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Retired educators hit pension gold

More money for current teachers, locals say
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Several local school retirees are making more than $100,000 in pensions a year, and some local residents think it’s too much. Doris Chandler, former Skyridge Elementary School principal, receives $109,442 a year. Mark Warner, former assistant superintendent of educational services for Placer Union High School District, receives $102,725 yearly. Ronald Andrade, former deputy superintendent for Placer County Office of Education, receives $115,782 a year. Alfred “Bud” Nobili, former superintendent for Placer County Office of Education, receives $170,785 yearly. John Reinking, former superintendent for Placer County Office of Education, receives $113,229 a year. Gigg Powers, former superintendent for Loomis Union School District, receives $113,310 a year. Kevin Ramirez, former president of Sierra College, receives $135,724 yearly. The California State Teachers’ Retirement System pays retirement benefits for education employees in the state of California. On the department’s website, there is a calculator employees can use to estimate what their benefits will be upon retirement. Retirement benefits are based on factors like an employee’s age at retirement, number of school years worked and paid into the retirement system, final and highest compensation and unused sick leave. Meadow Vista resident Walter Riley, a member of the Norcal Tea Party Patriots, said state employees are taking too much money from taxpayers, and retired school employees are no exception. “Without a doubt I totally disagree with (high pensions),” Riley said. “I think it’s immoral. I think they should be ashamed to take it. Even within my own family, I have relatives who are California State Employees Association employees and they feel they have earned their retirement.” Andrade said because retirement benefits are based on certain factors, and because the Placer County Office of Education never bought into enhanced retirement options, his pension amount is normal. “I don’t think there is anything unusual about my retirement,” Andrade said. “There is no special augmentation, no special treatment … beyond the normal retirement system.” Andrade worked in education for 38 years, 18 of those were spent with the Placer County Office of Education. Chandler said her pension is a result of how many years she worked in education. “The reason mine is that high is because I put in 48 years,” Chandler said. “I came out of college at 21, and I put in 48 years. My yearly pay through the years certainly was not comparable to Roseville or Sacramento.” Chandler also said as an administrator she often got to school at 6 a.m. and would stay for any night events happening on campus. “I think that when you are in education, it’s not a 9-5 job,” she said. “You go to bed, and you are thinking about the next day and what is going to happen. As an administrator, it’s nothing new to be working 12 hours a day.” Chandler said since retirement she has served on the Boys & Girls Club board and is considering teaching at National University in Sacramento. Nobili said Monday he didn’t want to comment on his pension, but did mention that he worked in education for over 41 years. Warner and Reinking were unavailable for comment as of press time Tuesday. The Journal was unable to contact Ramirez and Powers. Auburn resident Jon Camp said he thinks school employees might deserve the pensions, because their jobs are demanding. “Trying to teach these kids is pretty high-stress,” Camp said. “If people think teaching these kids is an easy job, they are sadly mistaken. Obviously (Nobili’s pension) is a very high pension, (but) 40 years is a long time.” Roseville resident Kristen Myren said she thinks more money should be going to teachers in the classrooms rather than to retired employees. “It seems a little unreasonable,” Myren said. “A lot of people are saying the public school system isn’t getting enough money … but they are giving the retired people more money.” Roseville resident Andre Cannon said he disagrees with the fact that teachers in the classrooms are making far less than retired employees. “That’s unfair I think,” Cannon said. “My stepdad, he is a teacher, and he doesn’t make very much. The teachers are very underpaid nowadays.” Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com