Fitchburg councilor's petition targets retirement fund deficit

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Not so quick

Fitchburg, MA

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#1
Mar 15, 2013
 
Fitchburg councilor's petition targets retirement fund deficit

By Michael Hartwell, mhartwell@sentinelandenterpris e.com

Posted: 03/15/2013 06:32:27 AM EDT







FITCHBURG -- City Councilor Stephan Hay is hoping the petition he submitted last week will take a dent out of the roughly $183 million shortfall the city has for post-retirement benefits such as health insurance.

Municipalities in the state have a combined unfunded liability of $40 billion toward other post-employment benefit, or OPEB, costs. The "other" refers to benefits other than pensions, and most of that cost is health insurance.

"The longer we go without funding it, the bigger the problem is," said Hay.

In December, the council unanimously voted in favor of a nonbinding resolution to inform the state that there is an urgent need for a solution, but Hay said that measure will not solve the problem.

Hay's petition, which went before the Finance Committee Tuesday and was held until the next meeting, requests that enterprise funds in the city government, such as the water and sewer departments, begin setting aside money toward OPEB costs to start alleviating the problem.

Because of the city power structure, Hay said that Wong would need to be the one to introduce a new line item in the budget for that purpose.

Wong said Thursday that she thinks Hay's suggestion is worth exploring, but said she needs to check with the city auditor to see if its allowed.

"When the enterprise funds were created, the employee-benefit costs were still lumped into a line item for the whole city," said Wong. "If OPEB are an eligible expense for

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enterprise funding, then it is a fairer way to cover the costs."
Hay said items like this need to be introduced at the beginning of the budget process, instead of waiting until the end to use what is left over to spend.

"There's never anything leftover," said Hay.

"When that anvil drops, we're going to have to come up with the money," said City Councilor Marcus DiNatale. He said the city may have to try to find $2 million to $3 million each year to pay for OPEB, which would require massive cuts to city services.

"I don't know when this ax is going to fall, but I'm terrified of when it does," he added.

City Auditor Dick Sarasin said the $183 million figure comes from the last actuary report and uses numbers current to Jan. 1, 2011.

Sarasin said this number is what the city would owe if it shut its doors on that date -- what it would have to pay all current and former employees for benefits other than pensions after retirement. The number assumes that health care costs will continue to increase at the same rate they are now and the city does not change its employee benefits packages.

Gov. Deval Patrick introduced a bill last month that would make some current municipal employees near retirement ineligible for post-employment health insurance, but would also freeze the rates cities have to contribute to retired employees.

Sarasin said he doesn't give too much consideration to bills before they become law because they are still subject to change.

Follow Michael Hartwell at facebook.com/michaelhartwell or on Twitter @Sehartwell.

Read more: http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/local/ci...
Lynch

Fitchburg, MA

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#2
Mar 15, 2013
 

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We asked this question at the last Ward 4 & 5 meeting. A citizen stated that it was not allowed under state laws.

Mayor Wong feels like this is ""If OPEB are an eligible expense for enterprise funding, then it is a fairer way to cover the costs."

"Fairer way" Mayor? For one the water and sewer increases have sponged up our citizens disposable incomes to the point that our local restaurants are feeling the damage as citizens have less to spend locally.

How about stop doubling certain employee salarys'! This is outrageous.

Mayor, tell the citizens what rate the city paysand what the rate is for citizens in fitchburg concerning electricity??!

Mayor, you have taken away all services from the citizens already.
Lynch

Fitchburg, MA

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#3
Mar 15, 2013
 

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How about real change? Put a cap on pensions! Say,$50,000 ! No state employee can recieve a pension of over $50,000 ! And lower the retirement age forcing employees to retire at 60.

If they do not do that then any employee who recieves a pension over $50,000 has to pay for their own health care.

Nationally they could pass a law that disqualifies anyone with over a million in the bank from recieving any social security?????

This is real change! And how about passing a law to close loopholes???????

Real leaders make such changes. Just propose it and vote on it!!!!!!!
Just Facts

Fairport, NY

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#4
Mar 15, 2013
 

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Lynch,

I'm going to explain this, not to benefit you because you're an idiot, but for the benefit of others that will understand. The reason that the city and other "non-residential" entities within Fitchburg can pay a lower rate is because power supplying entities have created options for "non-residential" customers as a group.

