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.”



Tommy Barkley, 35, Apprehended By K-9 After Being Issued Animal Cruelty Citation

Tommy Lee Barkley, 35, was apprehended by a K-9 Unit after fleeing his residence where McKamey Animal Services attempted to issue him a citation regarding his mistreated dogs, police said. Officers said they arrived at 2901 Curtis St. on Thursday to assist McKamey Services in issuing the defendant a citation. McKamey Services told officers that they had been threatened by the ... (click for more)

TVA Decides Coal Combustion Residuals More Safely Stored In Place

The Tennessee Valley Authority will move forward with a plan to permanently and safely store coal ash and other coal combustion residuals on TVA property at 10 locations across the service area. The decision released Friday follows a year-long review of the potential environmental impacts detailed in an Environmental Impact Statement, which addressed comments from 10 public ... (click for more)

Olympic Events On The Ocoee River Made History – But It Wasn’t Easy

It started with a simple “what if” question while Atlanta officials were working on a bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.  A group of amateur kayakers from the city began asking themselves: “What if Atlanta’s bid is successful? Then where would the Olympic whitewater canoe and kayak races be held?”  To some of the members of that group, the answer was obvious. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Mr. Siedlecki, Sit Down!

This is a personal thing but one of my pet peeves is the little advertising stickers I sometimes find on the top of the front page of my newspaper. An editor at the newspaper has already determined a bit of news he or she feels I should read. And then the sticker covers it up so I have to peel it off before I can read “All the news that is fit to print.” As I groveled over my ... (click for more)

Lookouts Get Walk-Off Win Over Smokies Thursday, 4-3

With the score tied at three with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, Lookouts outfielder Zack Granite singled home Edgar Corcino to give the team with 4-3 walk-off win over the Smokies.   Tied going into the bottom of the ninth inning, Corcino led off with his second hit of the game. He advanced to second base on a bunt. A Levi Michael single pushed Corcino to third ... (click for more)

TSSAA Sets Future Division I, Division II Classifications

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s Board of Control has released the minutes from Wednesday’s meeting in Hermitage pertaining to football classification period for the 2017-18 and run through 2020-2021 1.  Roll Call 2.  Division I and Division II Classification The Board of Control voted the following for the classification period that ... (click for more)