Bouquets and Brickbats: County moves toward tiered pensions

With the scandal in Bell still ringing, practically every candidate for local public office has embraced the idea of pension reform. Most agree that it’s time to take a look at a two-tiered system for public employees. That’s all well and good, but taking a look at something isn’t quite the same as actually doing it.

To its credit, San Luis Obispo County has gone beyond mere looking; on Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors voted to implement a two-tier system for newly hired union employees.

Beginning next year, new workers will receive less lucrative pension benefits than existing staff. The move will eventually save the county — and taxpayers — an estimated $15 million to $20 million per year. We hope it also will motivate other local agencies to follow the county’s lead and pass similar reforms.

San Luis Obispo County supervisors earn a balloon bouquet for lightening the load on taxpayers.

Raise for Cone badly timed for Poly

We have nothing but respect for Cal Poly athletic director Alison Cone, and we don’t doubt that she was underpaid in comparison to her peers at other universities.

But we still find it troubling that the university would grant her a generous, 15.7 percent raise — boosting her annual salary to $188,376 — when the state of California is in a fiscal mess and many employees in both public and private sectors are facing pay cuts and layoffs.

Timing, as they say, is everything, and for blowing it, Cal Poly gets a 10-yard penalty and an over-inflated brickbat.

What are you grateful for?

Bob Dixon is on to something. Instead of complaining about his aches and pains, the 88-year-old Avila Beach man decided to compile a “love list” of 20 things that he’s grateful for. As Tribune writer Cynthia Lambert reported, he’s embarked on a PR campaign to persuade his peers, 80 and older, to do the same.

Great idea, but we don’t see any reason to wait until 80. We’re starting our own list now — and we’re putting great SLO County folks like Bob Dixon near the top. Bob made our day — and he earns a bouquet.