Massachusetts allows competitive processes for power suppliers to provide rates to groups and we currently have no groups for residential customers to participate. If there was a group that normal homeowners could join to get lower rates,we would have heard about it.

Do you really expect our mayor to tell our city finance people, "don't go bargain for cheaper rates, because our homeowners can't do it"?

You really are an idiot!!
Lynch

Fitchburg, MA

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#5
Mar 15, 2013
 

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Just Facts wrote:
Lynch,
I'm going to explain this, not to benefit you because you're an idiot, but for the benefit of others that will understand. The reason that the city and other "non-residential" entities within Fitchburg can pay a lower rate is because power supplying entities have created options for "non-residential" customers as a group.
Massachusetts allows competitive processes for power suppliers to provide rates to groups and we currently have no groups for residential customers to participate. If there was a group that normal homeowners could join to get lower rates,we would have heard about it.
Do you really expect our mayor to tell our city finance people, "don't go bargain for cheaper rates, because our homeowners can't do it"?
You really are an idiot!!
"groups"? So allow bussinesses to recieve rates alongside the city.

You seem to have great knowledge at your hands. Who are you?

It is all a game ,huh? So, the citizens should just stay shut and just pay??? We shouldn't stand up for our elders interests?

THEN STOP LYING TO THE ELDERS AND THE REST OF THE CITIZENS!!!!!!!

Why hide all these facts until we ask the questions??
Just Facts

Fairport, NY

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#6
Mar 15, 2013
 

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Gawd Lynch...you are the idiot of idiots.

Here is a link from our Massachusetts Department of Energy that lists brokers that work on behalf of select groups for lower utility rates.

http://www.env.state.ma.us/DPU_FileRoom/frmEl...

There are no brokers or companies that use collective buying power from RESIDENTIAL OCCUPANCIES for securing negotiated rates...that isn't the City of Fitchburg's issue and it has nothing to do with the mayor.

Now go crawl back under the rock of stupidity you live under.
Just Facts

Fairport, NY

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#7
Mar 15, 2013
 

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BTW Lynch,

If I owned a business in Fitchburg, I would be hunting for cheaper rates...still has nothing to do with the city moron!!
citizen

Fitchburg, MA

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Mar 15, 2013
 

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Just Facts wrote:
BTW Lynch,
If I owned a business in Fitchburg, I would be hunting for cheaper rates...still has nothing to do with the city moron!!
You really have no clue! The cost of doing business adds up my friend! It becomes overwhelming as it ties the business abilities.

For example, the city councilor just stated that it cost businesses $10 less per thousand to do business in Leominster instead of Fitchburg in taxes.They chose Leominster!

You become so self defeating that it is ridiculous! Should we allow all businesses to close before we react? Maybe we can let unemployment rise to 80%. What do you think? Then you can yell for the government to take away food stamps from the 80% from atop your soap box.

So, let me ask you; do you think that there will be many police left on the payroll to save you from the angry/hungry mobs? Get a clue!
citizen

Fitchburg, MA

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#9
Mar 15, 2013
 

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Just Facts wrote:
BTW Lynch,
If I owned a business in Fitchburg, I would be hunting for cheaper rates...still has nothing to do with the city moron!!
Atleast have some b---s and call me a moron from your actual name! You seem so brave to be calling people names from afar and from behind a mask.

Under your scenario there is nothing wrong with the city budget?? On one hand you rubber stamp pay increases and double salaries and on the other you want to know how the city is going to pay for it?

I thought you were fiscally conservative?
Just Facts

Fairport, NY

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#10
Mar 15, 2013
 

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Lynch,

I know you have lots of difficulty in keeping on any one given subject, but you made stupid statements as you normally do, and I provided information proving you are wrong as I usually do...beyond that, your responses are just more of your usual BS.
Injustice quote for ya

Fitchburg, MA

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#11
Mar 15, 2013
 

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Just Facts wrote:
Lynch,
I know you have lots of difficulty in keeping on any one given subject, but you made stupid statements as you normally do, and I provided information proving you are wrong as I usually do...beyond that, your responses are just more of your usual BS.
Sorry, I have been listening to Bob Dylan.

