Friday, July 30, 2010

Corruption and Fraud from California Superior Court Judge Colleen Sterne to 1 Billion in unfunded Pension Liability. Santa Barbara has become Bell Ca. North!

I have sat here for the last 3 weeks as I always do just hoping my next posting will have some kind of meaning or impact to those I or others share it with. I must admit when I noticed that some how there where over 120 links created by others to my blogs I felt some pressure. 65% of those links are related to the Pension Fund concerns and 35% to the Court and Judicial concerns I have one other observation. In the growing popularity with my work I feel that might be because of the recently exposed abuse and corruption by elected city officials in Bell Ca.. The subject has become an accelerator for my work here in Santa Barbara. How ever the subject matter of our County Pension Fund has proven to be quite a task. Not because it is a difficult subject, oh no. Rather because of the sheer volume of material I choose to review. In what started out as a need to personally protect myself from harm, has grown into a different mission all together. This mission is not hard nor does it scare me. In fact the simplicity in which I carry out this task is my point exactly. In my last posting I showed how I have systematically moved from subject to subject with ease. From the abuse in Civil and Criminal Courts in regards to abuse of power, or the framing of a 14 year old boy for political use. To Real Estate Fraud and the abuse one must face during the foreclosure process here and all across the United States. I find it sad that our District Attorney’s office have the resource’s to pay for obviously tainted testimony in a recent murder trail via the witness protection program. Yet do not have the compassion to help and assist the Linares family in there true time of need. To lose a Son so needlessly and with out the safe guards that should have been present that day in 07.This county has an unmet responsibility in regards to the Linares family and Prosecutor Hilary Dozer knows exactly what I am talking about. We must again demand that all laws and procedures matter and are followed with out prejudice. The application in these matters should also be blind, so as not to favor one party over another and to remain Just. As the situation advances what ever it may be the outcome should be uniform as is provided by the Law! Our Country has the most incredible foundation to assure us all of fair and equal treatment in every venue imaginable. True Freedoms and Justice are our God given right as Americans.

I glanced over some past media stories in regards to our County Budget issues while creating this posting and found this from a story that appeared in the Santa Barbara Independent;

Light at End of Budget Tunnel?

Cuts, Concessions, and Even Energy Efficiency May Bring Balance


Thursday, June 17, 2010

By Chris Meagher (Contact

“I’d like all of you to leave this hearing with three words,” Gray said, actually using four words to initially describe her cryptic message. “Bus, bridge, and Ponzi scheme.”

She continued, “I feel like I’m speeding down a highway in a bus and there’s a sign that says, in half-a-mile the bridge is out,’ and yet nothing is being done to stop this bus.” While people everywhere are cutting back, she said, the board was “not taking their foot off the gas.” Gray then addressed her Ponzi scheme comment, saying the board was moving money “here and there,” even making reference to Bernie Madoff. “You’re all very bright and well-meaning, but I cannot support this bus going off the bridge,” she said.” End of passage.

Are you aware As of June 30, 2009, the unfunded accrued actuarial liability for the pension plan exceeded $1 billion Dollars. I must ask are you surprised, upset or now have some concern? Santa Barbara is rapidly becoming Bell Ca. North in regards to the Corruption and abuse we all have been exposed to by our own elected officials. Please review the County report below and see for yourself that our Santa Barbara is in some very serious financial trouble. Well if you didn’t believe me before I am sure you will have second thoughts after what I am about to share with you now.

In a State report below I found the data I will use to make a point and challenge it for accuracy!


California State Controller

March 31, 2010

Actuary: Milliman USA

Summary of Funding Position

Date Rate Scale Liability of Assets Liability Ratio



Fiscal Accrued


2007 6/30/2007 8.16% 4.50% $ 1,956,834,000 $ 1,620,338,000 $ 336,496,000 82.8%

2006 6/30/2006 8.00% 5.00% 1,809,656,000 1,552,776,000 256,880,000 85.8%

2005 6/30/2005 8.00% 5.50% 1,687,632,000 1,443,824,000 243,808,000 85.6%

2004 6/30/2004 8.00% 5.50% 1,578,769,000 1,379,170,000 199,599,000 87.4%

2003 6/30/2003 8.16% 5.50% 1,454,864,000 1,346,665,000 108,199,000 92.6%

2002 12/31/2000 8.16% 5.50% 1,145,519,000 1,171,138,000 (25,619,000) 102.2%

Page 69

Now The Pension fund balance allegedly was 1,765,000,000 in 06/30/08 before the 421 million dollar hit to fund value. . In 06/30/09 the fund had a market value of 1,414,000,000. Ok fine but if you recall we have unearned investment returns to account for as per Robert Geis’s White Paper”. Which means the fund allegedly should have been 1,909,000,000 after performance gains in 06/30/09. a half Billion dollar switch that went unannounced by our County officials to avoid further public scrutiny.

