Thursday, April 11, 2013

This Site Has Suspended Publication

For the latest articles from Ron York, go to THE POLICEPAY JOURNAL

For the latest bargaining news go to The Gospel According To DeLord

For total coverage of the police industry go to American Police Beat

For the latest court decisions and arbitration hearings go to LRIS

Friday, March 22, 2013

A City in Recovery: Vallejo After Bankruptcy: The California Report | The California Report

A City in Recovery: Vallejo After Bankruptcy: The California Report | The California Report: "Reporter: Scott Shafer If Stockton wants a peek into its future, it might look toward Vallejo, a blue collar town on the northern edge of San Francisco Bay. Five years ago, with the city unable to balance its budget and crushed under a mountain of debt, Vallejo declared bankruptcy. It was just weeks into Osby Davis's first term as mayor. “I spent the first six months attempting not to file bankruptcy, trying to find a way out, finance our way out, negotiate our way out, wait our out. None of that worked,” he says."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Nelson Cuba

By Ron York

Nelson Cuba has been my friend for many years.  He is my friend today.  He will be my friend tomorrow.  I have no information that would be applicable to Nelson's arrest.  It does not matter.  My commandment is to love my fellow man as I love myself.  There is no exception for that commandment.

The only thing I would ask of you is to read the warrant. (133 pages)

Allied Veterans Warrant

Allied Veterans IRS Form 990 For 2011

Allied Veterans IRS Form 990 For 2010

Allied Veterans IRS Form 990 For 2009

FOP Foundation IRS Forms 990

Allied Veterans Master Affidavit

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The United States Economy - Today

By Ronald J. York


The last business cycle, which ended with “The Great Recession”, continues to cause problems for most local governments. Although the Real Gross Domestic Product is at an all time high, it is well below where it should be at this point in the recovery. From 1946 through 1980, the business cycle was four years and ended with a mild recession of two quarters. This was mostly a product of overbuilt inventories. Beginning around 1980, the introduction of affordable (at least much less than IBM mainframes) allowed inventory levels to be controlled must better. The flood of PC computers during the late 1980's, combined with Microsoft’s DOS operating system, made sophisticated inventory management available to even small businesses. At the same time WalMart developed an inventory control plan that was very good and it was soon emulated by all large retailers. Almost over night, the four year business cycle was extended to ten years.

The business cycles of the 1980's and 1990's provided the largest advancement in total wealth in our country's history. The recession ending the 1990's cycle never really went into the red. This was the mildest recession in post war years. The expansion of the 2000's cycle began in 2002. From the beginning, it had serious problems. The Islamic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which predicated wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, caused a large expansion of the military. While this caused the GDP to expand, it reduced the growth in production of consumer goods that should have occurred. To compensate for this, the federal reserve flooded the financial markets with liquidity, which led to cheap money, which then fed a speculation frenzy in the real estate and stock markets.

As with all speculation, it led to overpriced real estate and stocks. By 2006, both real estate and stock prices were way above the trend lines. Starting in 2007, the Democratic Party began its push to regain the Whitehouse. (Note - I am a Democrat) Even well before Barrack Obama was established as the nominee, the Democrats began a propaganda claim that claimed that the economy was in the worst shape in fifty years. The truth was just the opposite, but this worked successfully for Bill Clinton and Al Gore in 1992, so it was rolled out for a reprise performance. Even some Republicans, running as Anti-Bush candidates, were selling this line.

By 2008, the Big Lie about the economy had risen to the level of conventional wisdom and soon became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Almost on cue, the economy did decline significantly during during the summer of 2008. For the first time in nearly 100 years, the American economy was derailed by a panic rather than overbuilt inventories. A panic occurs when consumers lose confidence in the economy and cut back on spending. A standard recession is started by manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers realizing that inventory levels have become excessive and they cut back.

The significance of the decline being a panic rather than an inventory recession is that a panic does not require any underlining fundamentals, which allows a panic to occur at any time. The 2008 panic was a perfect example. When the panic took hold in 2008, the expansion portion of the cycle was not yet mature. It was not ripe for a correction (recession). As a result, the cycle was truncated by three years. The decline was a sharp, but not very long, “V” shaped recession that gave way to expansion quickly.

