- R. Ellis Smith
VIEW Issue 12, Mar. 2009: Ok, so as the story goes, under the somewhat dubious watchful eye of Mr. Jay Panzica, Chief Financial Officer of the city of Ventura we were the unlucky holders of $10,000,000 worth of stock in the Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual.
We all are aware of what happened recently to both of those stalwart organizations and to our $10,000,000 of hard earned tax money, it went the way of the proverbial “Pig in a Poke.” In other words we took a shellacking in the economic meltdown.
Mr. Panzica, says he is confident it won’t be a total loss, but does concede it will probably take a few years to see any return. So in order to try to recover some of our money Mr. Panzica recently traveled to New York to attend bankruptcy hearings on the Lehman Brothers case, the case with the Washington Mutual debacle is so murky that the bankruptcy proceedings haven’t even started yet and there is no time set for a start. Wonder what it cost for Mr. Panzica to go to that meeting in New York?
Ventura is the only city in Ventura County that had money invested in the failed companies, so now the Gang in the Ivory Tower has retained a Bay Area law firm to look into the situation and possibly join other cities in a law suit. Besides losing the initial $10,000,000 Ventura is also losing expected interest income to the tune of around $700,000 for this year alone. So besides losing all that moola the Gang in the Ivory Tower is tossing some more of our tax money to the law firm in the Bay Area and considering spending untold cash to join in a losing law suit. I also wonder how much they are paying that Bay Area law firm?
They say the city has “healthy reserve funds” but we are going to be $6.3 million dollars in the hole for this years budget. I guess I just don’t understand these high financial areas, but I would assume if you have a “healthy reserve fund” this is something the “healthy reserve fund” is intended for, something to fall back on when you get into financial trouble. You know, like when people lose their jobs and have no income, they are forced to dip into any savings, (healthy reserve funds), they may have to make ends meet.
But the Gang in the Ivory Tower would rather cut services to the citizens and layoff employees instead. I just wish somebody in the Ivory Tower would let us know what the hell a “healthy reserve fund” is for.
- Rellis Smith, Ventura
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Related Story: Blue Ribbon Committee, See Page 5