Springfield Still Has Those Pension Blues
With a vote looming in two weeks, there are still a number of unresolved issues about the Springfield pension system. How should they construct the citizen board overseeing the pension? Which employees should be moved to the state’s local government pension system, known as LAGERS? Does this suit with horizontal stripes make me look fat?
I certainly agree with the argument that the unions who will receive the pensions should have less of a role on the board than the taxpayers who will by paying for the pensions. To that end, the nine-member board idea sounds much more reasonable than this proposed 11-member board:
O’Neal and Chiles want greater taxpayer protections, with O’Neal arguing that the five members of police, fire and retiree would need only to recruit one of the six citizen members for a majority.
I think public employees will have to accept decreased benefits in the future as America’s fiscal reality sets in. I have sympathy regarding this issue for the uniformed employees who put their lives on the line for us each day. I have less sympathy for the regular government workers, many of whom work hard every day for the public, and some of whom spend every moment from day one on smoke breaks, while counting their time until the rule of 80 sets in. I have a government pension from my time at St. Louis County, but if the county needs to reduce those pensions (small as mine will be) because of fiscal demands in the future, I promise you I will be the absolute last employee to complain about it.
It will be very interesting to see how this vote turns out. The Show-Me Institute has some interesting things to offer on this subject.