The current business cycle had two things working against it from the beginning. One was the abbreviated length of the recovery for the previous cycle, while the other was the depth of the decline. This left the current expansion starting an artificially low base. The growth rate of today's expansion is below normal. Historically, the GDP number that most people are familiar with has grown at an average rate of 3% per, after removing inflation gains. Considering, that there is a one percent growth in population, real growth on a per capita basis had been 2%. Currently, that number is about one-half that amount or 1%. But, even 1% is growth, not contraction.

Two major factors are a drag on the growth rate. The high employment rate is being exploited as sensationalism news and offered as evidence of a weak economy. Unemployment, as an economic issue, does not matter. The operative number is total employment. Unemployment is the last major statistic to recover after a recession. What counts is per capita production of goods and services, not how many people are idle. The reason we can have economic growth and high employment at same time is productivity gains – the ability to produce more goods and services with less units of input. Over the last five years, we have seen the largest shake out of low skill workers since the depression of the 1930's. A shake out causing an increase in productivity is where 100 men with shovels are replaced by one man with a bulldozer.

The second factor is the constant ranting by high profile people about the horrible shape that the economy is in – it isn't. Having been twice sucker punched by the Democrats with the bad economy canard, the Republicans tried the same thing for the 2012 election cycle. Base on the outcome, the Republicans were not as successful as the Democrats, but that has not deterred them from bad mouthing the economy well past election day. This remains a drag on public confidence. The dooms day forecasts of impending collapse of the United States economy by Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan are nothing more than contemporary flat earth theory. The USA has the lowest tax rates of all major industrialized nations. The share of the economy controlled by government is very low compared with the European countries. The claims of excessive budget deficits and huge debt load are quickly discredited when accrual accounting methods are applied and trend comparisons are made to GDP growth.

One negative factor, that cannot be denied, is the increased portion of the GDP that health care consumes. Without any intervention by government, this trend is receiving aggressive push back, and consumers are becoming more rational about utilization of these services. Boiled down to its essence, Obamacare (socialized medicine, if that makes you feel more comfortable) has two basic goals:

  1. Force everyone into a single risk pool
  2. Encourage preventive medical care

The small government crowd cannot stand the thought of universal health care, but it is already here. We just have a crappy way of delivering it. However, this problem will not be rectified until the Tea Party and friends are marginalized. For the immediate future this issue will be like the weather - “everyone complains about it, but no one does anything about it.”

The Road Ahead

People, including Republicans, will only wallow in the mire so long before their selfish needs reach the top of their priority list. As Barrett Strong sang in 1960:

“The best things in life are free
But you can give them to the birds and bees
I need money (that's what I want)”

When that point is reached, austerity, along with Canter, Ryan & Associates, will be quickly dispatched to exile. That is where we are today. Given a choice, most people will chose material gratification over unrelenting worship of a dogma - “I need money (that's what I want).” The Tea Party Crowd is preaching the “No Pain – No Gain” austerity doctrine. They promise gain, but can only deliver pain. Our economy, just like all major economies, is driven by hedonistic consumption – sad, but true. Five years of prohibition has left many thirsts unquenched. The Tea Party is looking more and more like Carry Nation.

Outlook For The Economy - Good

For a printable PDF version use the link below.

PDF Version

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Test For Fitch, S&P and Moody's

                                        Which City Is In Better Financial Condition?
Which Would You Give The Better Rating?

City Number One

Total Assets........................................................................................$1,000,000,000

Unfunded Bonds Payable (payable over 30 years).................................$500,000,000


Both cities can liquidate their present liability for $500,000,000

City Number Two

Total Assets........................................................................................$1,000,000,000

Unfunded Pension Liability.....................................................................$500,000,000


  • Unfunded means there is no money set aside and dedicated to liquidate the liability.
  • Light Bulb!!! All liabilities are "unfunded," otherwise they would not be liabilities.
  • Damn, what a brilliant revelation - all liabilities are unfunded.
  • Don't go down the defeasance trail.  It is a dead end, and not applicable. 
  • Bottom line? Debt (negative asset) is debt, regardless of the form it is in, or the label attached.
  • Aggregate government debt never comes due. Liquidated debt is replaced by even more debt.
  • Debt is not inherently bad.  It is just another form of equity (claim against the assets).
  • "Unfunded" pension liability is just another debt - no better or no worse than other debt. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bond Rating Zealots Attack Fort Myers

By Ron York

Fitch Ratings trashed Fort Myers, Florida today with a negative outlook warning, while droning on about pension funding levels.  Hell, Fitch went ballistic.  Not satisfied with the actuarial study's assumptions, they arbitrarily lowered the discount rate to 7% and recalculated the pension liability.  Get ready, Fitch, S&P, and Moody's will soon be traveling from town to town like tent revival hucksters,  pushing their own bogus financial dogma.  Once very reliable firms have become the Elmer Gantrys of municipal finance.

