Gravy Train

Despite the financial straits in which SMART finds itself, the SMART Board is busy making gifts to its employees. We were amazed to read in the minutes of their May 19, 2010 meeting that SMART is “paying the employee portions (approximately 7%) and the employer portion (approximately 12%) of all requirement retirement contributions.” More simply stated, they are paying the 7% which employees are required to contribute – in addition to the 12% SMART is required to pay.

At a time SMART is searching for more money, they are handing out taxpayer dollars to pay obligations for which the employees are contractually responsible. One can only wonder how many other gifts the SMART Board has authorized. This action by the Board is highly questionable. It certainly appears to violate the Board’s responsibility to prudently manage public funds.

If this type of decision-making typifies the SMART Board it is no wonder they face massive deficits. The Marin Grand Jury noted SMART has adopted an overly generous Pension Plan. We hope the Sonoma Grand Jury will investigate this retirement plan and the propriety of the SMART Board spending taxpayer’s dollars to pay the obligations of its employees.

Jeanne Levin and Mike Lavin

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