Quirks of the County Blog

Tuesday, Feb 12 2013 08:38 AM

Pensions in the morning, budgets in the afternoon

By The Bakersfield Californian

Kern County supervisors have a cash-centric agenda planned for this Tuesday.

In the morning session they're set to hear from the Kern County Employees' Retirement Association about the county's pension obligations and the performance of the investment funds that back them up.

The past five years have not been good and, though things are slowly improving, the KCERA system continues to struggle to get out from under the massive increase in debt that landed on it when the housing market and financial industry collapsed in 2008 and 2009.

In the afternoon supervisors will hear more about the state of the county budget for this year and how the county plans to build a budget for next year.

A preliminary version of the budget will be out in a few months and then the county will finalize it in August after hard end-of-year performance data for this year's budget comes out.

It's not unreasonable to expect some talk, during the 2 p.m. session, about the downturn in the valuation of Occidental Petroleum Corp. reserves which is expected to cost the county $11 million in reduced revenues and schools, parks districts, colleges and other special government agencies another $16 million.

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