Michael Julian Bond confirms Atlanta pension deal struck

Atlanta City Councilman Michael Julian Bond just called to confirm that a brokered deal on the city’s pension overhaul will be presented to the council today at 10 a.m.

“I’m very excited about it,” he said. “It’s a compromise worthy of Atlanta’s legacy. It’s an example of what we can do when we try.”

Bond said the deal will save the city about $25 million a year. He thinks it is based on Council Option No. 1 – but I’m writing this from home, and have no way of looking at the details. If you know them, please feel free to add them below.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

72 comments Add your comment

Morehouse

June 23rd, 2011
9:40 am

Somehow I don’t think Bond was a major player in those discussions. However, I appreciate him being the messenger.

Sally Me

June 23rd, 2011
9:41 am

Good policy speaks for itself. Thank you, Mayor Reed!

Observer

June 23rd, 2011
9:45 am

The mayor and the council defy the unions. Interesting narrative. It seems the dynamics of this city our changing for the better. Jim Daws goes down in flames.

Carol

June 23rd, 2011
9:47 am

LOL @Morehouse. Hey…leave little Bond alone. He’s just trying to find his way lol

Liberal Leo

June 23rd, 2011
9:50 am

It’s hard to say Mayor Reed isn’t effective. He campaigned on pension reform and it appears he’s actually going to get it done much to my surprise. When you vote someone in office you can only hope the fulfill their mandates in this manner. Kudos.

Centrist

June 23rd, 2011
9:51 am

Mayor Reed is a centrist who tackles problems rather than just talking about them. Past politicians bought votes with benefits that could NEVER actually be paid. The police pension was 96% funded in 2000 but is only 64% funded now. The firefighters’ pension was more than 92% funded in 2000; funding is now 61.4%.

Obviously, something HAD to be done to correct the past vote buying. It is happening all over the country – Wisconsin was the most prominent when Democrats tried to hopelessly dig in. Even the U.S. Postal System has had to face economic reality: http://www.statesman.com/news/nation/post-office-suspends-retirement-contributions-1554997.html

Back to Georgia’s ILLEGAL immigration law -

Both sides of issue before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Thrash have said they will immediately appeal his decision if it doesn’t go their way. Read the Supreme Court decision that has already settled this issue here: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/09-115.pdf

Whether Judge Thrash will rule outside of the law as an activist judge will only slightly delay the imposition of the ILLEGAL immigration law in Georgia. The Appeals court, which is not activist, will likely uphold it because if they don’t, the Supreme Court will reverse them. This is just an exercise in wishful thinking by those who oppose the new law, including the AJC.

Native

June 23rd, 2011
9:59 am

Councilman Bond – you mean the guy who gave a “boy who cried wolf” speech about civility and then interrupted and disrespected Chair Adrean several times at the following Finance/Exec committee meeting. I bet it took him 2 hours to say a deal had been reached. That pseudo-intellectual is more verbose than Jesse Jackson.

atlmom

June 23rd, 2011
10:07 am

$25 million a year. Okay – so with the ‘new’ payments, how in line is our pension with other cities’ pensions? are we still paying too much? Are my property taxes going to decrease?
(okay, I know, more than 1/2 my prop tax bill is due to ever increasing school taxes, and the city taxes are actually not increasing – or haven’t for years…;)

Future

June 23rd, 2011
10:09 am

Now the citizens of Atlanta will have to pay out MILLIONS of dollars for the law suits that are about to happen. I don’t see how this is progress. The employee’s have done everything the city has asked them to do, they pay more toward there pensions than every other major city (7%-8%). Just because the past council members and mayor’s have mismanaged the money, doesn’t mean they should take it out on the employees.

atlanta worker

June 23rd, 2011
10:13 am

They better not cut my pension—I work hard enough as it is for the chump change I get paid at work, dealing with a bunch of morons all day.

Truth be told

June 23rd, 2011
10:15 am

This was never about the City vs. City Employees. It’s about the City vs. Financial Ruin. Relative to other cities Atlanta’s pension plan will still be very generous. We have to face the realities of our economy.

