Founded in 1954
VCTA teamed up with HJTA and filed a lawsuit against the City of Simi Valley to assert the rights of citizens to vote on the Council’s proposal to issues $150M in risky “pension obligation bonds” to fund the unfunded pension liability for City employees. VCTA was victorious, forcing Simi Valley City Council to seek ballot approval from its constituents.
VCTA was alerted to Board of Supervisors proposed Project Labor Agreement (PLA) that favored trade unions over equal competition. In response, VCTA worked with local contractor groups, county staff and members of the BOS to offer a policy that would require all county projects to be bid twice, first as a PLA (union) job. This resulted in fair access to both union and non-union contractors, reduced costs and increase public value that favors taxpayers.
VCTA we instrumental in getting the Ventura County CEO, CFO and Auditor-Controller, as well as members of the BOS to resolve the inefficiencies within the Ventura County Medical Center Public Hospital. This led to a new management team, reduced operating losses, and repayment of tens of millions to the General Fund, verified by an internal control audit.
Ongoing investigation of serious problems at Ventura County Medical Center including lack of financial oversight, excessive management turnover and possible hidden clinic losses. For months the County rejected VCTA call for a complete audit of HCA arguing it wasn’t necessary. After learning about some of VCTA preliminary findings the County reversed position and is now prepared to spend $100,000 on an audit.
VCTA filed an Amicus Brief in support of the State of California in the pension reform case of Cal Fire v. CalPERS. The brief articulates the right of the legislature to adjust future pension benefits and the grave threat to state and local economies posed by increasing pension contribution requirements and the ever increasing balance of unfunded liabilities. The brief argues against the judicially created “California Rule” that, as applied, requires that any reduction in pension benefits be offset by a different bur comparable benefit.
Recommended Port Hueneme City Council reject a proposal from PARS to invest it’s contingency reserves set-aside for water, wastewater and economic development, in the stock market. We told council the markets have significant risk. Reserves are intended to provide needed funds for contingencies and therefore should have the least amount of risk.
Urged the California Energy Commission to approve the Puente Power Project. The proposal by NRG Energy Inc. would have generated $5 million in local taxes and create $25 million in economic benefit for the community.
Spoke against Ventura City Council’s decision to continue subsidizing two municipal golf courses - costing residents $13.8 million over the next 15 years. The city managed to turn what had been a profitable business into a bureaucratic mess that loses $600,000 each year.
Offered testimony to the State Water Resources Control board in support of the California WaterFix, the plan to update the state’s aging water infrastructure. Currently, 75% of Ventura County’s population relies heavily on our state’s antiquated water distribution system, and this percentage could actually increase to virtually 100% as adjacent communities struggling with extreme drought conditions, including the cities of Ventura and Ojai, may take their state water allocations for the first time in history. As a state we can and must do better to stabilize this critical water supply.
Raised concerns with Ventura City Council’s decision to adopt a new tiered water rate structure. The rates failed to meet criteria set out in a successful San Juan Capistrano legal challenge. The court said Capistrano failed to show that its rates were tied to the actual cost of service. Proposition 218 says agencies cannot charge more than the “cost of the service” provided.
Opposed the Board of Supervisors decision to vote themselves a pay raise that clearly violated a county ordinance limiting pay to 70 percent of the base salary of Superior Court judges. Against the publics wishes, four members of the Board enacted a supplemental pay equivalent to offset their pension contributions.
Representatives of Ventura County Taxpayers Association filed a sweeping retirement system reform ballot measure. The measure, the first of its kind for a California County, will create a sustainable Defined Contribution retirement system for all new employees. The measure would have eventually brought an end to a system of unfunded liabilities which for too long has been an unfair burden to the taxpayers that must support it.
AARP highlights outrageous Ventura County Pension System from story in LA Times prompted by VCTA and its efforts to bring attention to this unjustified and shameful burden on taxpayers.
Addressed Pleasant Valley Recreation and Park District Spending. Raised public awareness of out of control spending increases for salaries and pensions that outstripped revenue and in November, Voters rejected the board president, re-electing new members committed to fiscal responsibility.
Opposed Lifetime Healthcare for Ojai City Council and successfully created pressure for City Council members to take up the issue of continuing to offer lifetime healthcare when the city is ailing financially – a tremendous perk for part time employees.
Improper Golden Handshake was Exposed that included an associated increased lifetime pension spike by VCTC to a highly paid manager whose job was being phased out because of lack of work. VCTC reversed their position once exposed.
Successful Lawsuit Requiring Ventura County Pension Board to release identities of county retirees earning over $100,000 annually under the Freedom of Information Act. The data identified 335 people collecting $42 million annually, confirming pension spiking is excessive and unaffordable.
Ventura City Council Drops Money Losing Housing Subsidy. Exposed a little known housing program that was providing interest and payment free home loans to employees. Most of the money went to only a few highly paid executives. The program was dropped shortly after VCTA’s article.
Your continued support is vital. We hope that you will consider a membership in VCTA at whatever level you feel is appropriate.