Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Call To Arms, Burrell Ellis Is Gunning For Our Pension Fund

To our fellow officers,

This is probably the most serious attack on our benefits in the history of Dekalb County. The commission, particularly Burrell Ellis, is gunning for our pension in an attempt to destroy it by using our pension as a cash bonanza.

This goes beyond furlough days, unpaid holidays and being forced to work for no pay. This is our very livelihood once we retire. This is the livelihood of all current retirees. Burrell Ellis is posed to make a direct attack on our pension, thus a direct attack on us, public safety employees and the general public.

Burrell Ellis could care less about the safety of the DeKalb County citizenry. He has a problem grasping the concept that public safety takes loyal, dedicated and commented employees. Ellis fails to understand, or simply doesn't care, that people who are welling to dedicate 30 years of their lives, and sometimes their very life itself to the citizens of DeKalb County, should to be rewarded.

We all knew coming into this profession we would not get rich. We are public servants by choice. The reduction of pay, the increase in health insurance premiums and furlough days make our lives harder. But we do our job as a calling, we are centurions. But we are not fools.

It is our hope, at the end of our career, there will be a decent pension waiting for us and our family for the sacrifices we make. Now, Burrell Ellis wants to take that all away. He will never come out and say it, but these latest actions show his covert attempts to take our pension away from us. Our pension, not his.

We have a poor track record of being united. Burrell Ellis and the commissioners count on us to turn a blind eye to the intricacies of our pension. We simply cannot afford not to become involved and united. We must become more active.

All we have now as far as being organized is the Frateranal Order of Police, Lodge 10. It is time the F.O.P. steps up to the plate on this. Granted, membership is low, and the executive board including president Jeff Wiggs don't get too excited carrying the burden for all the non-members.

Our pension is so important, it's time for all of us to join the F.O.P. Once we are members, we can make demands to take the fight to Burrell Ellis and the commissioners. If the current F.O.P. execute board and president refuses to take on this battle, then with enough members, we put in place the people who will.

This is a defining moment for all of us and the F.O.P. We call on Jeff Wiggs to address this issue. We offer the blog as a platform to get the message out.

"I talked with Robbie Robertson today on various issues, let me give you the bad news first.Pension funding is down to the mid-sixties from the mid seventies of last year due to the financial market.

The pension board expects a new and vastly degraded pension plan for the new employees to be rolled out shortly by the commissioners.The employees have got to admit that the pre-2005 pension plan is unsustainable under current market conditions.

The pension board is extremely concerned that the commissioners will take action against the pre-2005 pension plan for the active employees. Robbie stressed that the active employees will have to take active measures against the attempt by the commissioners to deprive them of their legally defined pension benefits.
On the positive side.

The pension board is satisfied with pension board election results and working to train the new members. It will take approximately two years to bring the new members up to speed.

My opinionated opinion on the pension board:

This is not the same pension board as seen over the last decade. Many of the members still remain but they are not lying down and taking the same shit that they did previously under the Jones administration. The latest minutes reveal that there was sustained and effective resistance against the attempt to subvert the pension board with the addition of Gottlieb and Ransom as voting members.

Make no mistake, Gottlieb and Ransom do not work for DeKalb retirees and employees. They work for the commissioners and CEO and will screw DeKalb employees at the slightest whim of the DeKalb CEO and commissioners.

The DeKalb pension board stood tough against Ransom and Gottlieb, the CEO and commissioners. DeKalb employees will have to follow through in the next year with active support as the CEO and Commissioners attempt to legally remove employee pension benefits. The pension board can not do this alone. They need the active employees help and support on this issues.

The pension board is doing their best to retain your pension benefits. The BOC is intent upon destroying them.

You make the decision as to who to support in this fight.
Best of luck, guys and gals!"

KenC

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

The problem is that 30 years is too long. Retirement should be 20 years. Most law enforcement departments retire their Officers after 20 years. By doing this you can hire two Officers for the price of one. Most of the criminals are under the age of 30. How effective is a 50 or 60 year old Officer going to be on the streets. I say give the remaining employees under the old retirement plan an option out now and then revamp the system making it a 20 year retirement. This is the common practice for almost all law enforcement.

Anonymous said...

This blog is a joke! It is funny how when Vernon was here you all could not wait to be rid of him and thought that Burrell Ellis really cared about us. Well news flash..he never has nor will he ever care about the rank and file employees. It is all about cronyism. He put his buddy Wiz as Public Safety Director and he in turn promoted his friends and O'Brien did the same. Burrell will get re-elected and continue to fleece DeKalb county and use it as his springboard to Washington, DC. He suckered most of you into believing that he cared. Wow!

Anonymous said...

"KEEP THESE IDIOTS AWAY FROM OUR PENSION"> EVER HEAR THIS BEFORE?

You apathetic yoyo's are what the BOC is counting on for them to get into our pension. I think that the current and past employees have no one between the BOC and the employees to protect the pension.

Anonymous said...

post info regarding the FOP, how to join and cost, contact numbers.
EVERYONE needs to pay attention to this.
all of is could be working or have worked for nothing if we let this slide by.
1086

Anonymous said...

It doessn't seem like all the fees we pay to all those different money managers are doing much for the pension.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there more than one organization representing the employees?? I think the problem, unfortunately, has been the racial divide that is so evident in this county. People seem to think that sins of the past i.e. the "Good 'ol Boy" system is still enough of a reason to stay separate.

The thing is, we're past that. WAY past that. Now we're ALL dealing with corruption from the top... Been dealing with it for years. Unless we put our racial differences aside for now and unify against a common enemy, we'll all lose. Regardless of our race, good officers who have sacrificed for the citizens of Dekalb will continue to be raped by the Commissioner and the BOC.
Wake up people and prioritize your fight!
my husband was a member of the FOP long ago, but left when it became obvious that the division among the emplyees was making the organization ineffective. He would join again, and encourage others to do so, if it seemed like the race issue among officers was put on the back burner in light of BIGGER problems- namely, all of our futures.

DeKalb Officers said...

F.O.P. web page and info is in the left hand column. Just click on it to be redirected.

LoFlyer said...

Damn! How did I end up here?
I had some great teachers, managers, consultants and employees who were unafraid to think outside the box, deliver outstanding customer service, and when the chips were down, they worked through issues to deliver the goods. I am indebted to them for their guidance.
I am one of the few employees that left DeKalb government understanding that I made a valuable contribution to DeKalb citizens and the employees.
The DeKalb INET data network was not a fluke. It took vision, dedication, and intrepidity under adversity to make it all happen.
Most employees are not my position. They perform their jobs satisfactory, but the job description is just another cog in the wheel of DeKalb government.
The reason I am in this fight is for the employees.
You do your jobs and deserve better salaries or benefits.
There is a huge disconnect between political leadership, political staff and the employees .
Political leadership and staff are overpaid and unaccountable for there actions.
DeKalb employees are underpaid and get burned when they screw up.
When was the last time an employee saw a DeKalb commissioner or the CEO touring their department?
DeKalb government is fracked up.
I am trying to fix it. Its not easy, but I wll get over it.
Best of luck guys and gals!
KenC

Anonymous said...

Retirement 20 years..? That won't fly..our pension is for all county workers not just PD, SO and Fire Dept. Public Safety may be considered for a 20 year retirement but no one else would. I think the jurisdictions with the 20yr retirement are places like NYPD, who have their own pension apart from other public employees. I bet the BOC is chomping at the bit to get at our pension for their urban renewal give away crap. DON"T EVER LET ANY MORE BOC PEOPLE IN ON VOTING ON THE PENSION BOARD> The pension board should raise holy hell if they try to do this.If they don't it will be proof positive that they are not on the side of the employees.

Anonymous said...

The warnings have been loud and clear. If you are vested you should IMMEDIATELY freeze your pension and flee this sinking ship. You will have no one to blame but yourself if you don't. Having said that, I would check then double check the facts here as this will get someone killed.

Jerry Myer Jackson Jr. said...

This BLOG should be used to coordinate your moves against the DeKalb CEO and DEKalb BOC if it is they who are the problem.