Read the article and ask yourself "When will he arrive in my town?"  The answer is soon - very soon.  We are in the frenzy phase of this crisis.

Read the article for yourself

Baton Rouge - Chief White Refuses To Leave Gracefully

Baton Rouge Police Chief Dewayne White

Mayor Kip Holden Welcoming President  George W. Bush To Baton Rouge

By Ron York

Contrary to tradition, Baton Rouge Police Chief Dewayne White refuses to accept his firing by Mayor Kip Holden and has begun a series of appeals.  He has hired an attorney to represent him before The Civil Service Commission.  Immediately after Chief Administrative Officer William Daniels informed the Chief of his terminated two weeks ago, he declared his intentions to resist the action.  Since then he has claimed that the Mayor and Police Union President Chris Stewart interfered with his ability to run the police department.

Chief White was appointed by Mayor Holden, after a career with the Louisiana State Police.  The chief had a habit of being a little too candid with his public remarks about the police department.  The remarks led to the police union feeling the need to respond.  Mayor Holden tried to mediate the schism, but it would eventually recur, requiring the Mayor to intervene again.

The unwritten rule concerning police chiefs is that they work for the people, but they serve at the pleasure of the mayor.  Chief White is certainly within his rights to appeal his dismissal.  That is the law in Louisiana.  However, the odds of him ultimately winning back the chief's job are not very good.  Normally, taking your firing without a fight is considered part of the job description for police chief.

I have worked for the Baton Rouge Union of Police for ten years and I am currently negotiating with the city concerning a new contract.  My only dealings with Chief White have been at negotiations.  He was always polite and courteous to me, but I was not his employer or employee.  One thing I do know, it takes a lot to get Kip Holden to fire you.  He is very forgiving and gives you the benefit of the doubt and I can say without reservation, firing the chief gave him no pleasure.

I am certainly not going to say anything derogatory about a person who has devoted his adult life to law enforcement.  The lesson to be learned from this is the need to have a national academy for police chiefs.  You can be the best police officer on the department, but be a dismal failure as the chief.  A different skill set is needed to be an administrator, especially dealing with the public.  It would have been better if the chief had went quietly, even for himself.

I wish Dewayne White only the best and thank him for his many years of service in law enforcement.

Refusing To Accept Reality!

By Ron York

Many, probably most, of you cannot accept the unavoidable truth - your world has changed.  You are stuck in the old world of post 9-11.  Oh, those were the good ole days, but they are gone.  Will they ever return? Probably, but not anytime soon.  Do I like that?  No, but I am moving on.  What are you doing?

The road to the current situation was paved with indifference, apathy, and arrogance.  We could have prevented this disaster if we had put out only a modest effort over the last twelve years, but we did not.  The decimation of pensions and other benefits will not go on forever.  Eventually, the slash and burn policy of the Tea Party crowd will overreach its limitations and the war will come to an end.  That may be soon.  At some point, the cuts in personnel and pay will begin to impact the average citizen's safety and security.  Only then will the healing and recovery begin.

The question is "Will you and your pension still be alive when relief finally comes?"  Most union leaders cannot bring themselves to be honest with their membership.  They fear rejection and defeat for re-election.  The choices given to you concerning your pension plan may all be repugnant.  You may be forced to pick between two totally "unacceptable" options - a reduced pension or no pension.  The choice is really easy, even if it does not feel so good.

Am I a defeatist who has folded at the first sign of push back from employers?  I have been accused of that.  I am for keeping things just as they were - defined benefit plans paying 90% of final pay, with DROPs and spiking facilitated by overtime and large buy backs of unused paid leave.  I am all for the employer eating all the risk involved.  There is just one problem - that is not an option.  The boom and bust of compensation can be mitigated, or even completely eliminated, but it is going to require two major changes.

