Friday, April 21, 2017

SOUND THE ALARM: Is your safety worth $1.50 a month?

Take off the gloves. It’s a no-holds-barred 7-alarm disaster. The mayor is at it again, trotting out his repertoire of false information and lies.

It’s a Signal 1-7 all call for the truth, and retired Assistant Fire Chief Debbie Carlin has answered the alarm to put out the mayor’s lies.

It comes down to this: a mere $18 a year.

That’s $1.50 a month--less than a tall Starbucks latte.

$18 a year.  A buck fifty a month. That’s what it would cost each person if every Dallas resident chipped in each year to ensure the pension plan is strong enough to keep our fire and police on the streets. 

Aren’t our active and retired first responders worth that much? Isn’t public safety worth $1.50 a month?

“The Dallas's Mayor either cannot add—or he is a liar,” Carlin said. “In his letter to the public, the mayor claimed the city would be out $1.35 billion over the next 30 years to save the police and fire pension. Those numbers are not accurate.”

Here is the real breakdown of additional costs as stated in HB 3158:

City of Dallas: $626 million (11% increase)

Active police and fire officers: $1.2 billion (91% increase) plus another $1.4 billion in reduced benefits by age 80 for a total increase of $2.6 billion.

Retired first responders: Reduced cost of living adjustment going forward (and, of course, the Mayor still wants to steal back $700 million in benefits already earned). 

Of these three groups--taxpayers, active members and retires--the City's burden is considerably lower than everyone else’s burden. Plus, the city's burden is spread over more than 1 million people while the remainder rests solely on the backs of 10,000 active and retired first responders.

“The Mayor is engaging in ‘fake math,” said Sam Friar of theDallas Police and Fire Pension board. “The Mayor’s words and actions are consistent with our belief that he is willing — and possibly attempting — to kill HB 3158 and the current pension plan in order to start a new one.”

Carlin and Friar aren’t the only one to sound the alarm about the mayor. In a guest commentary in The Dallas Morning News, state representative Jason Villalba notes that HB 3158 is not a taxpayer bailout as Mayor Rawlings erroneously claims. Rep. Villalba also notes that the entire Dallas delegation to the Texas legislature supports HB 3158. 

Immediately after Rawlings’ letter of lies, Dallas City Councilman Scott Griggs publically chastised the Mayor.

“I am AGAINST this letter,” Councilman Griggs posted on Facebook. “I fear that this letter is part of an organized effort to ‘kill the bill.’ Attempting to kill the bill is shameful.”

Shameful indeed.

In an April 21 press release, State Pension Chair Dan Flynn who authored the pension bill said he was “deeply disappointed in the Dallas Mayor making allegations and spreading incorrect information that won't hold up under scrutiny.”

According to Flynn, the mayor’s “own staff gave him incorrect information based upon unsubstantiated assumptions” that  “he touted as true.”

Flynn also said the Mayor’s bullying, name calling and refusal to negotiate in good faith “lends a lot of credence to the opinion of many that the Mayor just wants to take over the Plan and drastically attack benefits by collapsing the plan. Well that’s not going to happen.”

“The city can't recruit because they have a preference for parks over police and firemen, suggesting to everyone those officers rate below dirt and grass,” Flynn said. “The current legislation raises no taxes and requires no bonds, and I have no idea why the Mayor thinks it is so.”

“I suggest he stops wasting taxpayer dollars on expensive PR firms, lobbyists and lawyers, quit claiming bankruptcy is the answer and starts taking public safety seriously,” Flynn said.

Retired Assistant Fire Chief Carlin confirms that police and fire officers are leaving in record numbers “because they can make more money and have a lower work load just about anywhere else. And City Hall is showing them how much they really don't care.”

It’s time, she said, for taxpayers and city council members to “stand up and tell the Mayor to sit down and shut up. Tell the Mayor you think Fire and Police are worth another $18 a year.”

#backthepension #peoplebeforeprojects #morethandirt #sitdown&shutup


David Brautworst said...

I am a taxpayer in the City of Dallas. I am ashamed of the Mayor and understand the consequences of his actions. I pay more taxes each year our house is over valued. I support our first responders!

Anonymous said...

I am the widow of a retired Dallas Police Officer. He served the city of Dallas for 31 yrs. It is deplorable to know that all his hours of dedication
and that of other officers can be thought of as not worth the pensions that they deserve.