they were important, here’s her response to question on what she would do about the issue. I’ll note that much like all issues Trish Spencer tends to define what the issue is by literally giving a definition but often fails to have any idea of what to do to actually solve the actual problem, the OPEB issue is no different. She did however, indicate that it is important:
For clarification, OPEB stands for other post employment benefits and are primarily health care benefits (other than pensions) that U.S. state and local governments provide to their retired employees. This must be addressed and a priority. As my service on the school board has demonstrated, I welcome public involvement and scrutiny of issues, especially serious issues like this. There needs to be complete transparency of the numbers and projections. This is a complex issue and will require serious consideration of funding priorities to start to move Alameda in the right direction on this significant issue.
This agenda item is “addressing” the issue that has been stated is a “priority” to Trish Spencer. However, she wanted to bump this agenda item to another time because of the Council Referrals and Alameda residents waiting to speak on the referrals.
The other City Council members were not having it and after Trish Spencer not getting her way she decided to snark about the consultant hourly fee and start the next agenda item with a mayoral lead in of:
“Now we’re going to do 6-E where we have a consultant here that is being paid to sit here.”