Botched State’s emergency radio network boss gets sweet PERS deal


AFP Pension Reform TV Ad Focuses on Bureaucrat Who Potentially Cost Oregon Taxpayers $200 Million – Enjoys Gold-Plated Retirement

Sublimity – With States across America reforming the way government employees are compensated, AFP-Oregon today continued its ten-week television ad project to educate Oregonians about problems with the State’s Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) and to urge reform of the system during the 2011 Legislative Session.  The series will highlight some of the retired public officials who have cost taxpayers millions in cost overruns on public projects or lawsuit settlements and are now retired on generous pensions – all financed by the hard-working families of Oregon.   Viewers are encouraged to visit to learn more, and to contact their Legislators to demand reform of the troubled retirement system.

The second ad in this series, which begins running today, features State bureaucrat Lindsay Ball.  After a stint as Director of the Department of Administrative Services, Ball was given a salary of $171,000 per year and the responsibility of managing construction of the State’s emergency radio network (OWIN), a job which was plaqued with problems under his leadership.  Not only did the expected cost of the network balloon from $400 million to $600 million under his watch, but, as The Oregonian reports, Ball’s agency deliberately misled the Legislature and the Governor about the costs of building the radio network.  Despite Ball being forced from the project, his errors are still being felt to this day according to yesterday’s Oregonian.  Ball retired in August 1 of 2010, having not paid a penny toward his own retirement since 1980.  Based on his high final salary, Ball is now enjoying a benefit of around $15,000 per month, despite costing Oregon taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

“Taxpayers in our state are struggling under a growing burden from PERS,” noted AFP-Oregon State Director Jeff Kropf.  “For too long, the Legislature and the Governor have failed to act to curb double-dipping and self-dealing.  It’s time for strong action that will remove Legislators, the Governor and Oregon Judges from PERS, and require all government employees to pay at least 6 percent of their salaries into their ownretirement plans.  Without these and other steps, PERS will continue to be an albatross around the neck of Oregon’s private sector.”

The AFP-Oregon ads are running in media markets across the State.




  • State Employees

    Shut up and give us more money.

    • Drummer

      Sure, you are a state employee, and I’m superman. Why did you waste your time with the stupid post? Oh, I know you got a speeding ticket or someone said you needed a hunting license.

  • wnd

    ‘Icon’ picture Jeff Kropf as governor, especially in lieu of John Kitzhaber.

    Really, the blue Kool-Aid daze of the KKGB (Kitzhaber, Kulongoski, Goldschmidt and Babs) have all but tapped commoner sense out, leaving us shaking with the dregs of PERSinson’s disease.

  • Drummer

    Oh yea, good local add paid for with local money representing the entire system, and an unbiased neutral publication featuring it.

  • Steve Plunk

    This reminds of the DMV computer debacle from a while back. I think that was a $165 million cost overrun. The sad fact is unscrupulous contractors coupled with incompetent or corrupt government officials mean the taxpayers lose their shirts.

    • wnd

      D’oh the name Jane Cease and desist sound familiar? Geez Louise, when, if ever, will Oregon’s electorate realize wassup and send the Dem zits packing?

      Couldn’t happen too soon in the ayes of many!

      • Die Cease You Sorry Old Bag

        I’m amazed that the old bag Cease ever wants to show her ugly puss in public. But. of course, NONE of these political hacks have any sense of shame – they just love to display their ignorance to the public every election cycle.

    • Drummer

      Mistakes happen. A pretty good general rule is, the more you do the more mistakes you make. The bigger you are the more expensive the mistakes are. Look at any business and you will see mistakes. Look at your own life and surely you will see a mistake somewhere. Correct the mistakes but don’t use them to justify an unrelated action that breaks contracts. Too much end justifies the means rationalizing being used. Look deeper.

      • Steve Plunk

        In the private sector those who make mistakes are held accountable. In my own life I do indeed make mistakes but I pay for those. Jane Cease was transferred but didn’t a penny in salary. The system is broken and needs to be fixed.

        • Drummer

          You might be making an assumption about no one in public employment being held accountable, I don’t know. The upper manager types do seem to get away with things that get used for stories like this. I wonder if there were some lower in the food chain that were forced to go along? I’ve never had a job that gave me an opportunity to make a real expensive mistake, but I’m grateful for being forgiven when I have cost more than I earned.

          • Too Bad Cease Wasn’t Sued!

            People like Cease didn’t suffer in any way. There was hardly even any publicity about this huge public blunder. And then Governor Blue Jeans transfered Cease to a
            desk job where the public couldn’t find her.
            Rest assured if the waste of millions of dollars happened in the private sector, the old bag would not only have lost her job; but likely would have been sued for gross financial negligence and likely had to move out of state.
            The simple reality is that unless a public employee commits a felony and gets convicted of same; NOTHING HAPPENS TO ANY OF THEM.

