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Letter: Lodi City Council thinks recession is over

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Posted: Tuesday, August 19, 2014 6:20 am

The Lodi City Council raises their own compensation and gives OK on 68 new hires. Is the recession over, or is this some slick pencil work? It must be overseas investments. Is it a fact that Illinois has more people on state assistance than there are people to pay for it? If so, California is not far behind. I am sure if the spending continues with our city council that we will have something in common with that state.

The non-sustainable retirement benefits are not being addressed, but I can understand if I was on the receiving end — retire at 50 with almost as much money as their wages before retirement — just shove it down the road for future city councils to contend with. As a city council member, you are expected to represent all the people of Lodi, and not to continue raising utility rates just because you can get away with it. On retirement, there is nothing wrong with fair compensation — but not 90 percent of pay and retirement at 50 years of age. I just don’t like the idea of Lodi filing for bankruptcy as other cities have done.

And again the city council has a way of raising fees without being overturned — if you object, send a letter to the City Clerk stating your objection along with parcel number. By doing that you will never get enough to overturn any increases by the city council. Is this a conflict of interest when five people vote for their own compensation? I realize that the city of Bell had a similar problem. And I understand they had a financial problem and some had to retire from political activities.

Ben Coleman

Lodi

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Welcome to the discussion.

5 comments:

  • Walter Chang posted at 10:16 am on Wed, Aug 20, 2014.

    Walt Posts: 1161

    Ben is constantly distressed.

    Folks, I have to admit...

    That I take pleasure in knowing this.

    Sorry. Me bad.

    [lol]

     
  • Ed Walters posted at 2:48 pm on Tue, Aug 19, 2014.

    the old dog Posts: 606

    Barrow: Evidently charts don`t lie, that being the case Coleman I have some extra egg to put on your face, or where ever you like. Two schools of though of which to pick from, I hope Barrow is correct.

     
  • Bob Johnson posted at 12:16 pm on Tue, Aug 19, 2014.

    Bob Johnson Posts: 30

    As to raising fees without fear of being overturned - the process Mr Coleman speaks of was created by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer group and passed by the State Legislature. It is a procedure that the City must follow before it can raise such fees as water etc. But it is a process that the Council has no control over - if sufficient votes are gathered then there is no fee increase.

     
  • Bob Johnson posted at 12:12 pm on Tue, Aug 19, 2014.

    Bob Johnson Posts: 30

    I agree with Mr Barrow when he suggests that the writer get his facts straight.
    The Council has received only 1 compensation adjustment in more than 21 years.
    I don't know of the 68 new hires he refers to - if anything the employee count for city employees is down significantly from the pre-recession days.
    Mr Coleman is correct - the issue of pensions is of great concern to the council. But unfortunately the hands of the council are tied as to what has happened in the past. Relief can come only at the hands of the State Legislature or the Courts. The Council can - and has - taken steps to reduce the pension obligation going forward. However any relief from new pension programs will not be felt until years down the road.

     
  • Eric Barrow posted at 7:43 am on Tue, Aug 19, 2014.

    Eric Barrow Posts: 1585

    I couldn't find any info on the new hires in Lodi it would be interesting to know what positions were filled. I also don't know if the city is being frivolous or not but I would like to point out some misinformation in this letter.
    For starters the Great Recession of 2008 ended in the second quarter of 2009. Secondly I have a chart of the retirement terms in front of me and in order to retire from the state at age 50 person and receive the maximum compensation a person would have to have gone to work for the state at age 16, that's 34 years on the job and even than their retirement compensation would only be 50% of their salary the very youngest a person could be and receive full salary at retirement is 59 and they would had to of had 43 years on the job. Quite possible but I doubt there are many eligible for that sort of compensation.
    The government may be bloated and I agree we could slim down and yes we need to find a way to cover are debts without bankrupting the City, State or Federal Government but in doing so lets keep our facts straight.

     

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