City Councilor Ken Cockayne said that if the city had pushed ahead with the use of surplus pension investments to pay for future health care for city workers, the budget crunch this year wouldn't have happened.
"GASB 45 would have changed everything," Cockayne said.
The proposal to use extra pension cash -- anything beyond 120 percent of the expected need to cover pension costs -- for health benefits for retirees would have saved as much as $1. 8 million from the city's bottom line this year.
With that much money available, Cockayne said, the city could have frozen taxes while allowing the unions to keep the raises they'd negotiated and hang on to their jobs. There wouldn't have been a need to eye concessions or layoffs, he said.
Cockayne said he hopes the city's unions, which have been wary of the GASB 45 plan at best, will reconsider before next year's spending plan is put together.
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