By: Diane Benjamin
Normal’s brand new budget: https://normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/19729/2022-23-Final-Budget
PDF page 122:
How much is on Line Item 19-90? Flip to PDF page 95:
Hey Normal: It isn’t difficult to believe you would spend that kind of money for retirements when you bought 1.69 acres $450,000 to build a new fire station! You have a long history of throwing away money. Don’t forget that area residents were ignored when they wanted the fire station moved across the street.
From the County Assessors office, that property was bought from:
Guess who donated to Chris Koos’ campaign?
Back to Ruffling Feathers:
Doug Fansler again (see previous stories). He asked Pam Reece for an explanation. Pam never says why Line 19-90 was defined at all if it didn’t mean what it said! Maybe the “professional staff” should actually say what they mean instead of claiming they didn’t say it. Condescending? What does your employer offer?
Sure, I’ll shed some light. Your statement is erroneous. We don’t have $266,000 budgeted for retirement gifts. Therefore, the rest of your questions are irrelevant.
It’s a challenge to respond to such a peculiar blog posting by BLN News but this isn’t the first time we’ve had exchanges attempting to clarify blatant misinformation.
If you have an interest in facts and accuracy, then I share the following:
- The Town offers a $500 retirement gift (pre-tax) to any Town employee who retires with at least 10 years of service. Thus, if an employee works for the Town for 15 years and retires, we issue them a $500 retirement gift. Or if an employee works for the Town for 35 years, they, too, would get a $500 retirement gift. We typically budget $5000 for this benefit, predicting 10 retirees per year. Not really a budget-buster but rather it is a small amount to acknowledge their years of service to the citizens of Normal.
- Your reference to $266,000 combines various items in the budget.
- Not related to retirement gifts (ie. $500 gift if you retire with 10 or more years of service), is another expense that we budget for related to retiree insurance. Such expenses are reflected in the budget in various departments/divisions, using a line item that ends in 19-10. Such expenses reflect Council action from April 2007. In 2007, Council authorized the elimination of retiree insurance benefits for employees hired after 2007. In exchange for retiree insurance, the Town matches up to $500 per year into a retirement savings account. As an example: If an employee hired in 2010 contributes $2500 per year for 10 years into their retirement savings account (equaling $25,000), the Town contributes $500 per year as a match (equaling $5000 over the 10 year period), in exchange for the employee not having access to the retiree insurance benefit.
- Further, for Police and Fire Unions, since those covered by the collective bargaining agreement no longer have access to retiree insurance based upon their hire date, the union contract dictates what the Town must do each year regarding exchanging accrued leave and contributing it to eligible employees’ retirement savings plan. Police and Fire union contracts are available on our website so you can look up that information as you choose. To be clear, Council action approves each union contract. Staff administers the collective bargaining agreement.
- The impact of the annual match (up to $500 per year) and the union contract administration for police and fire, is reflected in the budget. All of these items add up to a budgeted expense of $266,000 in the General Fund budget.
You may recall that the Town is unique compared to most municipalities, including Bloomington, in that the Town is generally a non-union employer, with only two unions: Police Benevolent and Protective Association Unit #22 and International Association of Firefighters #2442. As such, all other employees are subject to the Personnel Code (Chapter 18 of the municipal code) and administrative directives.
Since there’s nothing to correct and I’m unaware of what you mean by “general slush fund”, I will consider this matter closed.
Obviously earning $264,309.63 isn’t near enough for the Queen: https://normal.org/DocumentCenter/View/14857/Total-Compensation-Report—Town-of-Normal