A 4-0 vote by the Costa Mesa City Council this week formally created a nine-member committee to investigate the City’s pension debt and introduce new ways to potentially pay down the $200 million obligation.

The committee will ask residents to volunteer to review how the City’s pension obligations were able to grow so large, and potentially introduce new ways for the City to address the long-term costs. The hope is that CPAs and other financially savvy residents will be able to harness their professional talents and produce tangible results for Costa Mesa at very little cost. The Committee’s operational expense should be about $20,000 per year.

The City’s labor organizations do not have a formal role on the committee after the Council decided to remove their three required seats from the committee’s roster. Questions were raised during the discussion portion of the meeting about overtime costs for represented employees who could participate. However, at least one union has expressed interest in playing a part in the discussion.

Read the full article at the Orange County Register.