WWL>Topics>>7-2-14 10:10am Garland: on the firefighters' pension

7-2-14 10:10am Garland: on the firefighters' pension

Jul 2, 2014|

Garland talks with Fire Fighters Union President Nick Felton about whether the city should pay up the $17.5 million in pension money they owe the city's firefighters.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Welcome back well known critic of Italy -- funded kind of complicated -- become you lobbied. The recovery of the convinces Supreme Court that certain companies particularly will -- -- -- call closely held companies. With the religious convictions. Don't have to pay you for health care plan. That would contribute to. In abortion would contribute to. Contraception. Or key conference open from happen in. Are we talk about them what that means and what may be coming in the future and like has said. A lot of moving pieces to this discussion. 11 o'clock will once again one more to talk about shooting in the French Quarter. 'cause the mirror as desperate state and open and federal help pin. I think he's he's made some very good arguments that we've probably put. More money into police forces in the brought. Saudi Arabia. Afghan -- than them we have in the United States. But I think the problem is. What we talked about over and over would have. -- -- -- -- Almost. Systemically. And linking itself but. And its. -- the where you going to -- limited approved where you can minimizes money. And we do -- have committed to in the people who do have a don't wanna pay because you know trust in government. So we'll talk about that 11 o'clock this hour also involved the year -- the mayor has said he's gonna allow. Office the voters. To decide where the fire fighters. Get paid their pension -- but seventeen. Million dollars. And basically saying you know we're gonna let the the people decide whether they want. -- vick's water applied the actual fibers cut open whatever but in the meantime. Or Joseph who told the city no -- the firefighters before you -- anybody yeah. And of course we've requested people of the mayor's office hadn't been getting about it. Bull whip Dick Felton was -- prodigy union president that is always welcome. -- -- Gil good morning Colin thank you for heaven is overly you know we always liked him is senator Ted he's going to the public wants. Okay. I wish things were different. But unfortunately. You know the mayor has said. In recent press conferences at the -- collective services decide. But it's really not up to citizens as yours did the court is. Ordered the city to -- we tried to work things out for five years and me and neglected to pay his deal. Man it's simply. I guess it's in the conversations with -- priority verses what's an obligation. Okay and this is an obligation that one must pages like your tax -- That's an obligation you will be it audio will be. Consequences for your failure penalties -- Attorneys' fees. Just like -- wage garnished for child support that's an obligation. So this writ of mundane things that we were forced to the media has taken away the city's operations in the cities pastors say the city citizens. Ability to talk. And -- exploding demand. Rid of -- and -- is an action by the quartet that is will be it's. Is is a blow a money judgment you know a few slip and fall and you give me. A judgment against the city that goes in line. Over 600 cases. That -- waiting and will not be paid. Because the state has what's known as a sovereign immunity couples and you can't CU's. The south for money. Stay with the news that both vote state and and now that's in state ball enough federal cases such as -- discrimination lawsuit that we face and its abuse back. You can see CDS that you could seize bank accounts currencies. Off five trucks could -- police calls but that's only on federal. Cases that no one against cities in Minnesota house here in Louisiana. But the rid of mundane misses and let them going fault like mobile light and in what has happened is over the the prettiest five years the media has said he didn't like particularly law. So he choose not to Obey the law. And we've tried to work things out east and down and negotiated. In good tree and he wanted to turn seventeen and a half million dollars in 20 and we couldn't -- it. We have an obligation to the members of the firefighters. To make sure that they have a very sustainable. Mentioned. And the media chills and the citizens to take the penalties. And the interests and analysts say. They amount to well over a million dollars in penalties informers. Court costs. They brought -- no weakness legal expert from Washington DC. At 675. Dollars and now. To testify to things that it may as well as mr. cup and they admitted that they knew they were eventually have to pay and so that that is now do and the obligation. Follow that one can't run away and today it's not whether they can do via sort of do that. The court was very clear last week on that one as -- told me we don't have to stand in line. And number two days you know appropriate -- that was the words -- courts and unfortunately. They have allowed this thing to really mushroom up. To a huge. And they can have avoided all the latest news. -- realistic brig here people -- on the it's already have a couple called Richard bill. A can be your mix anybody else doctors -- anything million dollars that the courts at eight. It's legitimate and has to be paid now. At the same time we can't build everywhere consent decree in prisons and broken water pipes and Portland and do you want the chance to do -- or. Do