May 13, 2008

Cost-of-living hikes OK'd for retired city workers

Without dissent, city councilors Tuesday agreed to hand out hefty cost-of-living pension hikes to retired municipal workers.
The supposed one-time increase will give about two dozen of the most lucratively compensated retired workers $4,200 more each year.
But most of the nearly 400 eligible retired workers will get lesser hikes, though everyone who gets a Bristol pension check will receive at least another $10 a month.
City Councilor Mike Rimcoski said he went along with the proposal because he was outnumbered anyway.
Besides, he said, “This is the retirees’ money and future retirees,” too.
The deal, which will bring more money to hundreds of retired general city employees, won’t cost taxpayers anything, officials said.
The money is coming out of a trust fund that has a staggering excess thanks to wise investments over the past 30 years. It currently contains more than $500 million, at least $150 million more than it’s expected to need.
The city has no obligation to raise pensions, but councilors opted to do it for the second time ever because the cost-of-living adjustment will help so many people.
The council agreed to hand out a hike consisting of 75 percent of the annual cost-of-living increase to pension funds for each year back to 2001, the first time any pension hikes were given.
That means that workers who were retired in 2001 would get up to 16 percent more each month, though nobody can get more than $350 extra monthly.
One member of the council, Democrat Frank Nicastro, abstained on the issue. He receives a city pension for his 10-year stint as mayor and 17 years as a truant officer.
Rimcoski said a few weeks ago that he wanted to raise the minimum that every retiree would get and to scale back the maximum payment. He said that would be more fair to everyone who is struggling to get by on a pension check.
But officials said it would be costly and difficult to revise the plan that consultants worked out last fall.
The council intended to pass the increase late last year, but had to delay it after lawyers realized that a municipal ordinance needed to be changed before the inflation adjustment could be made in retirees’ checks.

*******
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Start building the Ark.

Anonymous said...

MIKE RIMKOWSKI HAS FINALLY LOST HIS MIND. WHAT IS NEXT MIKE BUY THEM ALL NEW CARS.

Anonymous said...

MIKE GET YOUR FAME BECAUSE YOU WILL BE OUT SOON AND FORGOTTEN SOONER.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Dr. No? I guess when the unions endorse you, they buy your support also.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see City Leaders addressing our most pressing problems.

john reek said...

wow retirees finally get thier cost of living almost 5 months later and mike is taking the same shots as the unions!
next thing you know cats and dogs will be living togather.

Anonymous said...

This is probably a perfect example that city government is broken! Those of you who keep saying it is not broken look at this process and tell me it is not broken. The city treasurer rail roaded this through. These COLA increases should have been negotiated. These increases while they may or may not be warranted the process was wrong. What impact will it have on those unions that did negotiate COLAwithin their contracts. Now will they ask for a non negotiated increase!

All the politicians who would benefit from this now or in the future should have recused themselves!

Anonymous said...

Like him or not, Mike is Dr No for reason. He asks the questions that his constituents ask him and he votes the way his constituents feel.

In my book, that makes him a real council member. And I'm a Democrat!

Cockayne Addict said...

Rimcoski is a thoughtful councilman with good, common sense.

Thanks Mike for all you do.

Anonymous said...

The increases should have been considered for those that are collecting pensions below a certain rate. I'm not happy about a COL increase for retired employees making over $50K a year.

Anonymous said...

Is Cockayne really going to try to put this to a referendum?

Anonymous said...

Why should someone getting a pension of $100,000/yr need COLA?

Talk about greed!!!

Anonymous said...

Again the "Naysayers " are lying. Who gets $100,000 a year in pension?

Anonymous said...

I"m a Democrat and it just shows all of us that the republicans outside of Mike Rimkoski are so partison that they even pick on there own. Mike I'm a proud democrat but you have my vote and I must say you have a lot more class than your so-called friends.

Steve Collins said...

Retired Water Supereintendent Lenny Valentino's pension is pretty close to $100,000 a year. The last couple of years that he worked, he was barely making more than if he'd stayed home.

Anonymous said...

There are a few retired cops that make over $50K from their pension. Britt is the first one that comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

I'll bet that there are at least 12-15 that get more than 80K year in pension, PLUS benefits.

I challenge the city to put out the facts.

Anonymous said...

Police Chief John DiVenere will have over a $100K pension when he retires in the next couple of years.

Anonymous said...

The Chief won't get the COLA, Valentino will.

Cockayne addict said...

Thanks Steve,

Valentino's pension is sick. Gov't is sick. It needs to be cleaned up.


GO Cockayne Go Cockayne Go Cockayne GO!