Council Mulling Pension Options

The conflict between the mayor and City Council over how to handle the municipal pension program continues.

Council is planning to hold an informational hearing Monday on a pension resolution introduced over a year ago by Councilman Bill Green. Green wants the labor committee to hold a series of hearings on the pension plan’s structure and prepare recommendations on how to improve the plan.

Council and the mayor have butted heads recently over the pension, which is severely underfunded and considered a major financial liability for the city.

The mayor wants the city to enter a state pension program that would require it to create a lower-cost retirement plan for new hires. That state authorization would be a powerful bargaining tool for the city in the ongoing to contract negotiations. But to get it, City Council must pass a resolution by the end of the month pledging to create a lower-cost pension plan for new hires.

So far, Council has held back, with many members saying that negotiating pension terms should be done within contract talks. This new move looks like Council trying to take control over the issue in their own way.