Saturday, November 13, 2010

Never In Our Career Would We Ever Dream The Words "Struggling Pension Fund" To Describe Our Pension

Jodie Fleischer did a story about our pension and the increase of our contributions looming ahead. At least Jeff Wiggs went on camera. But it just wasn't direct enough.

The story needed to be simplistic and right to the point. For starters, Jodie, in an effort to make our furlough days part of the story, probably unintentional,  made it appear the commissioners were not available for comment because of furlough days. A reminder to everyone reading. The commissioners are not bound to take furlough days, and do not take furlough days. Their pay has not been cut. They still get paid holidays. On more than one occasion the commissioners have adamantly said they are bound by "law" not to take furlough days. Did we miss the commissioners donating the equivalent of a furlough day of wages to a charity? Not!

Jodie should have inserted that while employees are being furloughed, Burrell Ellis gave his staff pay increases as high as 34% per year and gives his staff monthly car allowances. Let's not forget the pay raises handed out by Connie Stokes and bad check writing Sharon Barnes.

The story says our pension contributions are increasing by 4%. She failed to mention that we currently contribute 4% and that is being increased by and additional 4% or a 100% increase. To make it simple: We are paid by-weekly. If you currently contribute $100 a pay day, that's $200 per month or $2400 per year. In 2011, it increases to $200, per pay day, or $400 dollars per month, or $4800 per year. Additionally, our health increase payments are increasing by as much as $100 per month or $1200. per year. In total, that is an overall increase of $6000 per year, or a reduction in pay of $6000 per year. Plug your own numbers in. Did we mentioned we are being furloughed on top of this?

One reason mentioned for the "struggling pension" is the economy. What was not mentioned was the pension board, in their infinite wisdom, loaned the county 43 million dollars for the early retirement program. Least we forget the county is facing a budget deficit of 50 to 80 million dollars in 2011. How are they going to repay the 43 million dollars?

Ms. Fleischer says "DeKalb County seems to be facing one emergency after another". We can't recall any other metro county being described like this, even in these economic times.

Click here for required reading.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Im 10-42, this place can burn down to the ground for all I care. And Im rolling my pension to an IRA before they steal it. Good luck to all trying to ride it out.

Anonymous said...

Fly on the Wall

This is a sinking ship,county whatever you want to call it. We have no future in sight. The words at least you have a job, may end on what day?

We are the worst county in metro Atlanta and continue on a downward spiral.

They want to boost morale with all this hype on getting back to police work.

We are the ones who have to follow everyone else from Recorder Court to Magistrate and all the other departments that support us. Why can't we make some rules, without us they would not have a job.

We are the first ones they call to come help solve their problems.

Our leaders just say it's the best they can do with the current administration.

We have no future only the demise of this police department. We see it every day in the news.

Does anyone think we can survive this current administration?

I love this this police department but I only see it beyond hope.

Good Luck to all in 2011.

Anonymous said...

STRONGLY suggest EVERYONE vested here freeze it and leave ASAP. If you wait any longer you will have NOTHING to show for your years of service. Please think of your families before you lose it all hoping for the best. Get on the lifeboat while you still can.

Anonymous said...

M outta of here ASAP....

Anonymous said...

DeKalb County government has always cared for themselves first. They could care less about the citizens and employess, the roads are beyond help. I am one who took the early retirement, if pension fails, by law the citizens of Dekalb County will be paying my retirement pay. Freeze your pensions people, get out and don't look behind. As long as the commissioners remain in public service nothing will be done.....We need to clean house. But you reap what you sow and its just plain crap that is being sowed.

Anonymous said...

No more long copies and no more pro-actively patrolling your territory! Why would you risk driving when you don't have to? Can you afford a day off for a wreck? Park that unit until you get a call! Don't even think about going over the speed limit. It's not worth it. If they don't want to look out for us, why should we look out for them? Respond only when you are required to.

Anonymous said...

Lets organize as many county employees as we can and show up to a BOC meeting and get noticed and heard.

I hear everyone I talk to tell me that "it wont do any good".

Maybe it won't, but come on people. WHERE IS THE FIRE? Are you's all dead? THIS IS OUR LIFE AND CAREER HERE THAT THEY ARE CONTINUALLY F#*&ING WITH PEOPLE!!! There are too few people here that want to stand up and fight and too many that just wanna sit here silently and take it. Too many we work with must like eating shit and like the way it tastes.

Maybe nothing will come out of showing up to a BOC meeting, but I certainly don't want to go gentle into that good night.

As a former northerner, I can tell you that the CEO and BOC could not have gotten away with 99.99999% of what they have gotten away with so far. There is no wonder as to why they keep doing what they are doing. NO ONE HERE WANTS TO STAND UP TOGETHER AS ONE TO SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Not necessarily saying to unionize but lets at least STAND UP AND BE HEARD FOR ONCE

Go ahead and tell me to go back north.....but there is one fact you cant dispute....There are better wages, better treatment from employers, and better working conditions north of the mason-dixon line for the working class. You know why? The concept of coming together in numbers as one and STANDING UP works.

