Archive for August, 2011

A Health Notice for Ratepayers and Taxpayers!

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

A recent CA headline reads “MLGW selects Cigna for $122M contract”.  I have no problem with Cigna as they are a very good insurance company as far as I know. However my problem is with the level and cost of health insurance for active and retired employees at the MLGW compared to the City of Memphis (more…)

Full Faith and Credit-Bass Pro?

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

 The headline and story reads as follows.

Memphis City Council OKs $215 million to

finance Pyramid-Bass Pro deal, buy

convention center

The Memphis City Council has approved a $215 million financing package to turn the Pyramid into a Bass Pro Shops destination store and to invest in full ownership of the neighboring Memphis Cook Convention Center.


The council voted 12-0 Tuesday in favor of the measure with little discussion. The Center City Revenue Finance Corp., the finance arm of the Downtown Memphis Commission, will issue bonds to fund the project, which are to be paid back through increased sales tax revenue collected Downtown.

We are lead to believe that the bonds will be paid back by incremental sales tax revenue generated by the development of the Bass Pro Store and all the other area development in the north end of downtown. But what is not said is that these bonds are full faith and credit bonds backed up by the taxing authority of the City of Memphis with the Memphis taxpayers guaranteeing the principal and interest if the incremental sales tax is not sufficient.

Let me say that I hope this works and is successful. However we need to consider the record of Bass Pro and I have attached two articles (Bass Pro drops out as waterfront anchor and Fishing for Taxpayer Cash) that speaks to this record. Buffalo, New York just cancelled their Bass Pro project after years of negotiations and delays. Read and make up your own mind.

Millions Lost Due To Lack Of Disability Oversight

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Recently I looked in the personnel record of a Memphis disability retiree. In the record was a letter from the pension administrator to the retiree citing a provision of the pension ordinance. The ordinance stated that if the retiree earns an income after leaving the city, that his disability income will be (more…)

Who is Running This Education System?

Monday, August 15th, 2011

With all the lawsuits and finger pointing going on in this mess, I wonder what is happening to the promised reforms at the Memphis School System. Here is a good example of why people do not have faith in the management of the Memphis City School system.

The Shelby County School system put in reforms to their retiree health care (more…)

Pension/Health Care Facts and Figures

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Pensions at the City of Memphis, Shelby County and the MLGW

It is surprising the facts that you come up with when you really start digging into the various documents posted on the internet and available through open records requests. For instance what is the ratio between the number of active (more…)

Step Four: Reform at the MLGW

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Reform-Step Four-Health Care at the MLGW vs Memphis

Finally, we need to look hard at the OPEB funding and health care costs at the MLGW and bring them into line with the City and especially the County. Both local school systems have reformed their retiree health care systems to model (more…)

Step Two: Reform At The City of Memphis

Monday, August 1st, 2011

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“>Comments from Joe Saino

Health care for retirees is financed theoretically by the OPEB trust fund. However the bucket of money in the fund is empty. The City of Memphis has an unfunded liability of $1.2 billion dollars. Last year they only put in $1 million (more…)

Step Three: Reform At The City of Memphis

Monday, August 1st, 2011

 Comments from Joe Saino

There is the obvious scam going on in the line of duty disability provision of the pension ordinance at the City of Memphis. We have 429 retirees on this disability receiving $11.8 million dollars per year, tax free for life. Many of them are able to work but do not have to according to the pension ordinance. A good example is Rep. Curry Todd of Collierville who retired in 1988 and since his retirement has done various things such as being a referee and representing the citizens of Collierville in the state legislature. Click here to see the channel 3 report which was instigated by my report that the City of Memphis has 10 times more line of duty disability cases than the County or the MLGW.,0,4049753.story

Here is the provision from the pension plan. All it takes is for two doctors to sign on. There is no provision for alternate jobs. Remember that 1/3 of all social security payments in the United States are disability. It is bankrupting the county.

27. “Line-of-duty disability” means a physical or mental condition arising as the direct and proximate result of an accident sustained by a participant, after he or she became a participant and while in the actual performance of duties for the city at some definite time and place without willful negligence on his or her part which totally and permanently prevents him or her from engaging in the duties for which he or she was employed by the city. The determination of the line-of-duty disability of a participant shall be made on medical evidence by at least two qualified physicians.

Also remember that these line of duty retirees have access to the health care system for which taxpayers pay 70% of the premium for the retiree’s life.

SOLUTION: This pension ordinance needs to be reformed during the pension revision.