Here indulge in some true American nostalgia/anti good ole boy network folklore!!!!!

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xv9wq_bobdyl...
Rollstone

Buzzards Bay, MA

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#12
Mar 15, 2013
 

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Injustice quote for ya wrote:
<quoted text>
Sorry, I have been listening to Bob Dylan.
Here indulge in some true American nostalgia/anti good ole boy network folklore!!!!!
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xv9wq_bobdyl...
You've been listening to radio transmissions from Mars.
Steppin in

Leominster, MA

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#13
Mar 15, 2013
 

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Injustice quote for ya wrote:
<quoted text>
Sorry, I have been listening to Bob Dylan.
Here indulge in some true American nostalgia/anti good ole boy network folklore!!!!!
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xv9wq_bobdyl...
Bob Dylan sucks just like you so what's your point? A friend gave me some free tickets to see him and Tom Petty outdoors back in the eighties. Probably the worst show I've ever been to so we left.
Lynch the dope

Fitchburg, MA

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#14
Mar 16, 2013
 

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citizen wrote:
<quoted text>
Atleast have some b---s and call me a moron from your actual name! You seem so brave to be calling people names from afar and from behind a mask.
Under your scenario there is nothing wrong with the city budget?? On one hand you rubber stamp pay increases and double salaries and on the other you want to know how the city is going to pay for it?
I thought you were fiscally conservative?
Only an idiot would give you their real name. We've seen whatbyoudo to people, you're a monster. You attacked a city police officer, you attacked an EMT. You have a history of violence. You are a dangerous man who can't be trusted. Look at your rap sheet. Would you trust that person?
Wickedguy

Fitchburg, MA

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#15
Mar 16, 2013
 

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Injustice quote for ya wrote:
<quoted text>
Sorry, I have been listening to Bob Dylan.
Here indulge in some true American nostalgia/anti good ole boy network folklore!!!!!
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xv9wq_bobdyl...
Bob Dylan? Hahahahaha, smoke some more pot and sniff some more coke. Bob Dylan was high as a kite anytime he sang. That is funny.
Curious

Fitchburg, MA

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Mar 16, 2013
 

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Wickedguy wrote:
<quoted text>
Bob Dylan? Hahahahaha, smoke some more pot and sniff some more coke. Bob Dylan was high as a kite anytime he sang. That is funny.
Let me ask you a serious question wickedguy. If a person is unjustly claiming multiple children in order to recieve tax refunds in the area of $5,000 plus what should happen to this person?
Curious

Fitchburg, MA

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Mar 16, 2013
 

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Steppin in wrote:
<quoted text>Bob Dylan sucks just like you so what's your point? A friend gave me some free tickets to see him and Tom Petty outdoors back in the eighties. Probably the worst show I've ever been to so we left.
Leominster what should happen to a person who has put in tax returns that claim on average $5,000 in child deductions for multiple years when they do not have a right to?
Lynch

Fitchburg, MA

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#18
Mar 17, 2013
 

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Hold the presses Mayor Wong!!! Don't go taking all the funds from the massive historical water and sewer increases yet!

Republicans are contemplating on agreeing with the dems to close the loopholes that the super wealthy have been exploiting for years! This could be a revenue changer!!!

Did Dinatalle state that the city may lose all of its services? It may be a good time to raise all salaries!

And Deval from the exit door proposing a law that would eliminate health care coverage all together for all city and state workers not yet retired!

Do you think we will have a super massive exodus of all management do nothing employees before that implementation date???

You know like the civil service disability pension boom? It is odd that there was a run on salt around this same time period! Out of nowhere high blood pressure meds were being prescribed, who would think????

Hell even the Sherriff was collecting a $125,000 pension while he was receiving a salary for the same position!! Deval chuckled, "that bugger is funny but it was legal"chuckle chuckle...

Awesome management everywhere!!!! Nothing is wrong!!!!!
Rollstone

Buzzards Bay, MA

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#19
Mar 20, 2013
 

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How about do-nothing felon ex cons collecting a cuckoo check for the rest of their lives?
sniffing out cheats

Fitchburg, MA

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Mar 20, 2013
 

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Rollstone wrote:
How about do-nothing felon ex cons collecting a cuckoo check for the rest of their lives?
You will be an ex-con soon enough!

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