Even if you plan on leaving folks, Lets grow some balls...If you already got them, start helping your fellow co-workers grow a pair and LETS GET HEARD

Shout out to "m outta here"....me love you long time

-Anon 1118

Anonymous said...

Assuming there will be any tax paying citizens left in Dekalb. If they file bankruptcy they can use pension fund to pay off debt as was the case for Delta years ago.

Anonymous said...

Please anonymous 1-5...get the hell on! If you not trying to fix it and fight for "our" department with "us", then by all means, GO! Don't look back, no further comments needed. Just go! Will the tried and tested real DeKalb Officers please offer some suggestions for those of us who have chosen to stay and retake "our" department. Lets continue to rid ourselves of people who are just looking for a check and/or want to create drama and negativity among us. We know the BOC is full of it and most of our supervision looks out for themselves. If APD and turn their department around, I KNOW we can. Let imposter "officers" leave without delay..for you true guys on the front lines, keep up the good fight and support each other. I'm so tired of hearing these sig 52s scream "I gonna jump"! Then jump dammit! On to the next call..punks!

Anonymous said...

The problem is not so much the $43 million loaned by the pension fund for the buyout. The fund should be (but no one knows) receiving interest and a payback of the principal.

The problem is a combination of the following:
1. Too many employees (excluding the PD) that boost pension and health care costs
2. Too many unnecessary service are provided
3. Employees are not competent
4. Some employees are overpaid
5. The juvenile CEO and BOC members will not cooperate
6. The CEO and BOC both are pretty incompetent.
7. The County is a dumping ground for Sec 8 displacees from Atlanta and other places who want free services that the CEO and BOC will gladly provide in order to get votes.
8. Tax base of South DeKalb has largely disappeared. 14,000 foreclosed homes

Would you recommend to a business or friend to move to DeKalb County?

This County is on a downward spiral. The sooner it declares itself bankrupt and reorganizes the better it will be for all.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jeff has anyone contacted an Attorney that deals with labor law and employee rights, to see if this shit is legal? Just wondering....Or is it like everything else in this country the honest law abiding people have no rights....

Anonymous said...

Pension board, Why the hell did your do this with the $43 MILLION.You can't give the retirees an cost of living increase but you give your bud's on the BOC $43 million from our pension? What the damn hell are you doing? EMPLOYEES>>>KEEP THESE FOOLS OUT OR OUR PENSION !!!

Anonymous said...

One aspect that we can control is to vote everyone off of the pension board and start over. They are supposed to be the ones looking out for us. To the state representatives that vowed to fight DeKalb County corruption please get started. To the newly elected DA, go ahead and start planning your investigations. You will have to go at it without PD investigators thanks to our Public Safety Director. Good Luck to all!

Anonymous said...

Were the public corruption investigations stopped by Wiz ? Did they get too close to someone? The news media needs to look into this too.

Anonymous said...

I am retired and I have been to one Pension Board Meeting - I was surprised by all on the Board. A real bunch of weenies...they did NOT have to do the 43 mil bail out of the retirees. They could have told the County to get bent...but, with a promise of a payback @ 5% - they sold our souls down the river. What is crazy is that the County couldn't see this mess developing. What has happened is that now, our pension is on the same program as Social Security - the County MUST put the burden on the present employees as well as the taxpayers to pay those of us who are currently retired. Previously, the pension was truly well funded even during economically hard times...remember the dot.com crash of the 90's as well as the Savings & Loans scandal of the 80's? Only difference is that our present bunch of bozos are willing to put our pension at risk...the County knew better than to even ask for such outlandish concessions in prior times. I agree with some of the posts regarding the mindset of our voters - looking for something for nothing. Well, folks - you're going to have to pay for my retirement - and, odds are, I'm going to live along time.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:38

Yes and yes.

It's not a well kept secret.

Anonymous said...

I'm on board to go to Commissioners meeting....I agree with a previous poster, we have to unify and come together and speak up for ourselves..right now da public doesn't know specifically how we are getting kicked..a news feed here and there is not informative enough. We all have to go to a meeting. When they see us in numbers the public's eyes will be opened to how we are getting STUMPED on. I know this is far fetched but retirees voices are welcomed too. people we need to get serious!!!! Don't b scared what they gone do fire us. we need to decide on which meeting we will attend. After da first one we will continue to attend them until they give us back what we deserve. There's enough employees to be in big numbers every meeting. Lets do this! The media will jump all over this which will give us da exposure we need.

Anonymous said...

Wow there have been two statements that I’ve have made and were not posted. The censorship on here is disgusting. I know the things I said were not popular and could be offensive to others. But the truth is offensive. I will not post on here again and I will leave this department and believe me, not look back or have any regrets. “M outta here ASAP” Hopefully tomorrow…..

montieth said...

I'm surprised anyone considers a pension a useful and safe place to put your money.

At least a 401K is regulated by SEC regulations. Pensions get run by local governments and they run this stuff into the ground all the time. Look at SF's city government pension fund.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 2:15, I am leaving after sticking it out for over 10 years with this department busting my ass to make a difference. We are not police officers to become rich, because it is not about the money; but, I have to pay bills and raise my children. There is no way that can be done with a salary that never goes up, but the deductions do. I and many other officers have tried, but until the Citizens of Dekalb vote out the theives in Decatur, it will never happen. Be careful who you attack, theres probably a good chance that I trained you, or at least kept your Rookie butt out of trouble.