First, the hatred, that's right hatred, the major police unions have each other is absurd.  It has to end - Now!  We all know the mantra - FOP hates NAPO and NAPO hates FOP - FOP lobbyists hate NAPO lobbyists and NAPO lobbyists hate FOP lobbyist. Two competing "Pension Seminars", that ignore the current disaster, across the street from each other, at the same time?  Are you serious? Large state organizations, like CLEAT, PORAC, Council 15, and PBAs are no better.  IUPA and IBPO are non-entities today. Is there anyone out there that is willing to let go of this Hatfields and McCoys feud and put some real effort into the job at hand?  Hell, the Teamsters Law Enforcement League looks like the voice of reason compared to actions of the other major unions.

Second, it is going to take money - lots of money, not to buy politicians, but to get the message out.  It will require real, 100% owned and paid for lobbyist, not bag men and amateurs.  It will require real Madison Avenue advertising firms.  It will require professional management.  All of these things will require real money - big money.  This leads to your cheap ass dues structures.  You get what you pay for and you are not getting much, because you are not paying much.  NAPO and FOP should have dues of $100 per member per month, not the chicken feed they assess now.  I do not know how Tommy Nee and Chuck Canterbury do as much they do with so little resources.  Fortunately, both are true believers in the cause.  Unfortunately, zeal can only take you so far.

As for some of the solutions I have offered?  They suck, they really do.  However, the alternatives suck even more.  There are no good and easy solutions - just gut wrenching ones.  If it will make you feel better, send me an email telling about how many members you have, or how many BBQs you had last year, or why you are justified in hating the other unions. You can even send me an email containing only two words, as a New York City cop did last week.  A better idea is to forget about ventilating on me and instead call the other police unions and negotiate a truce, followed by a discussion about raising dues.

Maybe you think you will try to just weather the storm.  That's okay with me.

"You just have to ask yourself one question.  Do I feel lucky?" - Dirty Harry

Friday, February 15, 2013

How To Save Your Defined Benefit Pension Plan

Download February 15, 2013 Revision

By Ron York

I have written an article that lays out a plan to save defined benefit pension plans.  Unfortunately, it is fifteen pages long, which is a little long for a blog.  You can download a PDF version by clicking the link below.

Download PDF File

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Operation Save Your Pension

Ron York
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Saturday, February 9, 2013
5:00 PM MST

Since last speaking with you Tuesday, the pension crisis has expanded rapidly.  Florida public pension plans are being drug to the electric chair for a summary execution after very little due process.  The situation went from idle chatter to full blown legislation virtually over night.  It very similar to what occurred in California last summer.  However, that has not deterred the deniers from telling me I am nuts. 

The situation remains at code red.  By this time next year, many of you will have lost your defined benefit plan.  It is late in the day, but there may be time for you and your pension plan to be spared from the budgetary knife.  Today is not the time to be playing "prevent defense" or "rope-a-dope".  You need to be playing like Jake "The Snake."  Now is the time for the mother of all "Hail Mary"
passes.  So what if you are intercepted, you are going to lose any way with the current game plan.

Over the past three days, I have worked diligently to prepare my game plan for you consideration.  It may be a loser too, but it can't any worse than the "no plan" plan we are currently using.  Only the bold are going to survive this wave of rage and destruction and bold is my plan.  Unfortunately, it is taking more time than I realized to develop and debug the necessary worksheets.  I will lay out the program in this letter and give you the URL for the documents that are completed.  Rather than send you an email daily for the next week, I will post all updates and revisions on my blog YORK'S POLICE UNION BULLETIN  To facilitate discussion, I have activated the comments option.  You are welcome to submit your comments.

The Plan

We must let go of the need to place blame for our unfortunate circumstances.  We have all heard the indictments.  I have issued my share over the past year.

There is only one solution - take your pension away from your employer.  The source of our problem is the Governmental Accounting Standards Board and the three bond rating firms.  As long as the employer is involved with the pension plan, these four entities will continue pressure your city to make the wrong decisions concerning pensions, which will eventually bring down your pension.  Pension holidays are a creation of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.

