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.




Lookout Mountain, Ga., Has 2% Tax Rise; Franklin Architects To Design Town Center; Council Members Have No Election Challengers

A public hearing regarding setting the millage rate for 2017 was held Thursday evening before the start of the monthly Lookout Mountain, Ga., Town Council meeting. Each year the council and mayor estimate the revenue needed to operate the city to determine the amount of tax that will be needed, said City Attorney Bill Pickering. The recommendation, which was approved by the council, ... (click for more)

First Tee Of Chattanooga Golf Program For Youth Loses Its Charter; UTC To Continue Using Hickory Valley Site

Officials said First Tee of Chattanooga golf program for youth has lost its charter and a program in conjuction with the UTC golf team at the city-owned former Hickory Valley Golf Course on Hickory Valley Road will be disbanded. The First Tee program lost its charter effective last Dec. 31, officials said. The remaining parties - the city and UTC golf - are terminating the ... (click for more)

September Is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

The calendar fills up quickly in September as families return to a packed routine after quieter summer days. Unfortunately, your health might take a backseat to your busy schedule. So make a note on your calendar that September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and remind yourself—or the men in your life—about the importance of a healthy prostate.   Prostate cancer is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I Am Very Privileged

A California professor who teaches sociology at San Diego State told her students she would give each extra credit if they would participate in a “White Privilege Checklist” the other day. Understand, there is no pass or fail but, the more of the 20 statements you agree with, reveals you are “more guilty” of being white and therefore more “privileged” than those who are not. ... (click for more)

Trojans Score 32 Third-Quarter Points To Crush Owls 42-21

(Story will be updated) Soddy-Daisy, which managed only a field goal in the first half, destroyed Ooltewah with a 32-point third quarter Friday night at Robert Talaska Stadium and went on to hand the Owls a crushing 42-21 non-region loss. The shocking turnaround enabled the Trojans (4-2) to snap a six-game losing streak to Ooltewah and enjoy homecoming festivities on ... (click for more)

Vols, UMass Matchup Pits 1998 National Champions

Tennessee takes on UMass on Saturday at Neyland Stadium. The game will feature a noon ET kickoff on SEC Network.     Tennessee (2-1) is coming off a 26-20 road loss to Florida on Sept. 16. Junior running back John Kelly set career highs with 141 rushing yards and 96 receiving yards and played a major role in the Vols' second half rally before the Gators ... (click for more)