Opinion » Letters

County pension trustees should adjust priorities 

San Luis Obispo



In June 2008, as a county employee, I sought—unsuccessfully—to be elected as a Trustee to the San Luis Obispo County’s Pension Trust Board.  My platform had four major points:

1.  Where financially sound, the pension trust would give preference to environmentally friendly technology.  For instance, an equity interest in a solar farm would generate stable income for years; an ideal investment for a pension plan.

2. Where financially sound, the pension trust would invest in shared equity housing. Not only would this help develop workforce housing, shared equity diversifies risk while generating a return on investment over long periods of time; again, an ideal investment for a pension plan.

3. The pension trust would favor companies that treat employees fairly and specifically would not invest in companies that ship jobs overseas.  Who could enjoy a retirement built on the misery of laid-off Americans?

4. The pension trust, in cooperation with other public pensions, would support the pension equivalent of a “prevailing wage” ordinance. This would prevent private companies that bid on government contracts and do not have pension plans from having a financial advantage over socially responsible companies that provide employee pensions.

Public pensions need to serve the public by supporting the environment, by helping to bring relief to the housing marking, by keeping jobs in America, and by supporting private pension plans. The currently elected and appointed trustees can and should support these goals while re-prioritizing investments to obtain and maintain a fully funded pension plan. 

-- Lance Hillsinger - San Luis Obispo

-- Lance Hillsinger - San Luis Obispo

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