Under the state's new proposal, all municipal pension funds with less than 50% funding (that's totally us) would be taken over by the state. The state would determine how and when we pay into it, how and when it pays out, and who gets to handle the investing.
Scott Abel, an Atlanta-based analyst with Mercer Investment Consulting, which handles the city's pension fund portfolio, called the emerging legislation "the most ridiculous chicanery that I've ever heard." (P-G, Rich Lord)
Yes the fireworks between Council President Doug Shields and Chuck Half of PittMAPS were eyebrow-raising, see the P-G's Dennis Roddey.
The real news I saw was that Councilwoman Harris and Councilwoman Smith were asking all sorts of tough questions, sounding extremely interested in ensuring that they would be briefed in advance on anything they might be asked to sign off on. They also wanted to see their own projects get a real nice transparent fair hearing.
If this is an issue about -- well, about the Council's fundamental control over public spending -- you will probably be able to add Councilwoman Payne to this column, who does have a record of being a watchdog for the Council's powers. So there's your math and then some. Of course, Payne was absent from the special meeting, as was Burgess and Motznik, so there may still emerge a novel counterargument to the legislation, possibly legal in nature.
The other news is that Councilman Peduto was again all composed and effective, which is weird getting used to.
Tying up loose ends: the Hill District community benefits agreement appears to be making itself useful.
The Hill House Association yesterday announced that nine community organizations will receive funding this year. The funding will come from the $3 million Bank of New York Mellon agreed to contribute to the Hill District Neighborhood Partnership Program over a six-year period. (P-G, Karamagi Rujumba)