MOORLACH UPDATE — Daily Pilot — March 20, 2010

The Daily Pilot is the first to share the good news.

You have to appreciate the headline writer.  It’s good to see that even they make typos on occasion.

A few minor corrections.  We negotiated new tiers for both the deputies’ union and for OCEA (the county’s largest general employee union).  You can retire any time you want, but the full benefit is not effective for newly hired deputies until they reach the age of 55.  And, my wife and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary in August.

The next four years will continue to be interesting as we weather through what I call the “double bubble trouble.”  We have to downsize government to where it was ten years ago before the “dot com” and “housing” bubbles raised government revenue and employee levels to artificial highs. 

The OC is managing through this phenomenon, but our neighbors and our capitol are not doing as well.  And that’s where the action will be for the next few years, as we deal with the reverberations of their lack of pre-emptive action.

No contest for seat

Second District supervisor will remain in place as no one filled (sic) papers to run against him.

By Mona Shadia

Unopposed Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach has all but been reelected.

No one has filed papers to challenge him, and the deadline has passed.

“I haven’t sat down and tried to figure why I wasn’t challenged,” said Moorlach, a Costa Mesa resident. “I think it may be a combination of things.”

Moorlach represents the 2nd District, which includes Costa Mesa and Newport Beach.

The 54-year-old has been carrying the torch of pension reform in hopes of reducing the county’s spending. In Novemeber 2008, Moorlach’s Measure J, which required voter approval before increasing county employees’ pension benefits, passed with overwhelming support.

And he recently negotiated new tiers for new hires with the union that represents sheriff’s deputies.

Newly hired deputies will not be able to retire until age 55. At that age they can collect 3% of their salaries for every year of service and have to contribute 6.6% of retirement costs.

That deal, which was approved by the deputies’ union, is less generous than the program for veteran employees, who can retire at age 50 and retain 90% of their pay.

“Maybe people think ‘he’s not afraid of anybody; he took on the deputy sheriff union and they carry guns,’” he said. “Another reason is I built some credibility.”

Moorlach says he’s not anti-public-safety unions, but “it would be tragic if a deputy retires and then gets a postcard that says ‘I’m sorry, we just don’t have enough money to pay you the full benefit.’”

Before running for the county seat, Moorlach served as the county treasurer.

Moorlach has been married 30 years to his wife, Trina, and has a daughter and two sons.

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