Below is a letter sent to members of Council by Gwen Marshall of the Cincinnati Green Party discussing the City Manager's suggestion that they use "additional tax receipts" to fund car allowances and salaries for Council.
To all members of Cincinnati City Council,
You do NOT have a budget surplus, you have an underfunded pension fund. Back in 2003 the $55 million from Athem should have been paid into the Cincinnati Pension Fund, instead this money was put into a variety of pet projects which no one even seems to know where it went. As a result of the mismanagement of the Cincinnati Pension fund, in terms of Cincinnati not paying into the pension fund at the level it should be, there is now a proposed Charter amendment on the ballot in November which would basically leave City employees without a secure retirement.
IF THERE IS ANY 'SURPLUS,' THIS MONEY MUST GO TOWARDS THE PENSION FUND NOW! If the City were a homeowner this would be like putting the extra money towards the mortgage. For an Individual, adding money to a retirement account is called paying yourself first. I am glad that the City Council is planning to say no to the car allowances and such, but it would be even better to have the Council make a vocal point of putting money towards the Pension fund and to start paying down the $860 million pension deficit. The taxpayers need to see that City Council understands its financial obligations and is taking seriously the concept that Cincinnati could go bankrupt if it can't live up to its financial obligations.
co-chair Hamilton County Green Party