Vote No To Pension Cuts For Older Widows And Retirees

Friday, February 21, 2014

To City Councilmembers, 

On Tuesday you will be casting a vote to change our pension. I am a retired captain in the CFD and my COLA will be reduced from 3 percent to 1.5 percent.  I can live with this, but I don't have to like it and I don't like it.   

What I am asking each of you to look at is the COLA reduction for the older widows and the older firefighters and police officers. This is the group of people that the task force dropped the ball on. The changes do increase the minimum widow's pension to $756, but it reduces their COLA from 3 percent to 2 percent. Nothing was done about the older retirees, some making less than $1,300 per month with no Social Security benefits. They are also having their COLA reduced. This group of people are in their later stage of life, mid 70's and older.

I am pleading to you to not vote to take their 3 percent away. They need this in the worse way. Like I said earlier, I can live with my COLA reduction, but this group of people need to have their 3 percent COLA saved. I challenge each of you to try and attempt to live on $756 - $1,300 per month. This group is a small number and should not add a lot to the unfunded liability of the fund. Please show compassion for this group, because the mayor's task force and the Fire and Police Pension Board failed at this, and vote to not reduce their COLA.

Bill Melhorn
CFD Capt. Ret.

Roy Exum: In Just 23 Minutes

When ‘The Atlantic’ magazine came out with its online edition Tuesday, a story appeared about Donald Trump’s new National Security Advisor, Lt. General H.R. McMaster. It was written by a dear friend that the general and I both enjoy. Since the story appeared, it has been referenced in a myriad of other media outlets and its author has done numerous interviews. As I take the liberty ... (click for more)

Mayoral Analysis

Why have I received four very expensive glossy three-panel fold-out flyers in the U.S. mail, seen several expensive spots on television, been deluged by “Berke for Mayor” signs everywhere, experienced a newspaper that is supposed to have two fair views on topics, however only encourages me to vote for the one person for mayor who should have done well enough over the last four years ... (click for more)

City Police Officer Seriously Injured In Crash On Dodson Avenue

A Chattanooga Police officer was seriously injured in a crash on Dodson Avenue on Friday afternoon.   Police said the injuries to Sean Lynch, 38, are not life-threatening.   Police responded to a traffic crash at 1400 Dodson Ave.   The crash involved a silver Ford 350 van,  (Vehicle #1) a white Ford Crown Victoria police cruiser driven by Officer ... (click for more)

Lawsuit Charges That Georgia Law Firm Stole One Of The Woodmore Elementary Cases From Chattanooga Attorneys

A Circuit Court lawsuit charges that one of the Woodmore Elementary bus wreck cases was stolen from a Chattanooga law firm by Georgia attorneys just shortly after the Nov. 21 tragic crash that killed six students and injured others. It is illegal in Tennessee for attorneys to contact victims of a tragedy for 30 days after the incident. The lawsuit brought by Carl Lewis, father ... (click for more)

Amazing Bradley Builds 32-0 Lead, Routs Cookeville 69-35 In Region 3-3A Tournament

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Bradley Central’s top-ranked Bearettes went into Friday’s Region 3-3A quarterfinal basketball game against Cookeville with several thoughts in mind. Sending a message was one of them. Stamp it delivered. The Bearettes, now at 30-0 with the tradition-rich program’s third-longest winning streak in its history, overwhelmed the Lady Cavaliers with a ... (click for more)

Macon County Ends Season For Signal Mountain Girls

The Signal Mountain Lady Eagles entered the first round of the Region 4-AA basketball tournament as the District 7-AA champions and riding high on a seven-game winning streak. The Macon County Tigerettes came to Signal Mountain Friday night for that first-round game on a two-game losing streak and still hurting after finishing fourth in last week’s District 8 gathering. But ... (click for more)