Contrary to Pokey's suggestion, Ms. Zubeck's work doesn't merit a Pulitzer...far from it since she has simply regurged old news that has been long reported in the Denver and national press. The real news she has again missed is that the City's other pension plans, those under the direct oversight of City Council, for Police and Fire are in much worse shape than PERA. The City's contribution to PERA dropped to $8.75 million in 2010, down from $10.3 m paid in 2009. But, actual pension contributions made by the city to its Police and fire plans NEARLY DOUBLED between 2008 and 2010, increasing by $6.25 million to a total of $12.9 million paid in 2010. That is $6.25 million that could have been used to keep the parks and rec centers open! And the city council doesn't want to acknowledge the problem nor take accountability for all the enhancements to those pension plans that they approved over the last 7-8 years.
By the way, the contribution rate for a police officer was 21.3% of salary last year while the rate for firemen was 15.3%...both far higher than the amount paid under PERA for all the other City employees. All this information can be easily found in the city's budget which is one the city website. Pam seems to have missed this!
Also, the Mayor likes to use PERA as his whipping boy, apparently as a result of pressure from his employer who is in the business of selling 401k investments. But is it unwise to throw stones when you live in a glass house.
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