April 14, 2012
RI Assoc of Firefighters Re Municipal Relief Package: We Will Litigate
Justin live-blogged the Senate Finance Committee hearing of Governor Chafee's Municipal Relief Package for Ocean State Current.
Justin's coverage of hearings on Smith Hill are a treat for us followers of Rhode Island policy and politics because he includes many interesting and enlightening details and macro items. This time is no exception. Therefore, with great restraint, I'll focus on just one item for this post: remarks by Paul Valletta, a firefighter and lobbyist for the RI State Association of Firefighters.
Says the cost of Flanders et al. has been more than the cities and towns needed to avoid bankruptcy. “We’re in this mess because of the pensions,” and we all know it was a matter of mismanagement. “We would like just once for the leaders of this state” to take the blame and ask for help, and we’ll help. ...
He’s going through the bills, saying they’ll all be challenged through grievances, and he’s confident that the unions will win. ...
Valletta is particularly against changes to the Firefighters Arbitration Act.
One point and one question.
Firstly, receivers' fees have come nowhere close to the debt racked up by the borderline criminal budgeting of decades of Central Falls' highly irresponsible, could-give-a-damn-less elected officials. (Speaking of criminal, can we get an update on the investigation of Mayor Charles "Board-Up" Moreau?)
Secondly, before publicly committing them to a legal fight against this legislative package, did Mr. Valletta made it clear to his fellow firefighters, current and retired, that most of their pension plans fall somewhere in a range between underfunded and close to busted and that absent reform, pension checks will bounce?