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: ATKISSON, THOMAS GREEN  3901 KINGS RD CHATTANOOGA, 37416  Age at Arrest: 40 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga AGGRAVATED ASSAULT BEER, ANTHONY COURTNEY  HOMELESS CHATTANOOGA, 37402  Age at Arrest: 24 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA ... (click for more)

TBI Charges Morgan County Woman With Shooting Her Husband

Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have arrested a Morgan County woman accused of shooting her husband on Friday . At the request of 9 th District Attorney General Russell Johnson, TBI Special Agents began investigating the incident, which occurred shortly after 5 p.m. at the family’s home on Morgan County Highway in Sunbright. There, authorities ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Dr. Tydings Is A Winner

One week from tomorrow the most important educator in the future of our community will start work as the new president of Chattanooga State. While I am normally cynical of beard-strokers and foundation-hungry dreamers who have little or no concept of the real world, I am convinced Flora Tydings will become the best thing to happen in our community in years. A grandmother with ... (click for more)

Chattanooga FC Clinches Southeast Division Title

The Chattanooga Football Club clinched the Southeast Division title Saturday night before a crowd of 4,000 plus fans and celebrated with fireworks after the game.  Chattanooga beat visiting Nashville FC 2-0.   Matt Aldred scored the first goal in the 27th minute and Jack Hopkins scored the second goal in the 85th minute.  Chattanooga will host the conference ... (click for more)

TSWA Announces All-State Soccer Teams

 The Tennessee Sports Writers Association recently announced its all-state high school soccer teams. THE TEAMS        TSWA All State Boys’ Soccer teams Class AAA Nathan Djona, Antioch junior forward Avery Cowan, Brentwood senior midfielder Johnny Heckman, Centennial senior midfielder Nick Zalewski, Sr., Cookeville ... (click for more)