100. Daniel Borenstein
Moraga Orinda Fire District Chief Peter Nowicki probably never expected his name to become synonymous with pension spiking, but thanks to Bay Area News Group columnist and editorial writer Dan Borenstein, that’s exactly what happened.Borenstein’s 2009 article revealed that the 26-year department veteran had traded his $185K annual salary for a $241,000 per year pension when he retired at age 50 – all perfectly legal. While Nowicki’s case was a rarity, the resulting fallout helped fire up a flurry of pension-reform legislation, much of it from former San Jose mayor Chuck Reed who seems to have a new pension reform ballot prop every couple of years. OK, that’s great, but why does Borenstein land in the Top 100 now? No particular reason (you know how we keep saying that this list is subjective – it is) except that we love his reporting and the little bird that tells us about pension issues says that Borenstein is one of the folks people read. Sounded good to us. Oh yeah – The Contra Costa County Employees’ Retirement Association board “unspiked” Nowicki’s pension by $1.2 million last year, btw.
Updated August 9, 2016