The two big questions still looming for your City Council Finance Chair as he waits for more details on the pension deal reached between the Mayor’s Office, Jacksonville Association of Fire Fighters, Fraternal Order of Police 530 and Police and Fire Pension Fund.
“It’s gunna take a while to allow our council auditor to crunch the numbers,” says Councilman John Crescimbeni.
He says council members still haven’t been given many details of the plan besides the highlights that you see posted to the left. He tells me he’s more interested in the “low points and details.”
“I wanna see the proof in the pudding before I give my blessing or seal of approval on this plan,” he says.
For Crescimbeni there are a few main concerns at this stage in the game. First of all, he wants to see if the projected $1.1 billion in savings over 30 years from the Mayor’s Office estimations will match what the Council Auditor finds. Furthermore, he wants a year-by-year breakdown of those savings to determine when the relief will come.
“We have a pension crisis today, next year, the subsequent year, and savings from new employees- those are gunna be down the road,” he says.
Crescimbeni says one of the main reasons the council didn’t get behind pension reform proposed by then-Mayor John Peyton in 2011 was because much of the savings would be at the back end of the deal. The proposal on the table now doesn’t change much for existing police and firemen, and while the Mayor’s Office projects it will save $50 million next year, Crescimbeni wants to know how quickly that will build.
“It’s the short term I’m most concerned about,” he says.
He’s now waiting to get those details, although there hasn’t been a timeline given on when they’re expected to come in or when the plan will appear before council for their consideration. He tells me if the Mayor’s Office wants a quick approval for the plan, those details need to come soon.