Mayor Campana has repeatedly blamed the police and firefighters for our budget problems. It is a convenient distraction. The real problem is his own ineptitude.
Over his first term his administration has failed to properly fund police and firefighter pensions. He has failed to properly staff our police and firefighters, supposedly to save money.
However, his administration's failure to properly staff the police and fire departmnents hasn't saved any money. Rather, it is more costly.
When the police and fire departments are understaffed as they are now, overtime goes up dramatically. Overtime is paid at time and a half or more. Thus, while there is some savings for health coverage and maybe payroll taxes, this is more than offset by the additional hourly wages. Moreover, the overtime substantially increases pension costs.
For example, if an employee is entitled to retire at 50 percent of their highest compensation, an overtime payment of $50,000 increases his/her pension by $25,000 per year for each year of retirement. This could be 20 years or more.
Thus, the mayor has created the very problem he is complaining about. He did it by failing to properly fund the pension plans, and by failing to properly staff the police and fire departments. the solution he now offers - further staff reductions - will not solve the problem. It will make the problem worse. It will increase overtime, increase pension costs and put the city further in the hole.
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom