One of the elections that is on the November 6 ballot is rather obscure – and unless you have a pension with the Orange County Employee Retirement System (OCERS) you won’t see it on your ballot. The OCERS has a vacancy on their board and there are two candidates for this seat – Liberal OC blogger Chris Prevatt, who works for the O.C. Health Care Agency, and Ian Rudge, chief of staff to Board of Supervisors Chairman John Moorlach.
Prevatt has been endorsed by the Orange County Employees Association. Rudge earned a master’s degree in public finance and budgeting and has worked as a financial analyst.
According to the O.C. Register, On the home page of OCEA website, Frank Eley, a member of both the OCERS board and OCEA board of directors, wrote, “I know Chris [Prevatt] from his work at OCEA. He has been true blue to the members and the people of OCEA. He is committed to the middle class and the preservation of the defined-benefit system. I think he is the most qualified candidate.”
The O.C. Register summed up this race thusly: the true adversary of Mr. Prevatt, his fellow union members and current and future county pensioners is math and thus far, OCERS has stubbornly resisted lowering its investment assumptions. Government bonds pay about 3 percent, but the OCERS board has stuck by a rosy estimate that the investments that fund much of its pension benefits will earn an annual rate of 7.75 percent.
The Register’s editorial board is upset because the OCEA’s head, Nick Berardino, has refused to allow Rudge to communicate with his members. The Register’s editorial board feels that the OCEA’s members would be better off voting for the “accountant rather than the activist.”
I concede the Register’s point about the OCERS investments. But all investments have been awful since about 2008, for the most part. I am not sure what the OCERS board could have done differently in that time. Hindsight is 20/20.
I know Prevatt. He is not a fan of mine and at times he has made my life a living hell. It is a long story. But I will say this – he is a bulldog and he is not afraid of any elected officials. He has a blindspot for those who are gay and at times has overlooked corruption by gay public officials – but you could probably say the same for me when it comes to Latino public officials. It is natural to stand up for your constituencies.
I have no doubt that Prevatt will do a good job on the OCERS board and OCEA members will be able to rely on him to go after any corruption or other such monkey business. Would an accountant be a better choice? Maybe but I don’t see why Prevatt wouldn’t be a good choice too, even with all the trouble he has caused me over the years.
If you are voting in this election feel free to vote for Prevatt. I am sure Rudge would do a fine job too but he works for a guy, Moorlach, who at times has made no sense, such as when he spoke openly about getting rid of public bus transportation. That makes me a bit nervous.