Anonymous said...

I guess you vested employees are sorry you never stood up to the corruption there now that it's all come crashing down around you and destroying your pension fund and future payouts.

LoFlyer said...

I agree with comments on attending the BOC meetings in large numbers and raising hell about the state of affairs with the county.
Good news, bad news about the pension board. First the bad news is that the retiree board position will not open till January 2012 when the term expires. The employees will elect their two new reps in January 2011. So this will be your chance to elect some new reps to the board. Choose wisely!
I talked with Jenali, the county pension manager. I have found Jenali is professional, courteous, helpful and responsive. He is neutral because that is his job, he does keep up with the blog and understands our concerns.
I have a list of the Board members along with their telephone numbers. No email addresses are available. Due to the size of the list I can't publish it in a single thread. Anyone wishing the list may email me at kencnet@hotmail.com and I'll attach it and send it to you. Or you can call Jenali at 404-371-4991 and he can send it to you directly.
Best of luck, guys!

Anonymous said...

Say it ain't so, Wiz! Did you really cover up some corruption?

Anonymous said...

Wow, I remember years ago when I was a rookie officer for a municipality in DeKalb. We'd see you DeKalb PD guys and be like, look at them! They are so bad-a$$! Alot of us wanted to gain some experience at the city level so we could come over to the County and run with the big dogs. So it's tough to watch the situation the police department and the county is in, I feel for all of you. Hope to see you all back on top and taken care of by the County in the future. Stay safe.
-#!&

Anonymous said...

When are the meetings? Do we go in uniform or civilian clothes...Cause u know they will put pressure on the ones that cause problems...although I think most of us are ready to walk anyway, just waiting until we can get something else set up..I hear Gwinnett has 20 opening for PD, and they have 70 Dekalb PD applying...Go figure...and u know they will take the cream of the crop, because they can...We will be left with the shit birds....Go Dekalb. You have made your beds now sleep in it..

Anonymous said...

We need a more up to date web site. Hasn't even been reported former Chief Graham died today.

Anonymous said...

SWAT callout?

Anonymous said...

Loflyer,

Can you get your hands on a quarterly report?

Anonymous said...

Well, I feel certain LoFlier will be the retiree rep to the pension. He needs to get the word out and put on a good campaign all over the county. The rep position that opens up in 2011 needs to be filled by people who know what the hell is going on. Someone needs to research who will be running. We need to get people on the board who are smart, will stand up to political bull shit,have an attitude that protects our pension and reports back to the employees. Oh yea...find out what the deal is with the $43 million because no one else will tell us the facts. and another oh yea, keep these Greedy stupid ass politicians away from the pension. I saw the info about all the different money managers that the pension has. Good question..why are there so many of them and those seem like hefty fees being paid out to them. Are they worth it? Who picks them? Any connections betwen the advisors and the board or the BOC?
Does anyone in the government get a better pension deal than the regular Joe in sanitation, PD or anywhere else? Just asking because nothing would supprise me.

Anonymous said...

Maybe on the next SWAT call out all the swat bubba's should respond in the same manner that Decatur has responded to our calls for help...Hmmmm that would be news worthy now wouldn't it? Drastic times call for drastic measures...It coming Decatur we are tired of being pushed around and are getting ready to push back.

Anonymous said...

I have friend that works with Gwinnett Police recruiting, as of yesterday there were 96 Dekalb officers that have applied.
NIce real Nice!!!

Anonymous said...

http://www.co.dekalb.ga.us/dctv/video.htm

BOC meetings are difficult to attend as most are working, but you can watch live, preview agendas, watch on cable, or watch later in addition to attending in person if you can.

Info at above site.

Anonymous said...

I'm outta here as soon as I get hired on. This cesspool of a county can sink like New Orleans.
There's no hope to change it. Just leave while you can.

Anonymous said...

http://www.ajc.com/news/dekalb/dekalb-commissioners-reluctant-to-743850.html

To me the most important line in this article is this:
"Despite commissioners receiving dozens of complaints from workers, no one spoke at a public hearing Tuesday. The commission will hold another public hearing on Dec. 7 and vote on the increases Dec. 14."

Dec 7 sounds like a good opportunity to make voices heard and offer any ideas on how to fix this!

Anonymous said...

So was it 12.5 million or 41 million our pension loaned the County?

Anonymous said...

Like someone else said...is it 12.5 million or what??

None of us will know until we all see a financial statement.

We never should have dropped to half a percent in 1997. If we had been at 5% this whole time we wouldn't be in this position now.

Anonymous said...

Gwinnett's looking at a 47 million defecit next year too and they already raised taxes for this year. Just sayin.

Anonymous said...

"We never should have dropped to half a percent in 1997. If we had been at 5% this whole time we wouldn't be in this position now"

I believe this. We need smart people running the pension fund. Who are they? It sure as hell ain't the BOC and Im having doubts about the pension board too.