By: Diane Benjamin
Tari Renner’s claims to now be protecting the taxpayers of Bloomington in the Metro Zone flap are a joke.
Besides the fact that 5 Aldermen put Metro Zone on the agenda, not Renner – what happened to the letters Tari received at Rosie’s from citizens about their health insurance costs? We know City employees have Gold Plated Benefits, but that discussion has disappeared! Aldermen Fruin asked for an investigation last September! https://blnnews.com/2016/09/30/tari-did-city-hall-move/
Now Tari has no excuse for not putting an ordinance on the agenda to ban Pension Spiking!
Last November I did a story about the City claiming they were waiting for the outcome of a lawsuit filed in Springfield: https://blnnews.com/2016/11/29/nothing-better-than-lies/. Pension spiking could have been banned in 2012 when the City found out it was going to cost them BIG. To date the cost is around $1.6 million and Bloomington is the laughing-stock of the state after Emily Bell retired from HR, spiked her pension, and cost the taxpayers $360,031.11!
Keep in mind we didn’t know about this cost because WIRE TRANSFERS has been left off Bills and Payroll for around 2 1/2 years! https://blnnews.com/2015/09/10/mondays-agenda-approve-wire-transfers/
The lawsuit the City used to justify NOT changing the policy was filed in 2015. On March 3, 2017 the Appeals Court ruled the City of Springfield:
“. . .could constitutionally terminate a city rule which had allowed workers to boost their pensions by essentially cashing in unused vacation time a few months before retirement, taking an “end-run” around state rules designed to prevent the practice.”
If the City of Bloomington had banned spiking at any time since 2012, it wouldn’t have cost taxpayers $1.6 million. I’m sure more employees are gearing up to spike their own pensions. A change to the ordinance needs to be on the agenda ASAP.
March 13th is the next date possible.
If ending Pension Spiking from any source isn’t on that agenda, Renner doesn’t care about taxpayers!
This abuse is easy to stop. It always has been easy – just Renner and Hales didn’t care enough to do it.