  • valley person

    So is the point that this particular individual should not get the retirement package they earned because they flubbed managing this project, or is it that ALL PERs recipients should pay for the flub of this one individual? I mean, what exactly is your point? If PERS is overly generous, then that has nothing to do with a single project flub. You would have to weigh the cost of this against all the projects that came in under budget to draw any useful conclusions.

    • Madashell

      Yers, that is the point exactly. The fool should be getting nothing for being so stupid.

      • Valley person

        So then the PERs retirement system for everyone else is fine?

    • Gotcha222

      “…weigh the cost of this against all the projects that came in under budget to draw any useful conclusions…”

      Continuing your vain attempts at intelligent discourse, troll?

      • valley person

        No, just attempting some logic. If I was after intelligent discourse I would look elsewhere.

  • Oregonnative

    I do not think this issue about Lindsey Ball retirement fund. Personally I believed he has done Oregon a great justice though his life, and earned his supposely “double dipping”. I met Lindsey the DMV Cost Overruns to taxpayers. That was so much worse and that director walked with a PERS plan that it seems everyone forgot. These are the people we should discuss, not Lindsey Ball.
    I will have to say being a conservative that I think that Lindsey Ball performed all his duties that the State of Oregon has dropped in his lap, from a young man to an older Oregonian, with history.

    Again, our issues are with 55% of Oregonians on Pers, with even our judges. How does the self-employed get a break.

    Let me guess, we are required to pay taxes on “Gross” reciets and buy our kids until 26 health insurence.

    No wonder I can not sleep at night.

  • Taxman

    People who can abuse the system should, then we can change the system.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    This is a good add, and even more importantly, a good project. Frankly I think Republicans need to do way more on education and less on campaigning and this is a good start.

    This is illustrative of why public employees should definitely earn far less than private sector instead of the reverse situation we have now. Public employees simply are not faced with anywhere near the responsibility level a private employee is. This is a very good illustration of that principle at work. When there is zero accountability you essentially have someone with the responsibility level of a two year old. I would suggest paying them accordingly. After all, its now like job performance would suffer, the average hot dog vendor could have brought in this project 50% over budget.

    • Drummer

      I sense some over simplifying and error in conclusion here. Who to hold responsible and what should be the consequences for mismanaging are the questions. The retirement annuity is the result of someone being in the system for a length of time and in this case being at the top end of earning scale. A mess up with a project of this scale suggests mistakes in more than one place. Regardless of how mistakes were made the retirement system does not manage the various agencies, they only process the employee retirement benefits.

    • ardbeg

      “This is illustrative of why public employees should definitely earn far less than private sector instead of the reverse situation we have now. Public employees simply are not faced with anywhere near the responsibility level a private employee is.” Wow! Really? I’ve worked both sides, have you? So I should take my masters degree and 25+ years if experience and down grade it financially because I work for the government? I’ve worked in the “All mighty” private sector you seem to think so highly of. Not all that tuff to do. Unless you are running your OWN business and employing a significant number of people; what’s your responsibility?

  • Moose

    Is it actually possible to be any dumber than this idiot?????

    • Drummer

      Brilliant statement! Maybe you are just frustrated. Might make a little more sense if said which idiot you were calling an idiot and why.

      • Valley person

        Anyone but an idiot could tell he meant the idiot he disagreed with. Of course that could be any idiot above his line. Or it could be just random name calling. One never knows around here.

        • Drummer

          Valley, you make good sense. I do like your posts! thanks

          • wnd

            Little doubt a clutch of WHAT’S LEFT here, indeed, like Valley Person’s posts.
            On the other hand, what’s right, more often than not, see his reset line as glitching.

          • wnd

            Even with multiple tiers, PERS still runs over the top of private sector pension ops.

            Example: COLA’s do not exist for most private pensioners so whyizzit a norm for public servants?

            Question: Does “unsustainable inflationary catalysts” raise hackles in a common sense world?

  • Momsmoonlighting

    You missed so many things about Ball and what he has done. He took over OR Fish and Wildlife when the previous director was found lying to the Legislature and then Ball did the same thing with no consequences. Where is the accountability politicians blabber on about requiring? It is against the law to lie to the Legislature but these jokers go merrily on their way to retirement heaven. Why should they care about the poor taxpayer when they got theirs and are proud of it. Ball should be in jail but the “media” says nothing about that one do they? Oh and before he was at Fish and Wildlife he was a STATE COP so you would think he would know the law wouldn’t you?DUHHHHH

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