Cities are running scared with today's high pension contribution rates.  Pension liabilities, which have now come under the spotlight, are causing ulcers for most city leaders.  The surprising thing is how low the average contribution rate would be if two things had been done differently:

  • No pension holidays had been taken
  • Reaction to plan investment price changes had been based on a long term approach  
 The actions needed today to calm employers and get away from the four nemesis are:
  • Freeze and convert pension liabilities into bond liabilities
  • Permanently set and freeze the employer's contribution rat
Before I go any further, I want you to quit saying it can't be done, because it can be done.  Look how quickly legislatures and cities have moved to destroy pensions.  That same expediency can be used on our side.  City leaders are at the end of their wits because of this disaster. If you are willing to offer relief, they will listen.

Based my research this past week,  I am convinced that the pension element of every police or fire pension could be funded for 18% or less on an ongoing basis. It is getting close to my self-imposed deadline of 5:00 PM.  I will send this email and then move to my blog THE POLICE UNION BULLETIN

Files will be uploaded shortly - Ron

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

You Got To Take Those Punks Out

Tired of getting your ass kicked and handed to you concerning your pension? Well then do something about it. Your employer may appear to be the source of your mugging, but it is not. Your employer is only reacting to the daily butt kicking it is taking from a gang of financial punks, who are being egged on by the small government zealots. This group of gangbangers can't get directly to you or your pension, but they can extort your employer into doing it for them. There is never going to be peace until you take these punks out.

Just who are these punks? A bunch of East Coast lawyers, accountants, and actuaries who could not last one day as a cop in South Los Angeles. Nothing but wimpy bureaucrats hiding behind some faceless organization. You want names? I'll give you names.

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)
Moody's Investment Services (Moody's)
The McGraw-Hill Companies DBA Standard & Poor's (S&P)
Fitch Ratings (Fitch)

GASB is the source of accounting rules for governments. It has no enforcement authority. It must rely on surrogates to impose its will. Since its birth during the mid 1980's, GASB has become nothing but a goofy think tank for a bunch of egghead fools. Just when you think GASB insanity has gone as far as it can go, it sounds an even higher crescendo. Marvelous. The ironic thing about GASB? It has never written a single rule concerning pension funding (actually writing a check). Zilch! This toothless tiger only writes rules concerning the presentation in financial statements (ink on paper).

Then why in the hell are we getting this GASB crap crammed down our throats? This is where Moody's, S&P, and Fitch come into the mix. Yep, the same punks who are actually threatening to down grade the credit rating of the United States of America (the best credit risk on the planet). What a bunch of pompous jackasses. Here is how they coop your employer.

First, the threat:
“Either do as we demand, or we will lower your credit rating, causing you to pay much higher interest rates when you borrow money.”

This is followed by the demand:

“You must use the GASB accounting rules for actually funding your pensions.” (This means using real money, not just the make believe money used in financial statements.)

Whoa, just a minute here. Pension plans don't borrow money. They are investors of money. They don't need no stinkin' credit rating. That is absolutely right, but the employer is the obligated party for most pension plans today and it does borrow money – lots of money. Here is the message:

“Either implement GASB rules for actually funding (real money) your pension plans or we will break it off in you when you borrow money to build a new sewer plant.”

Before you get all excited about dumping the entire blame on this bean counter gang, you and your employer are also complicit in the destruction of your pension plan. Ever heard of spiking, retro-active benefits, and pension contribution holidays?

Do you want to know how to take these punks out? Be in Jacksonville on January 30th. The road map will be given to you. Ron DeLord and Ron York will show you the way out of the wilderness.

Ron DeLord will be the mastermind of the operation. It doesn't matter whether you love him or hate him, he is the guru and godfather of public safety collective bargaining – right now in the year we live, 2013.

Ron York is the no nonsense battlefield tactician who will give to you the playbook to get your pension under your control and give the financial punks a kick in the butt as they exit. The playbook is a real document and you will leave with it in your hand. It is not “food for thought”, it is a “how to do” game plan.