I have watched the Elected officials of DeKalb County balance the books after all they can steal or misappropiate on the backs of the DeKalb Police And Fire Services for atleast ten years.

We currently have some Elected Officials in DeKalb that wish to be viewed as City Builders. I view them as County Destroyers.

And don't blame everything on the voters of Districts 3, 4 and 5 when Liz Carter and the DeKalb Tea Party of Republicans ain't said crap about this County's slide into the toilet either.

AND WHO IN THE HELL HAVE WE HAD TO VOTE FOR IN THIS GODFORSAKEN COUNTY ??? My God at the choices.

Your fav commissioner Sharon Barnes-Sutton defeated one of the few decent and kind and honest candidates Viola Davis. Sutton sent out five rounds of mass mailings, Viola could not compete with that.

And Jeff Wiggs needs your help at the DeKalb BOC meetings. Citizens ask me all the time where you guys are at. You got to fill up the Auditorium with all the Police, Fire, Sheriffs ect to over flowing or you will get nothing and continue to be the punching bag of The CEO and BOC.

We all know you deserve better but you have to Show Up and Stand Up for Your Rights !

Anonymous said...

Mr. Jackson is right. You can talk
to this blog forever and nothing
will get done.The 911 people showed up. As Police Officers and
Fire Fighters each of you lay your
life on the line each day. That
takes guts.
Take 2 to 3 hours leave time and
make an appearance at a Board
Meeting. Let your union rep do
the talking.
Let them see a sea of blue and
let them see you are "together".

If they used park funds to pay bills your pension fund is next.

Anonymous said...

Does Burrell Ellis have my damn insurance cards? You got my money for the insurance.

Anonymous said...

Cobb County seated a Special Grand Jury to see what could be done about high turnover rates in the police department and how to get them a long deserved raise. What does Dekalb do?? They seat Special Grand juries to appease the families of lowlife thugs who were killed by police.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to actually see a pension statement. We haven't seen a pension statement in almost a year. I want to see the actual number. I think they are all full of it. Someone is hiding the information from us.

SHOW US THE PENSION STATEMENTS!!!

Anonymous said...

maybe you bums could contact occupy atlanta

Lone Ranger said...

Oh what a tangled web we weave....a lack of actively being involved in the betterment of your own future has lead us to this point.

I've stressed on numerous occasions that the dumb masses of officers in this department are no different than the rest of the county employees...sit back and wait on someone else to do the fighting for them. Or rather sit back and let the BOC put the screw to you...

You guys are seriously pathetic...I told you that sitting on your asses was going to get you no where and that the only way to protect yourself was to get actively involved...well guess what...

It ain't gonna happen ...you idiots find ever freakin excuse in the world to avoid going to the BOC meetings...oh well I don't have daycare, oh well I have an extra job, oh well I have this, or Oh well I have that to do....

MAN THE FREAK up PEOPLE!!!!!

Stop bitching on this blog and get INVOLVED!!!!

Yo, Tonto wait up .....don't go scalping without me...

Anonymous said...

Gosh Ranger you always show up JUST IN TIME to point fingers and say "I told you so." If only you had been brave enough to remove that mask and lead us to victory. But as you pointed out, all we are good for (including yourself) is bitching on here.

Anonymous said...

You want to see a pension statement? Get used to it my man.....we are the most uninformened pension participants in the entire world. It's the Dekalb way...keep 'em in the dark and feed dem mushrooms crap.The only reason we get any information at all is because the pension board was shamed into it by this blog.

Lone Ranger said...

There's no magical silver bullet gonna save us. We have to do this unified as a solid profound group, a large mass. Unity and strength in numbers baby....but just so the haters understand, I've been there every month...every month I remind you and yes it's been lonely, but I got Tonto back with me and it's time to form a POSSE...

We need strong leadership but just so you guys & gals understand....this is every bit your fight as it is the lowest man in sanitation, or the lowest man from the oil rack. It's a fight for all of us that call Dekalb County our employer.

I will step up and ride my steed on this charge, but you asses have got to show that you mean business and get you butts in front of this BOC....don't just bring yourself but bring your families as well...This goes much deeper than just with you, it affects your entire family as well...

