By: Diane Benjamin
Oh, I forgot the Pantagraph doesn’t do investigative reporting. Printing ridiculous statements from Tari Renner and David Hales is better? For who? Your bottom line? The story today proves the Pantagraph is the last place to get news!
David Hales claims to have investigated the accelerated payments problem for Sick Leave Buy Back. He claims to have talked to Representatives in Springfield, IMRF, and the Municipal League. If he did, why did it take more than 3 years from when the law changed? Why was the City policy changed in 2012 for all new hires and NOTHING has been done since? Why did it take Emily Bell on the front page of the Chicago Tribune as the WORST offender in the state for this to be an issue?
Unanswered question after unanswered question. Thanks media. Exceptional reporting!
Your story today stated that some long-term employees timed payouts to boost their pensions. I didn’t know employees could tell employers when they want paid! Did Emily Bell conspire behind Hales back with employees just waiting for her turn? The reporter didn’t think that was a valid question? Or, did Hales know and didn’t care how much it cost taxpayers?
Here’s some questions Renner should have been asked:
Even if a change to SLBB was done and 2012 to avoid accelerated payments, and the unions filed a lawsuit, how much would legal fees have been? More than the $1.3 MILLION taxpayers have been billed?
Tari, do you ever listen to your very expensive Springfield lawyer? Did Jeff Jurgens fail to tell you about the email from IMRF last August stating that changing the payment date doesn’t violate the law concerning diminishing pensions: (click to make it bigger)
The real question is: Why did it take more than 3 years and $1.3 MILLION for someone to ask? The City would have continued to throw away money if the Chicago Tribune hadn’t done the story. I wonder what happened at City Hall when they opened that paper with Emily on the front page? Yes they subscribe:
ADMIN Periodicals Chicago Trib Subscriptio $ 142.57 Subscription renewal 9/26/15 – 12/15/15 http://www.cityblm.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=9312
The fix is simple. Springfield doesn’t need to write new laws. Other cities with more competent leaders aren’t forced to shell out taxpayer money so employees can retire with bigger bucks. No grandfathering! Employees are selfish if they think they have a RIGHT to spike pensions at taxpayer expense. Make the change immediate. More have already cashed in. I will continue to FOIA the IMRF for details.
Obviously nobody at the City cared about the taxpayers. Obviously the Pantagraph doesn’t care about the truth. We will see Monday if the Council cares about either. Don’t hold your breath.