MR164

June 23rd, 2011
10:18 am

@Future

Really? So we should not change the plan because we may get sued? That’s funny logic at best. I think you have to look at this from the Macro level. This will be good for Atlanta.

Speak

June 23rd, 2011
10:20 am

It’s sad how Jim Daws and other union leaders told unwitting city employees that their pensions were being taken away. Exploiting employee fears is low All the misinformation and misdirection so that the unions could fatten their pockets at the expense of the employees and the City of Atlanta.

Samantha

June 23rd, 2011
10:20 am

I’m just so happy that I don’t live in the City of Atlanta anymore! Reed is a crook! You all will see in time. I wouldn’t vote for him if he was the very last person standing on earth! Buckhead REALLY need to seperate itself from the City of Atlanta. Trust me I KNOW that they are NOT responsible with your tax dollars! I KNOW from experience!

Future

June 23rd, 2011
10:21 am

If this plan does pass, there will be a mass exit of employees. Why would an employee stay here after the City of Atlanta has broken it’s CONTRACT with its employee’s? The Police, Fire and General employee’s can find work at other departments make the same money and with a 401K. So why stay when the city doesn’t care about it’s employee’s?

MR164

June 23rd, 2011
10:22 am

@atlanta worker

I never heard of anyone getting a Government job for the pay. You are there for the security. It is almost impossible for you to get fired for an offense [relative to the private sector]. Sit back and collect your paycheck.

Taxpayer

June 23rd, 2011
10:22 am

@Future people can sue for anything. If the city avoided good policy every time they feared some crackpot would sue, we’d never get anything done.

Future

June 23rd, 2011
10:29 am

@Taxpayer… That’s the problem, the City doesn’t have good policies. They are mismanaging our money and borrowing money where they should not be.

Tenacious Tee

June 23rd, 2011
10:32 am

Can we stick to the issue at hand!!!!! Hooray for a little improvement.

Concerned

June 23rd, 2011
10:35 am

As a family household with an Atlanta Employee who’s pension is now going to be compromised, we are very distressed over this. Other cities pay better with decent or equal to what the revamped pension will be. So why should they stay working for Atlanta when the one major benefit has now been reduced? There will be a great exodus of employees from ATL to the surrounding cities for sure…

WillieRae

June 23rd, 2011
10:37 am

Reed IS doing a good job. He is facing the real
issues of the city. Don’t kid yourself though, he is a liberal democrat.

poltergeist

June 23rd, 2011
10:39 am

if they are all that excited about it being a deal worthy of Atlanta’s legacy, then that means that everybody near the Annex is going to get a contrack, and this “compromise” will increase taxes by at least 150% – over 5 years of course. Mugged again, y’all !

Samantha

June 23rd, 2011
10:40 am

Furthermore the City of Atlanta civilian employees has not received a raise in OVER YEARS!! What kind of stuff is that??? I guarantee you that they are STILL going to lay off people! It has been happening way before the Franklin Administration! I would advise anyone who is working for the City of Atlanta to just look for another job because they are sinking fast! If you are not laid off yet..sooner or later they probably will lay you off..unless you are ‘cut buddies’ with the hiring manager! Other than that you are out!

Toinuhfish

June 23rd, 2011
10:40 am

@Future…have you checked the job market lately. Most gov. employees don’t have a clue on what’s really going on out in the real world. More hours, stress and “take or leave it” issues. I would say if there’s a mass exodus of current employees the city won’t have any problems replacing them with people who are qualified and happy to even be considered for a pension…..

Samantha

June 23rd, 2011
10:42 am

I meant to say that City of Atlanta civilians has not received a raise IN OVER 10 YEARS!