Once again, I'm calling you out. You can either bitch on this blog and waste time or we can unite and take it straight to the heart of the beast that keeps it's boot on our backs...

What's it gonna be ....?

I'm sure there is going to be some smart ass that has a problem with this but it's expected.

..and just so you know when you decide to crawl out from under that rock you're hiding under, then I'll pull off the mask...how's that for ya cupcake.

Anonymous said...

Your information is in the Kaiser system and your cards will arrive at your home within 7 to 10 business days. I know this is frustrating but there have been major issues with the file going through on our end to Kaiser’s system so that is why there is a delay. You will show in the system by tomorrow.

Have a nice evening.

Benefits Specialist

DeKalb County Government

What the??? You've have the paperwork for 3 months. And you wonder why I have Dekalb County. Its run by a bunch of stupidity.

Fly on the Wall said...

I'm starting to think this department has reach the end. We cannot sustain recruiting the best candidates to come to this department.
We have no reason for employment. There is no future in this department to compete against smaller departments in benefits and salary.
We will get what we can afford in new employees. So this will be the end of what was a great police department. it's a sad moment in this department's history.
In the coming years someone will regret what has taken place in this county. We were the best at one time and now, you can answer this question.

Anonymous said...

Blame them not us.......

Anonymous said...

I will say it again as I have said this before many times....You current employees of this screwed up county need to ban together, get off you lazy asses, and form a group and take the entire commission to court. You are not going to make any headway by complaining to one another or complaining on this blog.

You have this golden opportunity to do something, and so far nothing has been done. I know the process of going to court as a class action suit holds a lot of weight, and even though the commissioners don't mind spending taxpayer money on stupid things, they will spend money on legal counsel in a court fight. I have been involved in two lawsuits against my former employer and have always prevailed. The reason why was class action. Class action carries a lot of weight.

Just because the HR and the commission do these stupid, unethical moves against your worktime, offtime, and benefits doesn't mean that its legal. Chances are, it isn't.

So quit complaining and look in the yellow pages as there are quite a number of excellent labor law attorneys out there with proven track records. It is going to take time to resolve this ugkly mess, but when the county is taught a lesson, once and for all, they will be very careful as to what they will try in the future. Its not going to be easy, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Anonymous said...

Time for a little history lesson for those who were not there and may not know:
I became a Dekalb Police Officer in the late 1980's and I remember how it used to be when the county commissioners AND the majority of the citizens supported a well funded, highly trained, police department. Well the face of DeKalb changed. Not just the racial makup, but the socio-economic makup of the county changed. The mindset of the residents changed. A "victim" mentality took over, as it did in large parts of America. DeKalb began a slide at the time of the rodney king beatings. I was there and I remember. It was ugly on the streets back then and you had to be tough, and we were.
After that the PD began issuing MACE and then OC Spray, neither of which did any good. Then we were issued Federal 9mm 115 grain HP bullets instead of Winchester silvertips I think because somebody got a kickback. Say thank you to Liane Levetan for that!
Shortly thereafter DKPD was offered brand new Glock 40 cal handguns with nightsights which would have been vastly superior to the Beretta 9mm which were getting pretty worn by that time. But alas, the offer of FREE updated handguns was TURNED DOWN, I asume because someone DID NOT GET A KICKBACK - or - "40 caliber is a racist round" was heard in Decatur. Either way, the safety of the officer on the street took a BACK SEAT to politcal correctness at that time! Say thank you to vernon jones for that one! Instead of BTA and officer survival it was "verbal Judo" and "community policing". At that point all us hard core street officers knew the die had been cast and we no longer were going to be able to do our jobs as effectively as we once were able too. An obviously crooked sherrif was elected in DeKalb BUT, no matter how loud we cried for a state and federal investigation, none appeared. It was a lot like the crooked sherrif elected in clayton county a few years ago. NOW, years later he is indicted for numerous counts of corruption. A fine DeKalb Police Officer took up the mantle and decided to do something about the nightmare of crime enveloping the county. Derwin Brown ran against, and defeated the seated crooked sherrif. However, before he could be sworn in, he was assasinated in front his family in the front yard of his home by thugs employed as Dekalb Deputies under the crooked sherrif. This really showed anyone who even cared to look the true extent how far the county had slipped into the hands of elected criminals.
and then theres more to come....

