The Pension Mess

Almost unbelievably the Commissioners appear to be surprised at the depth of the financial crisis caused by the financial mismanagement and indifference of the Commissioners to the hugely growing liability of the pensions. As cited by online Coral Gables Gazette (cggazette.com)

As a percentage of payroll, [it was] reported that Coral Gables’ pension contribution is double that of the state average (23 percent). “We’re not even close,”…

Coral Gables City Manager Pat Salerno cited the pension crisis as rationale for his tough stance in his first go-round of Coral Gables labor negotiations.

“As long as the (city’s) pension cost is where it’s at or anywhere near it, the city will not be in a position to give you wage increases,” a poised Salerno told the police officers assembled in the commission chambers. “Eventually the pension costs are going to undermine the financial pinning of this city. We’re there now.”

Salerno then offered a stark assessment of the city’s current financial state. “We’d like to be give wage increases. I would love to be able to offer residents greater services. Professionally I can’t recommend it. Not when the city is in financial peril.”

Salerno faulted the pension for the budget crisis the city now confronts, calling the system “uncontrolled”.

“People are retiring with pensions in some cases 54 percent more than what they were earning when they were here. Some changes have to be made. That’s the situation we’re in.”

About Stephen E. McGaughey
International consultant in financing development programs and projects

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