City Council Told That Fire And Police Pension To Cost $14.4 Million This Year; Consultants Hired To Study Fund

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The City Council was told Tuesday that the fire and police pension fund will cost $14.4 million in the upcoming budget.

Travis McDonough, chief of staff to Mayor Andy Berke, said that amount is up $2.1 million from the previous year.

He said if reforms are not taken "it will be up $1 million the year after that, and the year after that, and on and on."

"It is time to address the issue squarely on," he said.

The city is hiring consultants out of Philadelphia to help bring changes to the fund. Public Financial Management will be paid $90,500, plus expenses.

Mr. McDonough said the same group recently helped the city of Lexington, Ky., reduce its unfunded pension liabilities by 45 percent. 

He said Mayor Berke and his staff have been holding numerous meetings on the pension issue, including numerous sessions with the Fire and Police Pension Board.

He said there is agreement that changes need to be made that will continue to attract fire and police personnel to have long careers with the city, while at the same time "being responsible to the taxpayers."

Mr. McDonough said members of a task force on the issue will be announced soon. He said it will include current and retired fire and police personnel as well as community members.


Terry Knowles, president of the Fire and Police Pension board, said, “While this was not our preferred method to address the City’s concerns with our Fund, the Board looks forward to working with the Task Force and participating in these important discussions about our Plan and the impact possible changes will have on Police Officers, Firefighters and their families. 

"The Board has asked for greater representation on the Task Force to ensure this process is a collaborative effort that operates in an open, transparent and fair manner rather than one with a predefined outcome. I strongly believe this is the right position to have, especially given how city administrators have already indicated a fundamental bias against certain features of the Plan, including the DROP, cost-of-living adjustment and 25-year retirement.”



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ACAVAL, ANTONIO MOLINA  1511 WILLOW STREET #1 CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 41 years old Arresting Agency: Tenn Highway Patrol DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE RESISTING ARREST OR OBSTRUCTION OF LEGAL PROCESS --- ANDRES, RUBEN  1712 E 27TH STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: ... (click for more)

Woodbury, Tn., Man Charged With Murdering His Brother

An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has resulted in the arrest of a Cannon County man for the murder of his brother.                                 ... (click for more)

Patrol Cars Donation To Kevin Muhammad's Nation Of Islam Sets A Dangerous Precedent

Re: City Police donating two patrol cars to Kevin Muhammad's Nation of Islam: While I know it's unpopular to mention the wisdom of separation of church and state, this sets a dangerous precedent and should meet with concern from everyone who values religious and secular freedom. What's next? Southern Baptists getting old city parking scooters to patrol church parking lots ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Thanks A Lot For Nothing

Somebody should have gotten an award last Tuesday when a 90-minute “education summit” involving our school leaders, politicians and media produced absolutely nothing. Zilch. Zero. Oh, there are a number of candidates we could give an award for “nothing,” both in our school district and on its fringes. Yet to find Tennessee Commissioner of Education Candice McQueen brought her high-and-mighty ... (click for more)

No. 3 Chattanooga Rolls Past Samford, 41-21

CHATTANOOGA---The 3rd-ranked Chattanooga Mocs utilized a balanced attack in a 41-21 win over Southern Conference rival Samford Saturday afternoon. Balanced is the operative term as both sides of the ball contributed to the victory.   "Great win," coach Russ Huesman said. "We beat a good football team that has great skill kids that are hard to tackle. It was great to ... (click for more)

Vols' Astonishing Rally Wrecks Florida, 38-28, Before 102,455 Stunned Fans

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Quack. Quack. Quack. As it turns out, Teez Tabor, Florida’s trash-talking defensive back, a duck can pull a truck, sir. Tennessee’s 14 th -ranked Volunteers sent shock waves throughout the college football world Saturday, rallying from a 21-point deficit against No. 19 Florida to stun the Gators, 38-28, before a sellout crowd of 102,455 at Neyland Stadium. ... (click for more)