Time Running Out For City Pension Fund Compromise

By Andy Sheehan

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Time has just about run out for the city to craft it’s own solution to it’s grossly-underfunded pension mess, but both the mayor and council remain dug in on how best to leverage the city’s parking garage and meters to remedy the situation.

Without a last minute compromise, the city will lose control of its funds.

“I think it is an inevitability,” said Councilman Doug Shields, D-Point Breeze.

Under the law, the city must find a way to fund at least half of the pensions to avoid state takeover and right now there’s no solution on the table.

“You got a date that says it’s got to be 50 percent by Jan. 1. Honestly I don’t see how that’s going to occur,” said Shields.

Council rejected the mayor’s plans to lease the garages and meters to a private operator, proposing instead selling those assets to the parking authority and using the proceeds to fund the pension. The mayor in turn rejected that proposal and that’s where it stands.

But city Controller Michael Lamb says there needs to be an agreement by next week when the pension board meets.

“If there’s not decision to move forward by that point, yeah I think we’re headed to state takeover,” Lamb said.

Under a state takeover, the state would mandate pension payments and the mayor has warned that failure to adopt his leasing plan could result in draconian cuts to the city services and massive layoffs.

On Monday through his spokesperson, he agreed that a state takeover appears inevitable, barring a willingness on council to agree to some kind of leasing plan, something council has said it will not do.

But Councilman Patrick Dowd, D-Point Breeze, held out hope.

“I believe we can solve problem. I haven’t given up on hope,” he said. “I haven’t turned my back on compromise or turned my back on trying to find a solution. I believe there is a way to solve this problem.”

  • lorenzo

    Politically the mayor letting this takeover opens the door to his party. He can now blame all the cuts he is unwilling to make because of VOTES, is now the new Republican parts fault..Come on folks it’s always about staying in power and never about the people who must pay…Welfare votes count more because there are more people not paying a cent. This is the Socialism of the Democratic part that brought us OBAMA and Fast Eddie.

  • Level Green

    Just watch all the Union maneuvering that will happen this week.

    This wasted year only goes to show how ineffective the Dems are at running this city. They have had 12 months to fix this problem and they are kicking this can down the street to the next guy only to get themselves re-elected. I pray the people of Pittsburgh will remember this at election time and VOTE EM ALL OUT.

    Seriously think about the Republicans this time why don’t you….

  • dguy

    these retired cops and teachers living in hawaii sucked all the money and blood out of pittsburgh which hasn’t been able to reinvent itself since the steel industry collapse. the cops and teachers are parasites and the longer you deny it the worse pittsburgh will get.

    you now can’t even have city buses and city parks because these public union parasites need all the money for their pensions.

  • Had enough Pittsburgher

    Maybe, just maybe we will see some of those rude and useless city employees loose their jobs. Specifically the planning department, bloated with political hacks.

  • justin

    Where is all the money that was suppost to be in there at?

  • dan

    Who spent all the pension money?

  • redrock100

    raise taxes on city residents. end of story.

  • missie stewart

    Bus fare hikes?? Parking fare hikes?? It is no wonder that Pittsburgh, as many other big cities are losing populations! I would hate to have to ride a bus, that is full and carries some strange people, or drive and park where my car has been hit more than once! I choose to work outside the city for now and once schooling is done,I am another that is leaving this high tax rate city and state.

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