Cody Leighton

June 23rd, 2011
10:44 am

I hate to have to take you all to civics class, but this is a perfect example of how government is supposed to work. The mayor introduces something, and the council has to vote on it. From what I can surmise from watching this unfold is that the mayor basically told the council that they better vote for his proposal no matter how good or bad it is. And then he resorted to bullying the council president and several other council members into voting for it. When a seemingly better proposal was introduced, the mayor and others didn’t want to hear it because it simply wasn’t the mayor’s idea and he wanted to take total and complete credit for the pension reform. This type of behavior does not qualify as one as a so called, great leader. It is not centrist, but selfish. It appears to me that the mayor is only resume building, and doing things that only make himself look good. The mayor and the council are supposed to exist in a checks and balances environment, not my way or the highway. I hope that in the future when it comes to saving taxpayers money, I hope that there are discussions about way to save more money, instead of having a single idea rammed down everyone’s throats. I think a lot of you are missing the real issue here and that it that the mayor is basically a spoiled brat, who feels that if you don’t play the way he wants, then he’s going to take his ball and go home. Remember, he did publicly state that when the council members ran for re-election, he was going to do whatever he could to make sure that they would not because they didn’t do what he wanted to do. This is not leadership, but dictatorship. The purpose of the council is to discuss and consider legislation, not to resort to cronyism. As I recall, a few years back during the Campbell administration people were admonished for participating in his so called “Nod Squad”. Here it is again, except executed in a more draconian fashion. Except now it is applauded. The council members who blindly excepted the mayor’s plan without even considering other options deserve scrutiny from here on out because their motives will always be in question.

Ronin

June 23rd, 2011
10:45 am

@Concerned, it is doubtful that there will be a mass exodus as most other cities are having to deal with this same issue. Your salary and retirement is funded by taxpayers, most of whom don’t have any pension plan. Also, by all means, if you can get a higher paying position in another city, with better benefits, take it. However, rest assured of this, all of the defined benefit (pension) programs will come to an end, probably in the next 10 years. If you aren’t saving your personal funds via an IRA or Roth account, you should be. If you can’t afford to, consider cutting your expenses. This is only the beginning of government cuts.

catlady

June 23rd, 2011
10:48 am

future: guess what can happen to teachers? They can sign a contract in April (or now in May) and then later on the terms of the contract (days to work and pay) can be changed, and when the teacher refuses to work the changed terms, they are blackballed from ever teaching in the state. SO the contract is binding ONLY ON THE TEACHER. Year before last I lost $1200, last year $4500, and next year it will be closer to $7000, with heavier responsibilities. Yet I am supposed to be glad I “have a job.”

Future

June 23rd, 2011
10:48 am

It just sounds like a lot of jealousy on here. If it were your pension being taken from you, you would be mad.
@Toinuhfish…I have checked the market. There is a lot of openings in Police work and Firefighters. You don’t realize that 75% of Atlanta’s Police force has 7 years or less. That is a young department. With there training and experience they would be hired anywhere. Just asked the 250 officers that has left over the last 2 years. I would say they found jobs.

WillieRae

June 23rd, 2011
10:54 am

Why should taxpayers work longer so city employees can retire earlier?

Pension1

June 23rd, 2011
10:54 am

Its funny to read all the comments before we know anything…….If it is along the lines of the first proposal there will certainly be lawsuits, If it is the second one…..same thing. If it is the last one, where employees take ANOTHER pay cut 5% I believe, at least they get to keep what they have earned and worked for. It will be interesting to watch for sure. Just wondering what they have to call and “Emergency” meeting to do this????? Why not just do it during a regular session…… Oh and the person that called Reed a bully I agree. A “leader” is supposed to lead…..not bully. There is a difference.

Future

June 23rd, 2011
10:57 am

@WillieRae…Everyone on here is a taxpayer. You chose your profession and they chose there’s. I believe City worker also pay taxes…lol

atlmom

June 23rd, 2011
11:06 am

Future : Employees?????!!!! taxpayers are paying a bunch of money. WAY too much.

No one implemented what I suggested, which is have the employees decide.
Tell the employees they can keep the plan they have – but then they will likely get no increases in salaries at any point.
Or they can opt for the ‘new’ plan. Whatever that might be, and then their salaries could be on the same trajectory they are on currently.

Then there would be no lawsuits.

Sad Brotha

June 23rd, 2011
11:13 am

Smoke and mirrors! The ATL is a house of cards!