But wait there is so much more to challenge. The monthly fund balance sheet I refer to next seams to be net value of the whole pension fund. I have more of that sheet below and the link where you may find it.

SBCERS' Monthly Fund Balances

Periods 11/30/06-10/31/09


1,900 06/30/07

So than on the above chart it would reflect only a 50 million dollar unfunded liability based on 1,956,834,000 Total Liability vs. 1,900,000,000 Net Pension assets. You have to gather and challenge the data once you uncover the errors in there deceit.

Can we as residents of Santa Barbara County A.K.A. Bell North trust anything put before us by our local elected officials? I mean what does it say when a gubernatorial appointment for a California Superior Court Judgeship openly misleads the public during her initial interview upon her appointment. Is it any wonder why we are in the mess we are as a County and Country when Honor and Duty only apply to others? During newly appointed Superior Court Judge Colleen Sterne’s first interview with the Santa Barbara news press. She first claimed her appointment came with a two year term, ignoring the fact that the Judge she was replacing due to his sudden death Bill McLafferty was due to be on the June 2010 primary. In later reports she expanded her term to a full six years. If you review the criteria for the Upper California Courts even there fill in status requires an election process within a set guideline. Come the first Monday after January first will Santa Barbara District Attorney Joyce Dudley jeopardize her team’s efforts in obtaining convictions and appear before Judge Sterne? Will the Santa Barbara County residents once again be forced to absorbs the cost of such abuse and possible liability’s?

Officers and Employees

25304. The board of supervisors shall fill by appointment all

Vacancies that occur in any office filled by the appointment of the board and elective county officers, except judge of the superior court and supervisors. The appointee shall hold office for the unexpired term or until the first Monday after January lst succeeding the next general election.

Methods of Judicial Selection: California

Selection of Judges

Number of Judgeships

Supreme Court: 7

Court of Appeals: 102

Superior Court: 1535

Number of Districts/Circuits

Supreme Court: --

Court of Appeals: 6

Superior Court: 58*

Geographic Basis for Selection

Supreme Court: statewide

Court of Appeals: district

Superior Court: county

Method of Selection (full term)

Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment;**confirmation by commission on judicial appointments***

Court of Appeals: gubernatorial appointment;**confirmation by commission on judicial appointments***

Superior Court: nonpartisan election****

Length of Term

Supreme Court: 12 yrs

Court of Appeals: 12 yrs

Superior Court: 6 yrs

Method of Retention

Supreme Court: retention election

Court of Appeals: retention election

Superior Court: reelection

Length of Subsequent Terms

Supreme Court: 12 yrs

Court of Appeals: 12yrs

Superior Court: 6 yrs

Method of Filling Interim Vacancies

Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment;**confirmation by commission on judicial appointments***

Court of Appeals: gubernatorial appointment;**confirmation by commission on judicial appointments***

Superior Court: gubernatorial appointment**

When Interim Judges Stand for Election/Appointment

Supreme Court: next gubernatorial election

Court of Appeals: next gubernatorial election

Superior Court: next general election

Selection of Chief Judge/Justice

Supreme Court: gubernatorial appointment;**confirmation by commission on judicial appointments***

Court of Appeals: gubernatorial appointment;**confirmation by commission on judicial appointments***

Superior Court: peer vote

Term of Office for Chief Judge/Justice

Supreme Court: 12 yrs

Court of Appeals: 12 yrs

Superior Court: 1 or 2 yrs, depending on county


Supreme Court: 10 yrs practice of law in state or service as judge of court of record

Court of Appeals: 10 yrs practice of law in state or service as judge of court of record

Superior Court: 10 yrs practice of law in state or service as judge of court of record

Below is where I discovered the 1 BILLION DOLLAR unfunded Liability we Santa Barbara County residents are responsible for.






