Our view: Payiing Sky-high public pensions can't continue

Posted in the Utica Forum

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OD finally wakes up

Cortland, NY

#1 Jun 3, 2012
And you wonder who the real thieves and criminals amongst you are right?

I think the city should be forced into total utter bankruptcy so these pensions will be worth pennies on the dollar.

It's the only way to force a reset on these thieves and slob degenerates.
__________
If anyone wonders why Utica and other municipalities are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider the pension that Utica Police Department retiree Michael Bailey will be collecting for the rest of his life.

Bailey, who retired May 25 after 22 years on the force, will be getting $50,000 a year. Heís 45 years old, and if he lives another 40 years ó not improbable in these times ó heíll have collected $2 million, subsidized largely by taxpayers. Thatís more than most people in central New York will earn in their lifetime.

First, letís be clear. This isnít about Michael Bailey. He had a stellar career as a law enforcement officer, and the record shows him to be a bright, likeable guy known for his leadership abilities. In fact, in 2006, Bailey was an Accent on Excellence honoree in a community recognition program of area leaders under 40, sponsored by the Observer-Dispatch and Northland Communications.

This is about the system ó a system that has helped to financially sink Utica and dozens of other municipalities across the state whose taxpayers cannot sustain such generosity.

Help is on the way ó major pension reform pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo was approved by the state Legislature in March ó and while that might plug the hole in the dike for future generations, the water will lap at municipal doors for years to come.

Officials need to start searching now for ways to further reform a system that places an undue burden on taxpayers, who should not be responsible for funding the pensions of public employees. Many of those taxpayers donít even have pensions themselves, and are forced to save through other retirement programs.

In Utica alone, payments into the state pension system are projected to rise 20 percent this fiscal year, from $5.81 million to $6.96 million. Thatís frustrating because nothing that can be done about it. The pensioners were hired at a certain tier and are covered by specific rules. In fact, Baileyís $50,000 pension pales compared with other Utica public safety officials. According to seeThroughny.com :

-- Michael J. Elefante, a retired fire department captain, draws $72,929 a year.

-- Pasquale C. Benzo, a retired deputy police chief, gets $72,611.

-- Richard L. Stemmer, also a retired deputy chief, gets $72,574.

-- Frank J. Suppa, a retired deputy fire chief, gets $$70,165.

-- James D. Dukette, a retired deputy fire chief, gets $70,135.

-- Francis A. Manfredo, a retired assistant fire chief, gets $65,269.

One of the aberrations of the system ó pension padding ó allowed public employees to build up their annual salaries with vast amounts of overtime because their pensions were based on their last few yearsí salaries. An O-D review two years ago found that 11 out of 43 retirees between January 2008 and April 2010 showed evidence of artificially high overtime rates at the end of their careers that boost their pension for life.

Fortunately, the latest pension reform no longer allows that. It also includes new contribution rates for public workers, increases the retirement age from 62 to 63 and limits the number of sick/leave days that can be used to pad pensions.

Itís a start. But so long as the public remains handcuffed by handouts, cities like Utica are going to struggle. Officials must remain steadfast in efforts to lift the burden on taxpayers because if they donít, recovery will remain out of reach.
Public Unions are thieves

Utica, NY

#2 Jun 3, 2012
This should wake up the taxpayers and these pensions should be STOPPED now.

Level 2

Since: Nov 10

Location hidden

#3 Jun 3, 2012
Even if the city went bankrupt, the pensions are guaranteed through the State of NY. A pensioneer, gets a check from New York State every month, regardless of what happens to the municipality. The City has been contributing to an employees pension as they work, the State invests the money, and pays the dividends to the employee as a pension.

