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NUMBER 111 - JULY 24, 2019
I first wrote about the effort by the members of the Miami City Commission to reinstate pensions for themselves on June 24th. In that story I revealed how the first draft of revisions to the pension provisions in the City Charter had not included any reference to the reinstatement of pensions for elected officials, and how it only surfaced days before the item was scheduled for a first vote.
On July 10th, Joey Flechas wrote a story about the pension plan with more information than I had been able to provide, and his last paragraph made me start thinking again about what the commissioners were really up to.
"If approved, the expanded pension program would cost the
city an additional $462,000 in the upcoming budget year's
proposed budget. The total cost for the Elected Officers'
Retirement Trust would be $829,000 next year."
In my mind, those numbers did not jibe with Flechas claim that the commissioners would be collecting approximately $50,000 a year in pension benefits if they passed the ordinance.
Because the numbers just didn't seem to add up, last week I sent an email to Christopher Rose the city's Budget Director, and Victoria Mendez, the City Attorney.
Mendez responded with a question, and I replied.
Copyrighted: 2011,2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
The above email was sent on July 16th.
Today is July 24th, and tomorrow is the city commission meeting where this item will come up for the 2nd and final vote required to make it law.
Christopher Rose has yet to respond, even though as I wrote in my email to him, "I don't think that the horse has gotten this far out of the barn without all of this being calculated up, down and sideways..."
The only reason that Rose would not respond is that the actual amounts that each city commissioner stands to receive if this pension ordinance passes is more than the $50,000 that Flechas estimated in his story.
In short, I believe Christopher Rose is purposely withholding this information, and because this is information that the taxpayers of the City of Miami should be entitled to know in advance of this item coming up for a vote, his refusal to respond to my email justifies my claim that his message to the citizens of Miami is indeed, FUCK YOU!
The reason that I have concluded that the numbers don't add up is in the changes in the language between the old method of calculating the pension benefits, and the new language that has been substituted.
The last time the Mayor and Commissioners received a pension, that pension was calculated on the amount of money that they reported on their W-2 wages.
This time, that has been changed to, "Compensation." Specifically the language reads, "Compensation shall mean salary and emoluments paid to the elected officer:"
There are no definitions included in the ordinance that spell out what "emoluments" means, and when things aren't spelled out in plain English, they are open to interpretation by the crooks at City Hall to make things mean what they want them to mean, which always results in the taxpayers getting screwed.
Another very troubling addition to this new proposal is that is states that, "Certain elected officials," no longer in office, "shall be entitled during the remainder of their natural lives to a sum equal to one-half of their W-2wages Compensation..."
Who are these, "Certain elected officials?" And how much will they be getting in pension benefits based on this squishy "Compensation," bullshit?
None of this information has been included in the pubic record, and that should make everyone sit up and pay real close attention, because while these crooks on the commission will gladly screw the residents on behalf of developers and other deep pocket donors to their campaigns without compunction, they are absolutely rapacious when it comes to screwing the residents of the city for their own personal benefit!
Below is the ordinance that the Commission will vote on tomorrow. I have highlighted the changes to make it easier for you to understand what I mean.
Welcome to Miami, Bitches!