Pension Mess Drags On As Clock Winds Down To Deadline

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As expected, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl vetoed Wednesday’s council plan to keep the city’s pension fund from a state takeover.

He said the plan had “fatal flaws.”

It turns out the mayor was right, although not as anyone expected.

“Their calculations have been in error and their method of doing this has been in error,” The Rev. Ricky Burgess, Pittsburgh City Councilman, said.

The error came from a state official who told council they could use a lower discount rate than is normal. Now, council has to redo the numbers, pass the revised plan, get the mayor to veto it since he refuses to sign it and then override the veto by midnight Friday.

Having discovered the error, council recessed quickly to figure out how to start all over again with new numbers.

What it means for the rest of us is increased parking garage and meter rates as more money from the parking tax will have to be dedicated to keep the pension fund from state takeover.

But with the mayor washing his hands of it, council sees no alternative.

“I think this is my sixth mayor,” Firefighters Union President Joe King said. “This is really out of the ordinary of what, these transactions and how business by the executive branch of the government, how this has been handled.”

Council has met and has prepared yet another plan that corrects the old one. This one requires more money from the parking tax over the next 30 years.

Council will meet at 1 p.m. Friday to pass the new measure. The mayor will veto it and then council has called a meeting for 11 p.m. New Year’s Eve.

Council is expected to override the mayor’s veto with just minutes to spare before the state is mandated to take over the pension fund.

  • redrock100

    democrats in action

  • richardw

    How about instead of raising parking fees for people that have car payments, insurance payments, maintenance costs, parking fees, etc. Raise the rates on the bus for the people that actually use it!

    • VictorM

      richardw, how about those of us who have car paymnets, insurance payments, maintenance costs, parking fees, etc. and also use public transportation? Are you not aware that the fares have increased for the people who use the transit system too?

  • Daniel

    The city employees who have PAID into this pension fund for over 25 years deserve better than this. Past administrations have spent the money to run the city. Employees have put money into this fund and not received one cent in interest. My wife has put in over 80 thousand dollars to this pension fund. If she had earned interest on this she would have about 200 thousand now for retirement…when Ford stock was at $2.85 I advised the Mayors office to invest pension fund money in Ford…did they listen? No…that would have solved the pension fund problem!

  • critter

    Keep pulling that democrat lever. Hopefully the money can be used for more welfare entitlements

  • Ace Slick

    This is not so hard to figure out how to handle this mess.

    Just do like they did to me.

    File bankruptcy, terminate the pension plan, place it in the PBGC like many other companies including J&L Steel, pay the recipients pennies on the dollar for whats left of their pension and let them fend for themselves, then give bonuses to the management people for their hard work.

    It happened to me. Why should I pay more to park to subsidize someone else?

    I’ll just vote with my wallet and not shop there anymore.

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