you agree with the courts as we made a promise to the firefighters. It's legal. And the court said you're gonna pay. Jews and 01878. -- 386 fixated and zero he says. All right what we're thinking about it the -- firefighters pension fund. This video -- firefighters seventeen and a half million dollars the mayor's we we campaign. Don't have the money. Gives couple of all the reasons want. It's the voters. To decide whether we want to pay this or other very important things you'd be paid city. And the meantime the judges told the mirror and know you've got to put them -- -- line seventy and have no and you do have. Predict filtered up there -- players union president. Let's go to sell the callers Richie appreciate your whole -- in your room -- net. Richard -- equipment. Did we lose -- we didn't. Low -- you're there. Yes I'm here and more. Don't call him with their thoughts to. -- an obligation. Pay off as he had an obligation for years in court the solvent. Probably was extremely and it's his obligation and our partners pension fund. Against that obligation. To. -- some streets to. -- street likes beauty infrastructure for the city already knew when he came in all she actively chose not -- -- artist. For the last four years I don't know -- that money that we should explore streets. They -- -- lights went out there at this point. That you picked out against his obligation that the court to rule now and me and you know we went. That the court to rule the operators should dictate the Smart -- pension. And now. There has good facility. Taxpayers. Against -- -- in the front -- to do that given the obligation. What you think would happened if -- did go to the public. I think most of the public knows that we got to pay for -- got paid for and send inquiries and the pork. Broken water pipes got a paper or -- -- number of things. That we all use every day including firefighters. What you think that the public would do a -- referendum did get to. Well it is between -- and no it does prohibit it from the public the public would understand. That the firefighters haven't been pretty -- and today. And it is an obligation of city. That's -- to understand down the road is if you remember this amongst all -- at all or small amount. It's always because it is pretty well that's what users that has grown seventeen and -- and I'll that would start to address that. And our partners and then Morgan Shepherd of the terrible. And offering alternatives and there it won't cost the taxpayers a great deal of money and there. Response and continue to be zero. It's also model follows the court finding. The -- by the -- eventually in new go and be just that the -- -- -- the rule and they haven't practiced. The city has an obligation and our. -- could home it forces in the beginning it was just a couple of million dollars of today and as 34 years ago others four years in the 2010 really. If the last year of the Nagin administration. Was way in the east -- those shortfalls that to happen. And it it mushrooms it's kind of like. Matt -- house note of that law you could almost all more money you paid for yells after years and years of not paying. And and he's absolutely right arm and you know before the media as everyone well knows. You know we supported the media on the -- and I'm it's been I'm immune from great friends. For years I mean I endorsed. His first communion. And and and we always had that end we came in here and before when the during his transition year we served on his transition council. And we sat down with him -- listen. Mitchell this will happen it will come Monday you'll watch we know. It did debt is gonna have to be paid and he said yeah okay trust me we're gonna get it done we -- -- we gonna get it we gonna giving them and we are where we are today. And unfortunately. Win just like any other obligation just like you you don't pay your child support you don't pay you know you know it you know if if it's a priority. It would be like okay we're two wanna take a vacation a -- -- -- that surprise. Underway and -- and even though I don't wanna wait and disqualification. This is an obligation. And and it's it's come to roost. And I can tell you right now I know what his next move is going to be and is going to be continue to try to delayed this section. And he grows in the -- pointing almost 2000. Dollars a day. In interest. That the tax is will pay. OK it's not I'll follow on top of that. We are missing great opportunities since 2010. The market says going up from around 7000. To 161000. Paid we had that seventeen million dollars okay. Other funds. Okay experienced ten and 12% growth. The money that he's fine we could've made that money. It's just a sinful waist when he says we good stewards of your money. That is not being good stewards of taxpayer money and the truth of the matter is what needs to be on ballot is that whether you should create a firefighters and is whether. We should hold the media. Okay accountable for his lack of actions simply because it was my way on the highway and I don't need to beat this to be beat up to me this session I don't. I wanna work with me. OK I believe that together. Okay we can come out of I mean when I voted with him when I got votes for him we we supported him he was a person that could take lemons and make -- He was a person that we had visions -- they can get this city out of erupted in. But it's got to be a collective. Joint. Okay working with firefighters and police officers Republican poised with the private sector with the business community. With the downtown development district OK and everybody Rowan and pulling in the same direction not all of this fighting that we going back and so we willing to work. Our -- go to Mubarak callers bill. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Make that it took a collection here -- mr. Yeah I'll mention it felt mentioned about the state ark L. There so much so that. Our judges -- or not enforceable. It that this state court to stay or. Forced the mayor later this. That's the first point the point that Jesus he or she has courtyards so 001 K so. That might broke the judge Richard. K person. -- state at. Port on court. Bought this thing off. The compliant with apple law. And it. The -- laws -- contribute -- security which means that. We. Comply with -- or law. Because of that so why are. Taken at a court which -- -- -- can't opt for. Okay bill. -- -- well he's got a couple points etc. cholera blitz let's let's be clear -- yes. A state court can order a writ of man Amos. OK it is different from a money judgment. If you had a case like so many of those of the 600 cases that was for damages. And money settlements yes you must stay in the line and stand in the but it's like an order for for something moving fall. It's a writ of man dame is all his governments to do the right thing. And comply with the judgment and wow if it. And we have another case that's in line OK but that's that's something that we just gotta wait. But at the end of the day. The writ of man Amos is enforceable with contempt of which it is. Move would board let's we will hear the court says that we're gonna courses where they do put the mayor injury. I mean how do they. Make this state and stay in the -- payments is the illegal order. How do you implement well the it affected parties -- -- and unfortunately. I was taken back with it but yes. They could be put -- the could be found in contempt of court. But in the media and new and last week just. In the court the -- believe it or not and I and I suggest anyone look at the testimony and it didn't look to get a copy of the the number of minutes of from the media from the from the court proceedings and he threw the City Council under the bus he said I told the pain. In that once is the embassy in that but he -- I sent a letter to yell tell on the job better pay and and through the city council on the bus and said that the console assembles the MM -- their wares with the council should be held in contempt of court not to me. -- -- Take a break you recovered right backward talking about seventeen and a half million dollars we don't fire positive for the -- from Poland. Judges take a look at that -- four years of debate in and out chord with the news to mayors. And served. It's over and amend the image you have to -- -- get in law and this has to pay burst. The mayor says no I'm reporter referendum to the people and let them and saw what do you think 200187. -- told -- 866. -- nine hero he says. Very interesting situation in this city. Firefighters. Or owed seventeen -- have a million dollars for a pin from -- And they've been battling this mirror in the former mirror for the past four years. And the mayor says. We're we're not gonna period Underwood Porter a referendum. To the voters as -- and we've voters will help. But it's -- judges told mayor or reassure war you can pay in. It's from Redmond Damon -- -- understand correctly basically says is no you don't have to get on and you go to the -- Google. We have to -- right now. New executive Phil and wouldn't -- par -- union president and Marbury and that yet. Yet it's an enforceable judgment no doubt of and it's not like kind of jumping people in line it's it's it's not in the in in a group it's got to pay. Priority on obligation to do and it's it's just in two separate trials. We don't want people think we've jumping ahead and on but it's. And in you know around me as we look at our lives we're ruling says you have stay well that's correct you get paid. You did pretty you know awe and as we were talking about and break you know. On this is really. The the best way I mean you have a pension fund. That's an obligation. And out painted on his let's say foreign -- 200 million dollars. And that value. Makes the city -- laughs okay every year to what it's going to do when its obligation. Unlike how all phone which the city cannibalized. And destroyed. Kate back in some usability him. Almost a 170 million dollars and had fun. And the city just every month -- chipped up instead of -- wrote it and it went down zero. OK so now the city is writing which I am going. To pay the old five in the all fun. Each and every month which is an absolutely. Horrible way to run -- entrances. This way you invest these human and you get a profit. Other state. Pension problems may tenth 1112. Some 14%. This year. And last year I imagine if we hit at seventeen and a half million dollars okay. 101214%. That would paid down a debt. And make the payment that the citizens would be. Ultimately less money and a couple of mayors who -- use -- that cell phones common sense -- yeah well you have to a couple of knows them yes -- but understand politics comes. That's that's our problem what what's the -- and the politics is is that they don't believe the system. Is one that they should be fun. They don't like the ability of now -- of the mandate any state mandates on local governments. And they -- control while pension fund so they can destroy yet another fun. They've admitted that it may just have to die and destroy which is absolutely worst