PHOENIX – Pension reform continues to be a hotbed issue for the city of Phoenix, with two councilmembers expressing reservations over a reform proposal set to appear on the November ballot.
Councilmembers Kate Gallego and Daniel Valenzuela expressed concern over the Phoenix Pension Reform Act on Tuesday, saying the proposal is vague, inconsistent and will end up costing tax payers more money.
Gallego said she believes the proposal will be contested in court and end up costing the city high legal fees.
“We will be sued, there’s a lot of precedent, we will lose and it’s not fair to tell taxpayers that they’re going to save that money when they’re not,” she said.
Supporters of the Phoenix Pension Reform Act maintain the legislation would save taxpayers money by phasing out city employee pensions in favor of 401(k)-style retirements, however Valenzuela said they estimate the initiative could cost the city at least $350 million just to make the switch.
“(It) probably will be much, much higher than $350 million,” he said. “Once we get past that initial cost of at least $350 million, will there be a saving? The answer is yes, the question is how do we pay for this $350 million plus to get there?”
Gallego and Valenzuela said they both want transparency on the ballot and for taxpayers to be informed when voting, so the language of the ballot needs to reflect the potential $350 million cost.
“All I’m asking for, all we are asking for is transparency,” said Valenzuela. “It’s not fair to say that we want transparency and then give half the information. We need to put all the information out there.”
The council will vote Wednesday to finalize the language of the initiative that will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot.
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- A preseason guide to avoid holiday weight gain
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck