Sonoma County Board of Supervisors OK proposed pension fixes

Sonoma County supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to support proposed changes aimed at curtailing the county's spiraling pension costs.

They include controls on spiking, cuts to salaries for current employees and reducing pension formulas for new employees.

"I think we are taking a good bite of the apple in this first step," Supervisor Efren Carrillo said.

The changes would save county government an estimated $13.4 million annually in salary and benefit costs, and in 10 years, $11.7 million in annual pension costs.

Ken Churchill, a Santa Rosa winemaker who has criticized pension system oversight, expressed dismay at Supervisor David Rabbitt's assertion that the proposals are as far as supervisors can legally go at this time.

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