City Pension Double Standard - And Response

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Re: Chattanooga City Council OKs pension plan amendment 8-26-14

The Chattanooga City Council voted Tuesday to keep future retirees who are re-employed by the city from dipping into their current retirement while contributing to a new city pension.

But first council members gave an exemption to two of their colleagues and one other city employee.

Councilman Moses Freeman said this was a fair solution because his colleagues are all contributing to a new pension plan and it’s a promise the city has already made to him and Councilman Yusuf Hakeem.

“That was not the time to say you couldn’t (draw from your pension). The way you do it is what they did now, it’s for anyone in the future,” Freeman said. “It’s fair and it’s appropriate. It’s moral. It’s legal and it’s ethical.”

But yet, Fire/Police pension reform to our cost of living adjustments was also promised, I requote "That was not the time to say you couldn’t. The way you do it is what they did now, it’s for anyone in the future.”

Double standard?

James Appugliese, Retired CPD

* * *

Earlier this year, the City Council voted unanimously to cut pension benefits for all retired firefighters and police officers starting in January of 2015. The City Council voted unanimously yesterday to not allow council double dipping in the city general pension fund, except Councilman Freeman and Councilman Hakeem. They will be allowed to still double dip. Below is a statement Councilman Freeman made.

"Councilman Moses Freeman said this was a fair solution because his colleagues are all contributing to a new pension plan and it’s a promise the city has already made to him and Councilman Yusuf Hakeem."

“That was not the time to say you couldn’t (draw from your pension). The way you do it is what they did now, it’s for anyone in the future,” Freeman said. “It’s fair and it’s appropriate. It’s moral. It’s legal and it’s ethical.”

My question to all of the City Council, especially Mr. Freeman, is the following:

When you and all of the other members of the City Council voted to take away benefits from fire and police retiree's, was that fair and appropriate to the fire and police retirees?  Was it ethical to the fire and police retirees? Was it moral to the fire and police retirees? Was it legal what you did to the fire and police retirees?

The answer to all of these questions is No. But it seems to be yes for Mr. Freeman and Mr. Hakeem. We also were promised our benefits for our service to the city just as Mr. Freeman stated above. I worked 28 years for the Chattanooga Fire Department and have been retired almost six years, yet they voted to reduce my benefits and all other retired fire and police members. This decision was nothing but politics at its best.

The good ole buddy system is alive and well in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Bill Melhorn


Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. There is no word limit, but if your article is too long you may lose your reader. Please focus more on issues than personal attacks. (click for more)

Why To Vote Yes On Amendment One

I am still troubled about an editorial of several weeks ago on how women should not have to have government tell them what they can and can’t do with their own bodies.  Today I saw the advertisement being shown in Chattanooga.  There are so many untruths in it that I can’t just sit by and do nothing.   The editor was misinformed about what the Amendment One actually ... (click for more)

Mayor Berke, Chattanooga Police Department, And Community Members Reach Out To Group Members To End Violence

The city of Chattanooga held a call-in on Thursday night, as part of the Violence Reduction Initiative. Dozens of law enforcement officials, community members, social service providers and clergy gathered to deliver a message to over 20 members of violent groups in Chattanooga. Family members of the probationers watched the call-in from another building. Although the call-in was ... (click for more)

Man Airlifted To Erlanger After Early Morning Crash In Bradley County

Bradley County EMS responded to an early morning crash Thursday at 7 a.m. at the intersection of Lauderdale Memorial Highway and Walker Valley Road in Charleston. Three ambulances and an EMS supervisor responded to the scene. There were three vehicles involved and one car left the roadway.   One adult man suffered serious injuries and it was determined that he needed ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Claims Region 4A/AA Soccer Title

Junior Sofia Olenchek scored twice, including the winning goal in the second overtime (95th minute) period as host Notre Dame defeated crosstown rival Chattanooga Christian 2-1, for the Region 4 A-AA championship Thursday night. In a well-played, physical match, CCS led at halftime, 1-0,  after senior Hannah Henry scored in the 14th minute, but Olenchek's first goal ... (click for more)

Baylor Beats Briarcrest For Shot At Father Ryan, DII-AA State Volleyball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – OK, Father Ryan.  Baylor’s still hanging around. The Lady Red Raiders stormed past Briarcrest, 3-1, Thursday in the loser’s bracket final at Siegel Middle School and advanced to Friday’s Division II-AA volleyball tournament championship match. The set scores were 26-24, 25-15, 24-26, 25-15. The Lady Red Raiders lost to Father Ryan, ... (click for more)