Anonymous said...

During this time, vernon jones was in full power and was busy putting his brand of criminals in place within the department. A screwup of an MPO named Don Frank was catupulted up the ranks and finally ended up a precinct commander....a major. What a nightmare they created. Officers who were caught in flagrant violation of the rules...and state and federal laws...were given a slap on the wrist (if that much)......then promoted. At the pinicle of this nightmare takeover by the criminal element, Chief Moody resigned after defying vernon jones about the problems he (jones) was creating in the department by making these obvious politcal appointments. Moody wouldnt play that game and a lot of us still respect the man for that. He retired under pressure from vernon jones.
That led to a new chief...louis graham. He was a willing lap dog for the politics of vernon jones until he finally left. Then came TeBo, a real screwup and the obvious bottom of the barrel choice for chief of police of a 900 officer metropolitan department. At this point we thought the department had bottomed out in both morale and support from the politicians in Decatur. We thought that if we could get one of our own, Bill O'Brian to be chief, maybe things would turn around. Maybe if Burel Ellis became the CEO he might make changes that would bring the department back.
Obviously we were WRONG! Now not only do they not support the department in any way, they actively look for ways to destroy it. How long can any department stand up to the BS that DKPD has? How long can any officer risk his life and future by staying where he/she is not wanted? How long can any vested employee of Dekalb county stand by and watch the future they had planned for themselves and thier families blatantly stolen from them by thieves with politcal ambition?
And lastly, when will any one of you answer the old sergeant's question..."how do you take the #2 police department and 2nd wealthest county in the eastern half of the United States and turn it into what Dekalb has become a short span of 20 years? What caused this to happen?"
Personally I think its a social experiment gone horribly wrong.
The Crusty Old RETIRED Sgt

Anonymous said...

I honestly feel that we did our best to make the county and the PD look good. We tried very hard to solve crimes and prevent them.We worked for a substandard salary for the promise of a decent pension when we retired. The politicians ruined the morale, probably beyond recovery and their interference in the operations of the PD was disasterous. Too bad. We Feel bad about our poor old PD these days and for the last ten years. We should all turn to prayer because the politicians don't have a clue.

LoFlyer said...

Fly on the wall. Well said!
Up until Vernon got elected the county was stumbling along. The bozo's in charge of the county then realized they could get big expensive bond issues passed that they wanted by deliberately scheduling special elections for the bond issues ensuring only the bond supporters would show up to vote because the citizens opposing the bond plans would not waste their time voting on a single issue special election. DeKalb leaders effectively disenfranchised the voters with these special elections for the bonds. Special elections are supposed to be only used for special events like the death or resignation of a elected official not misused as a vehicle to disenfranchise the voters and ensure politicians pet projects will be voted in.
When the three big bond issue projects were initiated the money had to come from somewhere to pay for the bonds, the elected officials loathed to raise taxes on the citizens to pay for their pet projects and looked to the employees to pay for it.
Pension funding was reduced, benefits and pension plan degraded, Vernon and Joe Stone concocted the no “pay for performance plan”.
This was the beginning of the great schism that divides the rank n' file employees and the politicians and their political staff.
The employees began noticing while their yearly raise dropped to two percent max, political staff was still receiving full five percent a year salary raises. The CEO and commissioners snagged themselves whopping raises of 50 and 100 percent respectively, offered secret contracts with the political staff resulting in such perks as 500 dollar a month "transportation allowances". DeKalb politicians got themselves spiffy new offices while employees at the Claudia Lawson building or the South Sanitation lot had been working under tarps for years because the commissioners refused to fund roof repairs for the employees but somehow came up with cash to renovate their own office spaces with luxurious appointments.
Over the last decade and a half the CEO and commissioners managed to destroy the sense of shared responsibly between the employes, the political staff and politicians.
DeKalb county now has two virtually separate employee organizations, the rank n' file employees with low salaries and poor work environments, and the highly paid political staff and politicians living it up like kings in their luxury office spaces.
Somewhere along the line the commissioners quit touring the county departments and talking to the employees. I suspect this was because loud mouth employees (like me) knew what was going on and would ask the tough questions that the politicians cannot answer. Their is also the basic problem that CEO and BOC collectively mistrust and think the employees underperform at their jobs. As the politicians refuse to tour or discuss the issues with the county employees they have transformed themselves into "absentee bosses" that are totally out of touch with the reality of the issues facing DeKalb government employees.
DeKalb used to be a government that all the employees could be proud of. Nowadays the employees are ashamed of their jobs and the political leaders that have lead them from best in class to worst place.
Until the politicians get out of their fantasy-land of luxurious offices and start communicating to the employees in good faith, listening to the employees concerns and acting upon them. DeKalb government will remain the last resort of employment for quality employees.
Best of luck, guys and gals!
KenC

