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Retirement issue may turn out to be costly

October 16, 2012
The Alpena News

I was not going to become involved in the recent firing of the city manager. There are a number of things happening that I had questions about.

I was a member of the Retirement Board that handled investments to the Cities Pension Fund. The first one is that it was suggested we look at changing to MERS, a Michigan Retirement Program. The majority of the Board voted no, so it was presented to the Council, who voted to stay with the present plan. I question, was someone going to benefit with a change?

The retirees had a cost of living check yearly that was split $44,000 among about 100 retirees. The Retirement Board voted to continue the COLA check. It was presented to the Council with incomplete minutes and the Council voted to discontinue the yearly check. $44,000 out of the General Fund when I saw many cost overruns on some major projects. Retirees, with your years of service, you know where you stand.

I saw where it was suggested that the City grant Administrators personnel to use two out of the last 10 years for Final Average Compensation instead of the two out of the last five years. It was not going to cost much. I suspect the other Bargaining Unit will pick up on this and you know an Arbitrator will rule, then what the cost will be. The council voted 3-2 to grant this request.

Larry Kunze




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