Interested? It is not too late to attend. Do the following:
  1. Find a way to be in Jacksonville, Florida on January 30th and 31st.
  2. Book a room at the Courtyard by Marriott – (904) 296-2828
  3. Be at the Jacksonville FOP Lodge at 9:00 AM on the 30th.
  4. Bring your check book with you and pay at the door ($250 per person).
The seminar will be presented at:

Jacksonville FOP Lodge
5530 Beach Boulevard
Jacksonville, FL
(904) 398-7010

The seminar hotel is:

Courtyard by Marriott
4670 Lenoir Avenue South
Jacksonville, FL
(904) 296-2828

Meeting times:

30th 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
31st 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon

Your host will be Mr. Nelson Cuba. The seminar is not an FOP function and all affiliations are welcome. We have FOP, NAPO, IUPA, PBA, Teamsters and independent unions registered. You are welcome. No one will be turned away. Nelson has a large meeting hall.

For help call or email Ron York (405) 919-5071

Monday, January 7, 2013

Why Bother To Come To Jacksonville January 30th?

By Ron York

Just what will be addressed that hasn't already been repeatedly presented coast-to-coast? That's a good question. The answer? Virtually everything. Ron Delord and myself will be presenting the blue print for your escape route from this pension hell you are now experiencing. It ain't pretty, but it is the only real option available today.

I received a phone early this morning from a very a cordial police officer in Florida. He ask this very question. It is a reasonable question. Where do I begin? I guess at the very heart of the issue - you have a problem, a very big problem. It is a financially lethal problem for you, your department, your pension, and your pay check. What you do today will determine the outcome of this assault. The problem is two-pronged and can be easily defined with two words:

1 - Appearance

A 90% pension and a 80% contribution toward medical insurance cannot be presented in a way that the public will support today. Forget all the arguments about how it is just payments in lieu of more money in your pay check. Just because it happens to be the truth does not matter. The time for making that case was long ago.

2 - Risk

Cities, counties and states want out of the pension and medical insurance risk business.  They are going to get out - with or without your input.  As a variation to Johnny Paycheck's famous song, government employers are singing "Take These Benefits and Shove It - I Ain't Paying No More."

So what are the possible solutions?  Let's start by eliminating the really dumb solutions:

1 - Do Nothing
2 - Sue Their Butts
3 - Go Ballistic
4 - Vote The Bums Out of Office
5 - Smooze The Public

Forget these dead end maneuvers.  Here are the real solutions:

1 - Get your employer out of the pension and medical insurance business

Government employers are incompetent in these matters.  Spare yourself a lot of misery and remove your employer from the equation.  As along as the employer is in the mix there is going to be upheaval and duress, accompanied by constant bitching and complaining.

2 - Develop pension and insurance plans that mitigate risk

Risk from pension and insurance plans can be effectively controlled, but not by your city council and their spiritual adviser - The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).  As for GASB, it is time for the D-I-V-O-R-C-E!  GASB has morphed into some crazy religion that requires you to check your brain at the door.  The only person interested in rationally controlling risk is you - the beneficiary.  To the city, pension and insurance reform means reducing and eliminating benefits.  Their approach is to leave the car in the garage to avoid the risk of an auto accident.  It does work.  I know what your next questions is:

Okay, Mister Wisenheimer, just how do you propose to create this marvelous opus?  Actually the answer to that question is easy.  Just getting you to even entertain the question is the difficult part, but DeLord and I are not beyond forced feeding.  Most successful businesses are build upon a familiar motto - "The Customer Is Always Right."  Our program assumes that the customer (that's you) is almost always wrong about these matters.  What you will experience in Jacksonville on January 30 and 31 will not be a coronation like the Oscars.  It will be more like detox - ugly (DTs and all).

Still interested?  Then use the link below to learn more and sign up.

p.s. Yes, I know this is an infomercial editorial.  Tread lightly on the spam button.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Stop Bitching and Start Doing Something

By Ron York

Everyday I read more articles about the plight of unionized work forces and how it is the result of a conspiracy.  Football games are not lost because the other team threw a bomb.  It is the failure of your team to properly defend your goal.

Think unions are the only entities on the endangered list?  Been to Montgomery Wards lately?  Flown TWA recently? Bought a Plymouth?  Think you have a bank account at Bank of America or Wells Fargo?  Well, my friend I have news for you, Bank of America and Wells Fargo do not exist today.  They have long since been conquered and cannibalized by the First National Bank of Charlotte, North Carolina and the First National Bank of Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Oh, the names and logos live on, but those banking bulwarks are dead. What happened to them?  They became complacent, rigid, fat, lazy, rude, indifferent, inefficient and arrogant - just as police safety unions have during the last ten years.

