Fire And Police Pension Officials Up In Arms Over Latest Berke Pension Task Force "Scenario"

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Officials of the Chattanooga Fire and Police Fund are up in arms over the latest "scenario" from the Berke administration on changes to cut the cost of the pension program.

Chris Willmore, president of the Pension Board, said, "If this goes in, fire and police from all ranks will up and quit, including those who are nowhere near their retirement age."

He said the board earlier submitted its own cost-cutting plan. He said it would bring savings of over $126 million.

Mr. Willmore said fire and police are willing to make some concessions, "but, my goodness, not this dramatic. Not something that is so out in leftfield. I shudder at this."

He said the proposal said the change would cripple fire and police hiring. "Nobody would want to come work for the city."

Mr. Willmore said the change would amount to a five percent pay cut for fire and police, plus provide reduced retirement benefits.

He added, "The benefits are not worth what you would have to pay. It's like paying for a Cadillac and getting a Nova."

Frank Hamilton, pension fund administrator, said the latest task force figures "are not comparable anywhere in the region."  

The proposal was shown during a morning pension board member by Fire Capt. David Brooks, who is on the task force.

A number of those at the meeting snapped shots of the sheet on their cell phones and posted it on Facebook.

Fire and Police have set up their own Facebook page on the issue, which has already brought 41 retirements this year.

The change would change the retirement age to 58 or after 32 years of service.

There would be no cost of living adjustment until age 62, then it would be limited to one percent.



Family Makes Treasure Trove Of Early Chattanooga Photographs Available For Book; Stokes Collection Has Been Passed Down To Descendants

A treasure trove of Chattanooga photographs that have been passed down in the Stokes family for generations has now been assembled in an upcoming book. Chattanooga Around The Turn Of The Century: The Remarkable Stokes Collection will be published by Chattanoogan.com. Pre-orders are now being taken for the book, which includes over 700 photos on large-size pages. Publisher ... (click for more)

Corker Praises Role Of Fort Campbell Soldiers In Fighting Spread Of Ebola

Senator Bob Corker today released the following statement regarding the Pentagon’s announcement that soldiers from Fort Campbell’s 101st Airborne Division will deploy to Liberia in late October to support efforts to contain the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. “The Fort Campbell community has shown time and time again that their unique capabilities remain essential to ... (click for more)

How To Reform The City Industrial Development Board - And Response (3)

My aims is to bring to the public’s attention the need for procedural changes that, if implemented, would significantly improve the information available the public, to the City Council and to the City Industrial Development Board about the verifiable benefits and costs of tax incentive financing structures and to make the entire process transparent. The public, the City ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: He Can Never Go Home

When Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston sparked top-ranked Florida State to a 56-41 comeback over N.C. State last Saturday, you would have thought the world had forgotten and virtually excused his vulgar rant from the week before. His inexcusable mid-week antics kept him sidelined during the Clemson game and brought down the nation’s scorn but less than a week later he was ... (click for more)

Baylor Impressive In Volleyball Sweep Of Signal Mountain

Baylor coach Sarah Lail paused briefly before saying that she's seen her Lady Red Raider volleyball team play better than they did on Monday, but they did just about everything right as they celebrated Senior Night with an impressive 3-0 victory over the Signal Mountain Lady Eagles. It was a meeting of two of the top three teams in Chattanooga -- too bad that Ooltewah couldn't ... (click for more)

Basketball, Wrestling Mocs Host Ball N' Brawl

It’s party time in the Scenic City. Chattanooga’s team is sending some of its best to close down 3rd Street on Friday, October 10, for Ball N’ Brawl. This inaugural event features the men’s and women’s basketball programs along with the wrestling team. “This was an idea coaches Heath Eslinger (wrestling) and Will Wade (men’s basketball) came up with,” Director of Marketing and ... (click for more)