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.


Woman In Critical Condition After Being Shot In The Face Near O'Rear Street Identified As Entwadina Phillips, 20

A woman who is in critical condition after she was shot while driving in Chattanooga on Saturday night has been identified as 20-year-old Entwadina Phillips . Just after  9 p.m. , the Chattanooga Police Department responded to reports of a person shot. Once on the scene, police located a female victim near the 2500 block of O'Rear Street suffering from a life-threatening ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here are the latest booking report from Hamilton County: BARRERA, ANTHONY DANIEL  8148 IRISH RD CHATTANOOGA, 37421  Age at Arrest: 23 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga HARASSMENT THEFT OF PROPERTY UNDER 500 --- BERRY, COREY NISSAN  505 ROYAL CREST DR RED BANK, 37343  Age at Arrest: 30 years old Arresting Agency: Red Bank DRIVING ... (click for more)

City Council Travesty

  City Council just voted for a seven-story downtown building in a district zoned for 48' height limit. Setback to the building behind will be 6'. This is to allow the current building owner access to their property to maintain it. What I do not understand is how in the fire district this proposed building is in can a parking deck seven stories tall not have alley access ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Heard About Henley?

Within minutes after a woman posing as “Katie Brown” posted a picture of her dog with its mouth taped shut on Facebook last Friday morning, hundreds of thousands of people became part of a global witch-hunt. Her Facebook page listed her location in South Daytona Beach and Avon, Conn. But police officers at both locations found out her real name is Katharine F. Lemansky and on Monday ... (click for more)

Jones Leads Walker Valley Past Baylor, 67-50

The Baylor Red Raiders played their first basketball game of the season on Tuesday night in the friendly confines of Jimmy Duke Arena, but they came out on the short end of a 67-50 verdict against the Walker Valley Mustangs. With only two days of practice under their belts involving everyone including football players, there are still a bunch of unanswered questions, but on a ... (click for more)

Vol AD Hart Says Bowl Talks Have "Accelerated"

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart, football coach Butch Jones and men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes took part in a press conference on Tuesday. Athletic director Dave Hart, football coach Butch Jones and men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes took part in the question and answer session. Here are the edited highlights involving Hart and Jones. ... (click for more)