Ventura's investments in trouble
Ventura stands to lose up to $10 million of taxpayer money from soured investments in the banking industry — the only city in Ventura County facing such risks.
The meltdown on Wall Street has directly jeopardized $10 million of Ventura's $160 million investment portfolio. The money comes from various sources, including reserve funds, savings for capital projects and millions held in trust to secure loans.
City finance officials remain uncertain what they will recover from two five-year, $5 million corporate notes the city holds in Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Washington Mutual, which both failed last month.
"It's impossible to know at this time," city Chief Financial Officer Jay Panzica said.
Ventura also owns $28 million of notes in other companies, including J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
City to consider rise in retirement benefits
The upgrade allows a sworn firefighter to retire at age 55 with a pension equal to 3 percent of his or her last year's pay multiplied by years of service. If a firefighter began work at age 25 and retired at 55, that would be 3 percent times 30 years — or a lifetime pension equaling 90 percent of the final-year salary.
My brain hurts but at least I have one.