Lone Ranger said...

Hey, to LoFlyer, Fly on the wall, & Old Sgt....

DITTO!!!!!

You guys hit the ball out of the park. It's too bad that the this place is made up of a bunch of candy asses...My identity will surprise alot of people but ...and it's a huge BUT...

The unfortunate thing is I truly don't believe the officer's, fire fighters, or the many other stepped on county employees have the heart in them to stand and fight. To rise up and make their voices heard....but rather sit back and ride that wave to the beach and then lay in the sand...

Anonymous said...

The problem with most of you on this board is that you don't live in the county so you can't do anything but throw a rock and hide your hand.

You wanna make a difference, get in the game. Until you do that, you're peeing in the wind.

Anonymous said...

It is obvious that the Police and others are apalled at the
treatment the County gives its
employees. Pass the hat and visit
Lee Parks. He is the best Labor
lawyer in the area. He wont take
a case unless he feels he can
win.
Otherwise you all need to
stop complaining.
Good Luck...

Anonymous said...

http://www.championnewspaper.com/news/articles/1328e911-operators-say-they-feel-underpaid-under-appreciated-1328.html

Will you all in public safety please get together and present a strong, united front to the commissioners and the public.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion the criminals infesting DeKalb politics will remain until thier source of income is gone and they move on. Its a lot like roaches and rats...once their food source is gone, they feed on themselves until there is nothing left but dried bones, then they move on. Folks, all the money and tax making business' left DeKalb and WE have become the food source for the roaches and rats in Decatur. You have to understand these criminal minded politicians think very highly of themselves and all think we are basically "unworthy" of thier consideration. All of them have political motivation or they would not be there in the first place. They all want to move on to bigger and more lucarative places where they can plunder even more and feed thier massive ego's.....like Washington DC. To them we are just "worker bee's and chickens to be used as they see fit. They could care less about the law or any rules and are relentless in thier pursuit to destroy whatever and whomever get in thier way. VJ gobbled up and swallowed this whole county and it still wasnt enough, so he tried to go to DC and feed some more up there. Prayer might help BUT until the residents of DeKalb wake up and decide they would rather NOT be represented by criminals, regardless of thier race, then it will only get worse.
Also, somebody needs to answer that old crusty sergeant's question. He probably has a better insight than most of us can have.

Anonymous said...

I will tell you exactly what happened, its called affirmative action, and racially motivated promotions, elections based on color

Anonymous said...

YO Loflyer Ken C,

Is DeKalb's pension federally backed? If it isn't folks and it goes tango uniform, then guess what?....Say bye bye to the pension you worked so hard for

-anon 1118

Anonymous said...

Tp Anon 12:06 PM......
Your eyes are open!

As I have said before, DeKalb County was sacrificed at the alter of political correctness. Until the voters realize the pure folly of this type of ideology, then it will only get worse.

Anonymous said...

Which is why I just cashed mine out and reinvested in a solid IRA with my new agency.

LoFlyer said...

Anon 1118 I don't know the answer for that one. You are going to have to ask the pension representative for that one. Robbie Robertson would probally know but I am on the road right now and do not have hia number handy.
My family has a medical emrgency and I am helping out with moral support. There is a slight risk with procedure and my family hanging tight. As being the only retiree among the kids I will spend most of my time helping out for the next several weeks.
KenC

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