Berke Administration Announces Members Of Pension Task Force

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Berke administration on Thursday announced the members of the newly-formed Pension Task Force, charged with finding a consensus to reform the Chattanooga Fire and Police Pension Fund. 

In a letter sent to the City Council, Pension Board, City firefighters and police officers and organizations representing the public safety employees, Travis McDonough, chief of staff and counselor to Mayor Berke, listed the members of the Task Force and thanked the recipients for their input in the formation of the group.

The Task Force includes 18 members. Ten are active or retired firefighters and police officers, including Police Chief Bobby Dodd, Fire Chief Lamar Flint, and two members of the Pension Board. The remaining eight members are community leaders.

The panel includes retired police officer Jim Appleberry, David Brooks of the fire department, Stephanie Crowe of CapitalMark Bank, Fred Decosimo of Decosimo and Company, attorney Kurt Faires, Tripp Farmer, Fraternal Order of Police President Toby Hewitt, Lee Lee of Lee Smith Inc., Phillip McClain of the fire department, retired police officer Ken Neblette, attorney Chantelle Roberson, firefighter union president Jack Thompson, IBPO president Tim Tomisek and Ben Vance of Unum

“I created the task force to have meaningful, productive discussions to build a consensus on how the police and fire pension fund should be reformed,” said Mayor Berke. “Ultimately, we must have a pension plan that does three things - attracts public safety employees and encourages them to have long careers with the city; meets our obligations to our officers and firefighters; and uses taxpayer dollars responsibly so we can fund public safety initiatives today.”

The city of Chattanooga’s contribution to the fund has risen steadily in recent years, he said. In 2006, the city’s contribution was $6.5 million. In 2013, the city’s contribution was $12.3 million. Mayor Berke’s 2014 budget contributes $14.4 million to the pension fund. The fund is underfunded by at least $150 million, he said.

“I look forward to working with members of the Task Force and participating in these important discussions about our Pension Plan and the impact possible changes will have on the Fund and its members,” said Terry Knowles, president of the Chattanooga Fire & Police Pension Fund. “It’s my hope that this Task Force can work together in a collaborative effort and find a shared solution that addresses the City’s concerns while protecting this important retirement benefit for Firefighters, Police Officers and their families.”

The Pension Task Force is slated to hold its first meeting on Sept. 9. All meetings will be open to the public.

 


Corker Urges Administration To Take Time, Not Rush Into Bad Deal With Iran

As the P5+1 nations and Iran attempt to meet a new Tuesday deadline for a nuclear agreement, U.S. Senator Bob Corker, appeared on CBS News’ Face the Nation today and urged the Obama administration to take the time needed and to not rush into a bad deal with Iran. Senator Corker said, “Obviously, [the administration is] very anxious. I think they look at this as a legacy ... (click for more)

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)

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)