Tuesday, December 18, 2018
TKC BREAKING NEWS!!! JACKSON COUNTY EXEC PUSHES BACK ON PENSION CRISIS!!!
Right now we make note of Courthouse inside baseball but it's still important given local government implications.
What's the beef?
Longtime political veteran and now reelected Legislator Ron Finely might soon double dip into the pension system. The County Legislature recently passed a provision to allow him to do as much.
But here's the bigger deal . . .
JACKSON COUNTY EXEC FRANK WHITE FIRES OFF AN EXECUTIVE ORDER PUSHING BACK ON THE PENSION DECISION AND CALLING OUT HIS COLLEAGUES!!!
Moreover . . .
HIS STATEMENT SIGNALS MORE FIGHTING WITH THE LEGISLATURE IN 2019!!!
From disputes over COMBAT ANTI-CRIME TAX to every day governance and, of course, the jail crisis . . . The Exec and the Legislature have clashed publicly over the past year. While the Exec didn't gain much of a foothold in the last election. The vote for new Sheriff Forté and Crystal Williams holding on to her job at the behest of the unions will bolster his fortunes given that he was mostly shut out during his 1st term.
Accordingly . . .
Here are newly released links and documents on the topic along with the perspective from the Courthouse honcho with the important text highlighted by TKC . . .
Jackson County Executive Frank White Pension Statement . . .
Recently, a "super-majority" of our County Legislature voted to make changes to the county's pension system. These changes include, most notably, provisions allowing certain county retirees to return to full-time work while simultaneously drawing a pension from the county. To be clear, if I were still a member of the Legislature I would have joined the minority and voted against this change. My vote in opposition would have been based, in large part, upon the unanimous recommendation of the County's Pension Board.
It is concerning when the body that has been created by the County Legislature to manage and protect our pension system votes unanimously in opposition to a proposal, yet six member of the Legislature nevertheless vote to support the change. In addition, at this time we still do not have an estimate of the cost to the pension system to implement such a change. However, similar provisions have been found to cost public pensions millions of dollars annually.
As County Executive, I do not have a vote on the matter and my charter authority to request reconsideration would most certainly have been overridden by the same six legislators that voted for this proposal. While I have chosen not to sign the Ordinance, I have chosen not to go through the disapproval process and instead am offering the support and cooperation of my administration to the legislators that will be seated in less than a month to work together on addressing this issue.
In conclusion, today I have issued Executive Order #18-22. This executive order modifies the county's existing personnel rule by prohibiting certain county retirees from returning to full-time employment within a year of retirement. Without this executive order, certain county employees would be able to retire, start drawing their monthly pension payments and return to work immediately while still receiving their pension payments. While this change will limit potential abuse of the new pension provisions, legislative action will be required to fully address this issue.
Frank White, Jr.
Jackson County Executive
Developing . . .