July 25, 2012 2:49 pm
Concerned Delray Citizens:
Read the numerous emails and letters below that Boca residents have recently sent to their elected officials voicing their concerns about Boca’s underfunded Police and Firefighters Pension Plan.
Here is the “NEWSFLASH” for Delray citizens! Delray’s Police and Fire Pension Plan (P&F) appears to be in worse financial shape than Boca’s plan! P&F is only 56% funded compared to Boca’s 62%.
Yet, Commissioner (and P&F Trustee) Adam Frankel continues to conceal and/or ignore the enormous problem because Delray citizens are “silent” or “asleep”. If there is a more pressing financial problem in Delray than P&F’s $91.5M in unfunded liabilities, please someone tell me what it is!
Wake up Delray! It is time to let your Commissioners know that action is needed NOW! Where is the “leadership” on this critical issue? Certainly not from Mayor McDuffie. He is busy campaigning for the County Election Supervisor office while P&F has averaged $1.2M in monthly losses in value over the past 4 years (That’s right $57.9M in total!).
Dear Mayor and City Council,
You must be fiscally responsible. These are extremely tough times and you must realize that the firefighters cannot be allowed to double dip with their pensions nor be allowed to have such a large salary or pay increase or pension for the work that they do.
While the work they do is dangerous—this is not New York or other large city–no high rises or many fires–most of their work is responding to accidents. Everyone must tighten up their budgets–if the money is not there then you can’t expect to make the salaries you did before…
Dear Mayor and City Council,
Better to fix it now than to wait for a crisis.
I work in private industry, and nowhere is there a 100% pension/salary replacement for life, with 3% cola’s, and (I assume), paid health insurance.
Benefits like this are unsustainable, unless there are large increases in taxes on the property owners of the city. I for one, feel that our taxes are high enough, considering they haven’t rolled back appreciably on residential properties with the decline of property values.
As I learn more about the compensation and pension plan contracts between the City of Boca Raton and our public service employees, I am have become alarmed at our financial ticking time bomb. The costs are fiscally unsustainable…
There is not a more important issue for you, our elected officials, to address. Through your leadership and courage, I have confidence you can make a major impact that will send Boca Raton into the future as a fiscally secure world class city! Please act now to get this process underway!
Boca Raton taxpayers are beginning to realized that [pension amounts paid to firefighters] must be brought in line with reality. Requiring taxpayers to pay for $100K pensions out of our ever increasing taxes is shameful. Many of us are retired as well and don’t have anything close to these guarantees…
Dear City Council members:
My husband and I agree 100% in your efforts to see a balanced budget for Boca Raton. The government employees need to take a hard look at their benefits and what it costs the city. The firefighters are a prime example of overpayment. We appreciate the job they do, but most of them have other jobs, can retire after 20 years, receive huge pensions and then go on to another career. They need to realize we are in a financial crisis mode in our country and we must ALL remember to try to do what is right in order to bring this country back to the prestigious country it once was.
Everyone must make sacrifices. The Wisconsin re-election of Governor Scott proved this. Thank you taking the time to hear us on this subject.
City Council, Mayor and City Manager,
There appears to be an impending deficit in the city budget due to unfunded growing pension liabilities, as well as increases in fire and other public safety costs leading to decreased funding for libraries, beaches and parks.
Our taxes and increased fees are too high as is, and I do not want a tax increase to pay for these prodigal fire expenses.
Please bring these expenses under control. As an employee in the private sector, I was responsible for my entire pension funding as most other private employees are. It was also necessary for me to fund my own health insurance plan. I did not have taxpayers paying anything towards these costs.
It is time to make changes to these contracts and end these extravagant expenses.
Dear Mayor & Council Members:
Recent emails from Boca Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility brought to my attention some of the fiscal challenges our City is facing as a result of extravagant Firefighter compensation and pensions.
As a recent transplant from San Diego, California, a city that has been nearly bankrupted due to extravagant pensions, I know what it’s like to see city services cut and the impact that it has on the citizens’ overall quality of life. Fortunately for my former neighbors in San Diego, they recently voted by referendum to phase-in a 401K style retirement plan which will eventually phase out the underfunded pension system.
A 401K system with employee matching is the only fair way to resolve this ongoing problem. Don’t allow the outdated pension system to continue at the expense of our beautiful city and its citizens.
Dear Mayor, Council Members and City Staff,
I support the City Council’s efforts to review the Public Safety Pension Sustainability. Recent news reports of USA cities such as Scranton, PA, Stockton, CA and other cities in California point to the urgency to review and take appropriate action on the issues that have placed these municipal governments in a position of declaring bankruptcy. I fully support your efforts to lead this important and fiscally responsible action for the mutual benefit of our fellow residents.
Howard E. McCall, Jr.
I applaud you taking the first step in addressing the pension problem looming for Boca Raton.
What we need now is a plan on how you intend to get this under control.
Looking forward to this plan from you.
Thanks again for taking the first steps in addressing this.
How on earth did the elected representatives of this city condone such an outrageous compensation and pension plan for the firefighters? While we all recognize their importance to the citizens of Boca Raton, their contract is ridiculously out of line.
Get some backbone and fix this problem.
The City must act now to seek a resolution to these problems. Our real estate taxes are some of the highest in the country. You can’t just keep raising our taxes to support overcompensated employees–especially retired ones, who usually retire young enough to start a new career. I am also very concerned about the City’s dwindling operating reserves.
I don’t have the answers, but that’s why we vote you in to office–to resolve issues, to manage our City in a fiscally responsible way, and to do what’s best for the majority of the citizens–not just a few.
Karon H. Kimmel
Many thanks to our fellow citizens who have taken the time to write to City Council. Your civic involvement is much appreciated.
Judith Teller Kaye
Founding members, Boca Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility
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