Future

June 23rd, 2011
11:15 am

@altmom….I agree with you. I know employee’s that would pay another 5% on top of the 8% they pay now to keep the plan they have. My opinion is that the city keeps the same plan they have now for the existing workers and start the Yolanda Adreans plan with the new hires. At least they know what they are getting when they are hired. Everyone on here knows that the turn over rate with city workers is high. So it wouldn’t take long for the city to have about half the employee’s on the new plan within a few years. (Just an estimate).

atlmom

June 23rd, 2011
11:18 am

@future: they already DID that – that was the FIRST order of business when Reed became mayor. The problem was the liability from the employees who were still on the ‘old’ plan. And, really – we put away 10% of our income to 401k and there is NO PENSION that we have. So I don’t need to hear it from the ‘poor poor’ employees of the ATL.
Um, those who DO NOT HAVE TO PAY INTO SOCIAL SECURITY. I would LOVE to have that option, you know!!!
So, basically – that’s almost 25% of salary going to social security and 401k. So, boo hoo for those ‘poor’ government employees.

cityworkerto

June 23rd, 2011
11:20 am

Yolanda Adrean is a joke. The quote “people in other countries save their money” just proves she is an idiot. It is not the workers fault that the city is in this postion. The citizens of Atlanta are about to spend millions on a lawsuit that they cannot win.

Future

June 23rd, 2011
11:22 am

@atlmom..as I said before….You chose your profession and they chose there’s. A lot of the workers came to the city just for the pension and benifits. So boo hoo you for you and your job.

easy work

June 23rd, 2011
11:24 am

I’d like me one of those cushy city of atlanta jobs—no stress, 9-5, take a bunch of smoking breaks and long lunch hours, work slow and collect a fat pension and great benefits. Where do I apply???

Future

June 23rd, 2011
11:26 am

@easy work….Just apply at City Hall and your hired

GeorgiaPeach

June 23rd, 2011
11:29 am

@Cody Leighton . Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Finally someone speaks the truth! Mayor Reed is a bully. The Mayor and Council are supposed to work as checks and balances. What I’m seeing from Reed is very familar hmmm..let’s see…Shirley Franklin – who in my opinion is the WORST mayor we’ve ever had, but Reed may earn that title before it’s over. Reed does not have the interest of the COA only his own.

GeorgiaPeach

June 23rd, 2011
11:34 am

@WillieRae. You mean Reed is a democrat now, because he was a Republican. He is appearing to be more of a Republican every day he’s in office. I regret my vote for him everyday.

atlmom

June 23rd, 2011
11:35 am

Future: so you would prefer to send the city into bankruptcy and then guarantee no one has pensions? well, that makes sense.

GeorgiaPeach

June 23rd, 2011
11:36 am

Reed is in bed with Wall Street insiders -

atlmom

June 23rd, 2011
11:37 am

GA Peach: how is he an R? In what way?

atlmom

June 23rd, 2011
11:37 am

(not that there is much difference between the two)

Ringo

June 23rd, 2011
11:39 am

Reed is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He’s really a Republican. Sure fooled me.

Peace and Love, Ringo.

Stephen

June 23rd, 2011
11:45 am

I heard it was a mix between the Moore plan and the Adrian plan. If so, that may be a win for employees and the City. Goes to show what can happen when all sides of the issue get an opportunity to discuss an issue.

Future

June 23rd, 2011
11:45 am

@atlmom…..If you believe that the city will go bankrupt on the pension, you are sorely mistaken. The city owns so much property and assets through out the state of Ga. it would make your head swim. If the city would learn how to manage the money right, everyone could be happy. The problem is, back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s the city borrowed over $150 Million Dollars from the pension funds (that’s a low number). They never have paid it back. That’s why in 2002 the Police Pension Board sued to get the money into their own hands. So it all comes down to how the city spends money. They are blaming the employee’s for their mess up.

Wink

June 23rd, 2011
11:47 am

I keep reading about how this will prompt a mass exodus of city employees to better jobs. Hey, good luck with that; there are so many jobs out there in so many fields of work. Right?

I’ll say this, if there is a mass exodus, there will be a mass influx immediately thereafter. There are plenty of people looking for work in just about every profession/field.

Before anyone suggests that there will be a great brain drain because of this, or that good people will exit, spare me.

There is no excess of brain power in Atlanta government nor services. Both are woefully inefficient and have been for a long, long, long time.