Level 2

Since: Nov 10

Location hidden

#4 Jun 3, 2012
Public Unions are thieves wrote:
This should wake up the taxpayers and these pensions should be STOPPED now.
And what a lawsuit you'd have..... People retire based on a promise of a monthly income. Now what? You stop the pension. Do you re-hire all these workers ? People who complain about pensions, are people without a decent paying job....
freebie the bean

Durhamville, NY

#5 Jun 3, 2012
Anyone care to guess how much Utica's fire chief, who is 87 years old, will get when he retires? If he retires at 90, he'll probly lives til he's 115 drawing $94,000 a year.
Brian D

Cortland, NY

#6 Jun 3, 2012
What about those of us who EARNED our good jobs and have to pay? We're not entitled to an opinion because everyone just automatically thinks we don't have decent jobs and that's why we're complaining? That doesn't make sense. Their jobs are NOT as dangerous as they always make it sound it's almost a running joke anymore so why again do they get paid so much?
hello!

Baldwinsville, NY

#7 Jun 3, 2012
If your jealous of a pension get a job with one!
who

Baldwinsville, NY

#8 Jun 3, 2012
Gee, maybe all you whiners shouldve went and took a civil service test. No one told you you couldn't. Its a free country. You to could have worked a Gov. job and received the pension as promised.

But all you slugs sat around waiting for your parents inheritance and lived the scummer life. Now while your waiting for your benefit check in the mail box you got time to bash Gov. slave workers here on topix. Buncha losers.

And the OD has some Gal printing the story in general. What does there top earners make? You can bet Donna Donovan aint just retiring from that place with a fake gold watch. hypocrites hiding behind a shame of a newspaper.
duh.

United States

#9 Jun 3, 2012
Tier 4 pensioneers will end up making 60.5% of their last 3 years' salaries as pension. Not huge considering costs are expected to skyrocket as they age into retirement years. I don 't think that is too much to ask when you consider the number of years they work and their own contributions.
Dark Future

Cortland, NY

#10 Jun 3, 2012
who wrote:
Gee, maybe all you whiners shouldve went and took a civil service test. No one told you you couldn't. Its a free country. You to could have worked a Gov. job and received the pension as promised.
But all you slugs sat around waiting for your parents inheritance and lived the scummer life. Now while your waiting for your benefit check in the mail box you got time to bash Gov. slave workers here on topix. Buncha losers.
And the OD has some Gal printing the story in general. What does there top earners make? You can bet Donna Donovan aint just retiring from that place with a fake gold watch. hypocrites hiding behind a shame of a newspaper.
Ooorrrrr, maybe if you parasite scum invested time in a degree? Do you only talk to poor people who would be supposedly jealous all day? Is it that bad? You should get around more. It always amazes me how easy it was really to get a masters if you look at the total hours and actual testing that there are people who seriously think a civil service test is that hard or something everyone was supposed to be so jealous of someone who had passed it. It's a pretty sad statement that this is considered some kind of motive. It's funny you always hear the same 3 or 4 dumb arguments whenever people rightfully complain about working their way through life and having to pay the exorbitant demands of these kind of "big thinkers" who can't even truly conceive of telling themselves the truth let alone those of us who pay the cost for the so called "boss".

There is always a bigger fish so please don't think that having passed the doofus government leech test that you're in some desirable catbird seat. Maybe to some but to a lot of people that's not only untrue it's just another petty and pathetic attempt to distract from the real issue at hand.

That's how it's been dragged along this far for this many years. It's denied SO WELL that it seems to have taken a zero fund balance in the precious paycheck piggybank to wake most of utica up, including dingdong Donna and her crew of cupcake critics. As you can see even dumbass Donna Donovan had to build an igloo around herself to stop the expected crying and usual excuses like you can see written above. Meanwhile the real subject is the state is going to go flat broke and those of us who can actually DO will always be here to remind those that couldn't that yes we were right all along. You had it your way here's the results, so now don't cry that the people are pissed off at it and looking to revoke it. Maybe they can if the state truly does flop.
People who are stuck living here have an entirely different view than those who enjoy the narrow view. It's pretty easy to see the agenda behind just about every post online and at the OD. And it's very telling that the ones who cry about the truth being told like it is are usually the simplest thinkers that expect their insanely narrow insult or weak excuse to fly. The excuses are actually predictable as rain and as about as effective.
The replies say a lot more about the poster's intellect or lack thereof than most realize.

