Tonight the Charter Review Committee will meet to talk about a couple of issues, including whether to take up the Sheriff's Office pension plan. As reported (naw, I'm not going to bother linking because I'm too lazy), there's some debate about whether the committee or the actual County Commission should address the issue.
Here's the background discussion:
If the committee takes it up, then voters more than likely will have a choice on whether to keep the plan or close it (only to future employees) altogether That's it. Don't kid yourself that they'll be talking about tweaks.
If the commission takes it up, then voters more than likely (if it even gets seven votes) will have a choice on whether to keep the plan or adjust it somewhat – maybe increase retirement age, or eliminate cost of living adjustments, or whatever. That's it. Don't kid yourself that they'll be talking about killing it altogether.
And that's the problem. No one – OK, maybe one or two people – actually believes either board would look at the whole picture. (Personally, I think it would be funny if each board addressed it and then put their own questions on the ballot. Couple that with the expected vote on city pensions of some sort and . . . . But I digress.)
So, obviously the Man with the Badge, Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones, wants this going to the commission. That makes sense. He doesn't want to close it.
And, of course, county Mayor Tim Burchett does not want this going to the commission. That makes sense, too. He wants to close it.
Some have argued that the committee, comprised of 27 members, has other issues on its plate and that it will take too long to understand the details to the pension program. Burchett said “it can be explained in 15 minutes.” Heh. Not exactly. But, it's not going to take six months, either.
We'll see what happens in the next months or so. I'm not crossing my fingers that the committee even gets to the issue tonight – not after the last meeting when they beat themselves with minutiae for two hours.
Then again . . . .