Pension Debate Becomes Heated
The lobby at Macon City Hall was the site of a heated argument Tuesday between Mayor Robert Reichert and several members of the Police and Fire Pension Board.
The debate came after legislation making changes to the plan passed the Employee Development and Compensation Committee. The pensioners are worried that the changes open the plan up to possible termination under consolidation
"In the next 16 months they could basically do anything they want to with this, as long as they have the votes to do it. Then on January 1st of 2014 when the new government comes into effect, then that is what would roll over. Its what happens in the next 17 months that will carry forward." -Jimmy Hartley/Pension Member
Because this legislation marks a change to the City's Charter it must be passed at a regular council meeting and not a called meeting and must pass the council on two separate occasions. Mayor Reichert says that should the legislation fail tonight, there's not enough time to bring it before council again before the drop dead date of October. That could result in the pension being in non-compliance with the IRS which means the pension could be taxed.
"That's been one of their tactics from day one was to use the time factor. When in fact the thing was two years late to the IRS somebody in the City Attorney's office dropped the ball and it was supposed to be filed two years before it was even filed. They don't tell you that. All they tell you now is they are running out of time and it is our fault." -Jimmy Hartley/Pension Member
After much discussion before the full council tonight that legislation did fail 6-7 leaving the future of the pension and this discussion unclear.