It's easy to see what's happening here, and it was predicted long ago. So while you're citing vanity as the cause of all this unrest,your imagination is really just telling us where your own standards and values are and that's pretty damned low if you believe me or not.
So now on to Utica Professional Dullard Plan B then I guess.
Big Fat Know it alls

Baldwinsville, NY

#11 Jun 3, 2012
Alot of us have degrees you absolutely reprehensible moron. But there are no jobs in this economy. There are no places here that our degrees will get you a free internship. So you have to feed your family... you take whatever is available. And if that means civil service tests than screw you, you self important nitwit. I will not apologize for wanting to raise my family above poverty level. And if the job Im stuck with for lack of anything else locally has a pension than so be it. What am I supposed to do, refuse it?

And as you yourself state some of us have to stay here for family. Amazing you have the time to write on here for all of us to hear your know it all viewpoints on everything. If you have all the answers yourself than what are you doing still in this cesspool? Thanks. Take your koolaid and sell it elsewhere freak.

Level 7

Since: May 11

Location hidden

#12 Jun 3, 2012
This is what they mean by "divide and conquer."
Thebasics

Rome, NY

#13 Jun 3, 2012
who wrote:
Gee, maybe all you whiners shouldve went and took a civil service test. No one told you you couldn't. Its a free country. You to could have worked a Gov. job and received the pension as promised.
But all you slugs sat around waiting for your parents inheritance and lived the scummer life. Now while your waiting for your benefit check in the mail box you got time to bash Gov. slave workers here on topix. Buncha losers.
And the OD has some Gal printing the story in general. What does there top earners make? You can bet Donna Donovan aint just retiring from that place with a fake gold watch. hypocrites hiding behind a shame of a newspaper.
The taxpayer does not pay Donna Donovan. One can chose not to buy a paper. One can also chose to leave the city and the area. That has been the response to high taxes and flagrent abuse of public pensions. Look around you.
Just Really Means

Cortland, NY

#14 Jun 3, 2012
Truth Dig wrote:
This is what they mean by "divide and conquer."
Really? So they planned all this 20 years ago to overpay and enable pension padding all in order to have a big "Us vs. Them" in the 2012 election? You party people are just as ridiculous as a lot of the rest of the sheep who sit around and ascribe everything to some party or another. That's the ultimate form of narrow minded to lean one way or another every time, and seek to fit all sorts of off-base issues into your wakass paranoid conspiracy view of reality. That means you listen to and believe too much talk radio and political bullshyt in simpler terms. Every event or idea "has" to "come form" some wakass paranoid bullshyt hypothesis. Every decision is different. That's like religion vs. science, idiot.

Here the decision is overpayment of public service jobs. TYake your stupid Bush or Obama picture or whatever badge you're flapping your mouth from behind and hit the road with that stupid shyt.

“Lovin' it!”

Level 5

Since: Aug 11

Location hidden

#15 Jun 3, 2012
My three brothers and myself all are educated and have professional jobs with demanding responsibilities. Two of them live out side the Utica area. We have all been with the same respective employers for many years. None of us will ever get the kind of pension that is being discussed here. I believe that this is the central point being made.

I made it a point to get the h3ll out of Utica. The pensions are insane. I have a daughter in the military who puts her life on the line. She'll never get that kind of pension either. She has 14 years in and will retire with out the fat inflated pension that is the subject of this thread.

Karma should kick in here someplace!
Just Really Means

Cortland, NY

#16 Jun 3, 2012
Thebasics wrote:
<quoted text>The taxpayer does not pay Donna Donovan. One can chose not to buy a paper. One can also chose to leave the city and the area. That has been the response to high taxes and flagrent abuse of public pensions. Look around you.
Nevermind those simple people with the simple excuses that just don't actually work or fit the reality. That's what they have to tell themselves to sleep at night and "be proud".

I'd love to see half of them PAY OFF a degree let alone figure out what to do with one. All these people have are liberal arts basketweaver schools anyway. "Nano"! LMAO!
duh.

United States

#17 Jun 3, 2012
Cosmo-TheRealOne wrote:
My three brothers and myself all are educated and have professional jobs with demanding responsibilities. Two of them live out side the Utica area. We have all been with the same respective employers for many years. None of us will ever get the kind of pension that is being discussed here. I believe that this is the central point being made.