“Retirement Costs Over the last decade, the amount of money the county must pay each year into the retirement system, formally known as the Santa Barbara County Employees Retirement System (SBCERS), has nearly doubled from roughly 12% to 23% of the County’s covered payroll. The total retirement portfolio had an aggregate value of $1.4 billion as of June 30, 2009. For FY 08-09, the portfolio’s market value decreased by $339 million, following a loss of $137 million in the prior fiscal year. At June 30, 2009, the unfunded accrued actuarial liability for the pension plan exceeded $1 billion. These losses in conjunction with SBCERS’ adopted practice of smoothing gains and losses over a 5-year period may result in significant increases in employer contribution rates over that period. Public pension plans such as SBCERS assume

Santa Barbara County Government Finally acknowledges 1 Billion unfunded Liability

that the investment growth of the employer and employee contributions will provide the agreed on pension benefits. When the investment growth is less than the expected amount, as has occurred in Santa Barbara, the County is responsible for funding the difference. As a result of the recent market losses sustained by the SBCERS investment portfolio, the County will experience a substantial increase in the required contribution for retirement costs in future years. Although the payment may be spread over a period of years, the size of recent losses will result in an increasing burden to the County budget that has already been impacted by poor economic conditions.”

Now if I was an SBCERS member I would feel betrayed since that was not the impression shared in the 2009 report created for there Members. Please review there take on the funds poor performance below.



Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2009


“SBCERS’ funding objective is to satisfy all benefit commitments by following an actuarially prudent funding plan, obtaining superior investment returns consistent with established risk controls, and minimizing employer contributions to the retirement fund. SBCERS engages an independent actuarial consulting firm, Milliman, Inc., to conduct annual actuarial valuations. The purpose of the valuation is to reassess the magnitude of the benefit commitments. This is compared to the assets expected to be available to support those commitments so employer and member contribution rates can be adjusted accordingly. The funding policy for amortizing the unfunded actuarial accrued liability (UAAL) has changed since the previous valuation. Under the previous funding policy, a 15-year layered amortization of the UAAL was used. The new funding policy calls for a 17-year “open/rolling” amortization period. The Board adopted this funding policy at its September 23, 2009 meeting to be effective retroactive to June 30, 2009. Had the previous funding policy remained in place, the total employer contribution rate (normal cost plus amortization of UAAL) would have been 33.00% of payroll. Under the new amortization policy, the total employer contribution rate is 28.88%. At June 30, 2009, SBCERS’ funding ratio was 75.3%, with the actuarial value of assets totaling $1,705.7 million and the actuarial accrued liability totaling $2,263.9 million.”

SBCERS' Monthly Fund Balances

Periods 11/30/06-10/31/09


1,762 11/06

1,784 12/06

1,798 01/07

1,794 02/07

1,814 03/07

1,871 04/07

1,913 05/07

1,900 06/07

1,873 07/07

1,744 08/07

1,933 09/07

1,972 10/07

1,917 11/07

1,905 12/07

1,828 01/08

1,804 02/08

1,790 03/08

1,852 04/08

1,866 05/08

1,756 06/08

1,737 07/08

1,734 08/08

1,592 09/08

1,364 10/08

1,299 11/08

1,344 12/08

1,254 01/09

1,169 02/09

1,225 03/09

1,322 04/09

1,405 05/09

1,413 06/09

1,465 07/09

1,544 08/09

1,602 09/09

1,581 10/09

The Data above may be found @ on page 8

There are tons of place’s to find Data.

Actuarial Valuation Reports of the Santa Barbara County Employees’ Retirement

System for the Fiscal Years ended June 30, 2005 through 2009 and the Santa Barbara

County Employees’ Retirement System. When measuring assets for determining the UAAL, the Retirement System has elected to “smooth” gains and losses to reduce volatility. If in any year, the actual investment return on the Retirement System’s assets is lower or higher than the actuarial assumed rate of return (which is 8.16%), then the shortfall or excess is smoothed or spread over a 5-year period. The impact of this will result in “smoothed” assets which are lower or higher than the market value of assets depending upon whether the remaining amount to be smoothed is either a net gain or a net loss. As a result of the smoothing practice, as of June 30, 2009, there were approximately $284.3 million of deferred losses to be recognized over the next five years.

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