thing. That could happen to any -- I think it was quarters. You can composers and sustainable. Doesn't make any cents -- That's. Do you smoke in -- I'm in pension funds have been having. They'll lose -- than you. And -- -- I'd like you may have hit -- -- -- yeah I'm sorry about him. Bomb you know pension funds him -- a rough go. And we understand. The cry the outcry. And we need to sit down and work out and you know move along with the times we understand and we can. At the same rate you know this was a contractual agreement that was made years and years ago to Firefox OK different from the profits. And we can go ahead and make it sustainable. And we have firefighters have already. Given even though the city has mandatory. Firefighters now put more money into the pension system. Contributions have gone up considerable sum anywhere from four to 10%. Firefighters now have to work longer. To get a pension. Firefighters accrual rate now has changed for new honorees. Firefighters and off point of use of the bad the used to used to build the best 48 months now we use the best sixteen months. Which is a decrease in benefits. Firefighters have said OKMR -- We understand you want more representation on the pension -- they now have another member on the pension board that the mayor points. So we were ready and willing to do things but the city must do what it's supposed interest earning enough. Saint firefighters. Throughout the state of Louisiana and -- his retirement system. And that same problems same investments basically same type of investments. City Shreveport. PP they have. Monroe is in Alexandria late shells Lafayette Washington field that -- it is everybody pays the bill. But the media seemed to think that no he doesn't want -- announcing where it's right we have to pay taxes. Part of Mike. Mike year old with the mic built. They go on that particular call -- Eric it is you this morning and of and I am one firefighters watched by by associations. What other reason. Mayor -- would bestow over the popular or Kiki get out there which -- political power. Air. Some form of media that. Been behind your car. Does -- and vilify. All fire fighters -- it does seem greedy. And that we just want a bigger piece. When that's not -- sugar farm work in to reach I can tell you my lecture fire department two weeks to work. Which for a lot harder and -- hours. Are brought home -- six -- Jack. -- -- Yes sir. Yes sir -- make eleven dollars an hour. Minus all the deductions rising healthcare -- Rising tension deductions. It doesn't leave us much career. And they're trying to make that agree and it's not bad at all. We are dirtier locks to receive all -- -- here in long. I mean literally. We could get all want this fire -- any -- time and not expect. And there chipset. This CD. And turn -- -- back. We've always been their for the -- -- always will be so. It's not -- I just. I can't understand where went back. To the mayor believes -- -- your apartment on the law. Taking care of the people that take care of the city. Monica appreciate the call and -- on the side of NORTHERN IRELAND trip and build pilot. Here's a little on the spiritual and scientific poll the -- -- our opinion poll. Should do and firefighters get paid pension money will go in seventeen and have million dollars AD 4%. Say yeah. -- would come right back -- via. Are welcome back word that about 72 and half a billion dollars until March state judges told Maryland drew. You can pay to the par minutes or penchant for and its do this and that spare and don't put a little law and Bloomberg brought in -- Right way the mayors said basically no amount of repentance and referendum to the people. And we have about nick filtered group of Brothers union president. As code to a stage you've been Picayune Steve appreciate ago. Yeah. Yeah Colin. Like picnic on the question. Is -- Getting their. The police department and law once ordered over the same problems as the fox. Serving with the city now occurring right contribution. No they are non. And that is because of the state law. On state municipal. Room. Pension systems. As well as state and statewide pension systems in the constitution believe it or not. No other way to explain. -- the unlike these state in statewide systems in New Orleans firefighters as a municipal system. Under state in state by systems like the teachers like the close of municipal police. The state. Off firefighters. System there is a constitutional amendment that to them forces cities to pay. And what it says is if you don't pay. The system can attach themselves. To move -- revenue sharing stream of dollars that come out of Baton Rouge. To -- so you can step in and virtually take your money regrets for parolees that's what police that -- -- believes those farm. Well because New Orleans is a local system. And you know ironically. We tried to pass that legislation. About three years ago and got it all the way to the Senate's. And at that particular point in time the was the bill kind of dad on -- but. We will be continuing only to every year to try to either attach that to a piece of legislation and we continue to do. And just in you know they're they're so against. It looks I think like smoking and how. Bridges in Algiers June double the -- Yes thank you go stick in my. Legislate it's millions -- under 181000 now inauguration saying he didn't know he's gonna inherit this problem. -- mean and annual -- to a referendum for the people to vote of course to people are sick you know why should we face them and she darted in case I