I made it a point to get the h3ll out of Utica. The pensions are insane. I have a daughter in the military who puts her life on the line. She'll never get that kind of pension either. She has 14 years in and will retire with out the fat inflated pension that is the subject of this thread.

Karma should kick in here someplace!
no military pension??? Are you serious?? I know ppl who are retired military (after20 years of service) bring in $3,000 a month !

Level 7

Since: May 11

Location hidden

#18 Jun 3, 2012
Just Really Means wrote:
<quoted text>Really? So they planned all this 20 years ago to overpay and enable pension padding all in order to have a big "Us vs. Them" in the 2012 election? You party people are just as ridiculous as a lot of the rest of the sheep who sit around and ascribe everything to some party or another. That's the ultimate form of narrow minded to lean one way or another every time, and seek to fit all sorts of off-base issues into your wakass paranoid conspiracy view of reality. That means you listen to and believe too much talk radio and political bullshyt in simpler terms. Every event or idea "has" to "come form" some wakass paranoid bullshyt hypothesis. Every decision is different. That's like religion vs. science, idiot.
Here the decision is overpayment of public service jobs. TYake your stupid Bush or Obama picture or whatever badge you're flapping your mouth from behind and hit the road with that stupid shyt.
Where did I mention any party, moron? It's f ucking idiots like you who will latch onto to some side show like this and ascribe the problems of the country to it. The American middle class is vanishing. If you want to go on some crusade against cops, have at it. I agree that no one should be getting a pension at the age of 45. But you're a dupe. A stooge. While the country falls apart (or is being taken apart by oligarchs), you obsess over a distration.

400 "Americans" have more collected wealth than the bottom 60% of the population. That's about 160 million people. I'll give you a hint, Einstein. None of those 400 people are cops. The fact that a cop or a firefighter or a school teacher gets a decent pension after decades of public service isn't what's wrong with the country. It's that those 400 oligarchs have taken away decent wages, benefits, and pensions from everyone else, and lined their own pockers and furtehr enriched themselves with he money that used to go to the middle class.

But continue on with your moronic crusade agains all those filthy rich cops out there. Mark my words. After they finish destroying public unions and public pensions, the next target will be Social Security. And then Medicare. Because the same people who are targeting public unions won't be satisfied until every vestige of middle class life is eliminated. And imbiciles like you will be right there championing the cause of your own destruction. You are a very usefule idiot.
ron

Utica, NY

#19 Jun 3, 2012
So Bailey is getting a 2 million dollar pension. What a shame the taxpayers get stuck with this bill. What a joke that the politicians allow this to happen.
ron

Utica, NY

#20 Jun 3, 2012
Get a job you lazy f'n moron and you can be a top earner too. Class envy does not earn you more money. You are the prime example of an lazy idiot with ignorant opinions.
Truth Dig wrote:
<quoted text>
Where did I mention any party, moron? It's f ucking idiots like you who will latch onto to some side show like this and ascribe the problems of the country to it. The American middle class is vanishing. If you want to go on some crusade against cops, have at it. I agree that no one should be getting a pension at the age of 45. But you're a dupe. A stooge. While the country falls apart (or is being taken apart by oligarchs), you obsess over a distration.
400 "Americans" have more collected wealth than the bottom 60% of the population. That's about 160 million people. I'll give you a hint, Einstein. None of those 400 people are cops. The fact that a cop or a firefighter or a school teacher gets a decent pension after decades of public service isn't what's wrong with the country. It's that those 400 oligarchs have taken away decent wages, benefits, and pensions from everyone else, and lined their own pockers and furtehr enriched themselves with he money that used to go to the middle class.
But continue on with your moronic crusade agains all those filthy rich cops out there. Mark my words. After they finish destroying public unions and public pensions, the next target will be Social Security. And then Medicare. Because the same people who are targeting public unions won't be satisfied until every vestige of middle class life is eliminated. And imbiciles like you will be right there championing the cause of your own destruction. You are a very usefule idiot.

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