The faces of the anti-pension reform are clear: Mayor Stanton in his own words ordered staff NOT to answer conflict of interest questions regarding biased financial reports and the preparation of a key presentation. All done with hard working taxpayer money -- yours. But, it gets worse. A lot worse ... the Arizona Republic said the "Phoenix Council Betrays Voters, Dishonors Themselves" and called their actions "dirty" when the Mayor/Council adopted "a wildly misleading ballot description ..."
Read the full back story below and then you decide.
The conflict of interest by government staff has been ignored by the local media. City Staff are direct beneficiaries of the current system that THEY helped write reports for, hire consultants for, hire attorneys for, and made presentations for which blasted the citizens pension reform initiative.
*You’ve been told pension spiking stopped. Not true. It is still costing you $19 million per year.
*The co-chair of the anti-pension reform committee used hard working taxpayer money to conduct a financial analysis of the citizens pension reform initiative, which excluded major savings the citizens initiative gives taxpayers ... The anti-pension reform co-chair is also a direct beneficiary of the city pension scheme.
*This same report was then used by city staff in a prepared presentation. Again, using taxpayer money.
*The City of Phoenix Employees Retirement Board (COPERS), made up of direct beneficiaries of the pension scheme include the anti-pension reform co-chair, current city staff, City of Phoenix retirees, and one citizen not tied to the system. They used your money to give the guidelines, prepare the reports and then used those same reports in a public setting ... Again, all using taxpayer money.
*8 of 9 of the COPERS board members are either current or future beneficiaries of the pension system. Why would they want to change it?
But here is the worst example of all….. staff was involved in preparing, presenting, and justifying alternative ballot proposals all meant to confuse the voters, and if passed would have made any FUTURE reforms virtually impossible.
Bottom line, buried in all the legal mumbo jumbo of section 43.1 is language that effectively cuts off all future pension reform unless another ballot initiative includes “striker” the language (a-c) which would repeal the entire plan. The other effect of section 43.1 is to create direct legal conflict with EVERY section of the citizen’s initiative - effectively voiding the entire citizens initiative. All ordered by beneficiaries of the system and then used by the politicians to discredit the initiative ... again, using your money.
I will continue to keep you apprised and will continue to represent your interests at City Hall. The next report will show you shenanigans that lead to Phoenix spending over $2 million advertising your garbage. You will be more than amused with how the politicians are spending your money.
Phoenix City Council; District 6
See Arizona Republic Story here
See ballot description debate here
See alternative ballot proposal here
See alternative ballot debate here