mean. That would divide -- want them in my life and it was aged 32 very key stats professional on them we got -- Neighborhood if you need to cut you -- Simon's where it's going to be quick anyway bogeyed the money goes thank you -- There -- appreciative call minute an amount sure we group we've got a couple call or others and you movement. Goes to referendum the people to get him today. The people I talked to back -- back environment and again -- move. On eventual low prodigy Eduardo but of the open -- -- is gone from 84%. Think we go to period to 86%. That thinks we should period. And nick omni would we tensions overall yeah we read nation why not do here. Pension systems of city employees firemen police whatever. Involved. In and pyramid schemes that they didn't know about that they got -- in. Ownership of golf courses. Is there -- any modern training of these pension funds it's saying. We're gonna put a more stable things rather than and. Yes and and his his thing. When you start to speak about the business and the nature of investments. Are you will going to have good days and you and him. I would like to compared to -- The saints Drew Brees will. Grow -- more interceptions he except for the government except for the coming -- And he's gonna get sent but we don't throw him in the team a week because of -- we know -- going to be ups and downs anybody any investment -- we'll tell you. There will be good days and bad days and -- you start to cherry pick investments. And make cold sealed decisions on them. He is not the proper way when you look at a pension fund you need to look at it because it's a long term. Look at the past twenty years look at the past thirty years. And when firefighters. Took over our -- of the current group that's them on the east of formal group that was. Was back in 19841989. He started to get in and taken different as they -- fiduciary look at. And that turned the pension system was worth about 64 million. It now today all let's say a couple of years ago it was up to about 200 mile an. And those look at those long sustainable ones. Okay and they're going to be tough days dislike in the fire service some days we gonna go and that house is going to be fully involved. And there's nothing that we can do but saved houses on either side. And unfortunately that happens so if you look at investments Warren Buffett. I was on TV a couple of weeks ago and he had lost 300 someone million dollars in one. Great investment. Okay he didn't turn shop he's not updated guidance investments just didn't turn out. That's why you diversify your portfolio. Because someone gonna hit a home run and some awful moment strike. One quick question you spend a lot of time of the legislature Super Bowl -- confessed award just Super Bowl so. Brought in almost 500 million dollars and we got 500 now from out of that yes. Dude dude the did the legislators without naming and in the Baton Rouge every state view all the record and out of chambers. We're not giving you fair share of money you're raising be cause. We don't. The reason then not doing dad uses just like. Anything holes over you know when we look back in the years governor Edwards and when he was good government. We have rainy day with 40500 million miles. The oil business was very very profitable to this state mound dollars and cents. -- in state government is just -- they. I'd sit through the House Appropriations Committee passes through the senate finance and revenue interest in the senate. Okay and those committees grappled with the fact that municipalities. Hall struggling for money. So no one wants to raise their hand and say you know what I'll give 5000010. Million back to the city in the wall -- -- I don't need the money. Everybody. Is Claude and and a real small most small pies and we. Sooner or later due. Public probably the American not after and sizzle out of this slump would take program that yeah we're only going to be a blue Ford. But you can't have a society. While about police and fire protection absolutely. -- -- and always a pleasure. Go and we thank you will be back whenever you can of this column analysts' mean joint coming music goes back to court on the 22 the one that in this -- yes we're going to be calling his sentencing very good thank you so angry. Governor bill we're coming right. Early squeeze one more caller Ross says no jurors are Pritchard took hold ago. Hey great outlook wanted you know I'll be. Quick. We witnessed. Delta. I live next door to apartment. I'm retired from communications. Workers of America and the lights still work there. And idle mind and not this year. I live and how it might be worth it -- once they have acted to twenty flat or whatever. I don't mind paying out there and again but we have a -- that folks at the public and not to the public that Bob that he -- -- He can't get along with the stated over the consent decree it doesn't work with this year he doesn't work with the -- -- -- trying to tickle the civil service. -- -- Try to make veiled threats to the public will allow the out of politics is -- they can take I don't mind paying it but I want to know what in the world of -- with the money. -- -- We can't -- policeman. We're bringing and a few -- is that it's time to come oh win police those early. And turn it made -- leave and what happens to that salary. The money. Doing with the money tell me which is in the mind. -- loss to Maria you're res from very good questions are appreciated the call nick felt from once again thanks again -- them. Covered right back Debra --