That was the City Council vote passing the 20 and out, guaranteed 3% COLA, corrections officers pension bill in City Council Tuesday night – despite the fact that the correctional officers pension fund is facing a $55 million unfunded liability at last count.
The only two City Councilpersons unwilling to potentially bankrupt the City with additional unfunded pension liabilities: Clay Yarborough and Kevin Hyde.
While there was much talk of City Council’s “moral” obligation to pass the pension bill, most Council members, except for Yarborough and Hyde, appeared to have ignored a legal opinion issued by the City’s Office of General Counsel to Councilman John Crescimbeni. According to the legal opinion:
The City intended to implement a three-year agreement, but, with the parties, recognizing the difficulties in that, agreed instead to obligate the Administration to introduce each component of the MOU in the agreed-upon time frame, to the Council for passage. The earlier passage of the funding obligations demonstrates further the City’s need to fund before it finally obligates itself. Accordingly, the City has the greater weight of this disputed issued, and it is more likely than not that the Council would be held not to have legally obligated itself to make these final changes.
Thank you, Councilman Yarborough and Councilman Hyde – for taking a stand to protect Jacksonville’s future budgets. Thank you for being more concerned with your fiscal responsibilities as City leaders than with threats from a “man who would be king”.