When asked what went wrong, most of the people running and working for defunct companies said that they never thought it would happen to them.  I can tell you, unequivocally, what happened?  Change!  Change has been the grime reaper of organizations and individuals since the beginning of time and will continue to be into infinity.  Those who fight or resist change die.  Change conquers all.

Police unions have been warned repeatedly over the last five years, but few have heeded those warnings, while continuing to regurgitate the same old trite message of entitlement.  With the political backlash on public safety, most people unions have become cynical and pessimistic about the future, much like Bruce Dern's imaginary commence speech in "Middle Age Crazy."  Adapt or Die!  Does that remark even sound faintly familiar?  It should.  There is one person that has been shouting it from rooftops for over five years, but most have chosen to ignore the warning.  Instead, they continue with the same old b.s. about their membership and their superior wisdom, while heralding how all the other police unions suck.

The future for law enforcement and police officers is bright.  Your marketing agent, crime, is pumping your product 24-7.  However, you are not going to reach that future driving that 1953 DeSoto you love so much.  The police union landscape today looks like Havana with its pre-1959 automobiles.  Dump the DeSoto for a 'Vette.  Adapt or Die!  As bad as things may appear, they are manageable, but you have to get off your ass and do something - something smart.  Adapt or Die!

Police retirements can be saved, but not as most are currently structured.  Adapt or Die!  Even the Roman Catholic Church adapts to its environment.  Islam, once an innovator, now clings to a stone age society, while surrounded on all four sides by modernity.  When the oil money dries up, Islam will have a big problem.  Try telling this message to one of your Islamic friends and see how well it it received.  Just substitute police unions for Islam and easy money for oil money.  Adapt or Die!

In order to adapt, you will need to know what is the correct adaptation.  I can guarantee you it is not just more of the same old crap.  Unfortunately, most of you are doing exactly that.  Those who have tried to warn you are not the enemy, but you would not know that from the remarks that are currently being spouted by the blind.

I think the future is sun and blue skies.  If you think the future sucks, watch Bruce Dern give the commencement address of all commencement addresses.  I have embedded it below.  The language is a little crude, but nothing you have not heard before.

p.s. I realize I dumped you without a conclusion or solution.  It was intentional.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Looking In All The Wrong Places

By Ron York

"When in doubt, go to the stores.  The customers have all the answers." - Sam Walton speaking before a group of WalMart senior managers.

"When in doubt, go to the public.  The citizens have all the answers." - Ron York speaking before a group of police union leaders, 2012.

  The current assault on benefits has police and fire unions scrambling to find ways to protect those benefits.  Unfortunately, the "answer" they are seeking and "finding" is nothing but a dead end.  The vehicles that have worked, at least to some degree, have become impotent.  The answer is not at the courthouse,  It is not at an arbitration hearing.  It is not at the State Capitol.  It is not buried deeply inside FLSA.

The answer is relief to taxpayers' two sources of anxiety - risk and equity.  Today, these two irritants are flaming and are in citizens' faces.  Risk concerning pension contributions and medical insurance premiums has stirred politicians and citizens into a frenzy.  The inequity between government employees' benefits and the benefits of other employees has fueled contempt,

Don't know how to provide the required relieve?  Click the Seminar tab above.

View Ron York's profile on LinkedIn

Friday, November 30, 2012

"You Can't Handle The Truth"

By Ron York

Study the chart above closely. It tells a very important story about the rape of public pensions by employees and employers. Don't get it? Let me give you some more information. The jagged blue line represents the value of the Standard and Poors 500 stock portfolio. The smooth line is the evenly distributed annual rate of return. Since 1970, the S&P 500 has yield 9.95% per year (dividends reinvested). Notice how the two lines run the same track until about 1989, but then look out. The returns went through the roof until 2007, when it fell back to the trend line. It has tracked the trend line since then.

Most actuarial studies have used an assumed rate of 8% for many years, which is about 5 percentage points above inflation. This is about the normal expectation for at risk investments. Only the idiots at GASB think a rational person should be happy to recover the rate of inflation while being exposed to market risks. The use of 8% or more as the earnings and discount rates for pension plans is totally justified.

Now get your mind focused. Forget about everything else. I have a serious question for you to contemplate. What happened to the huge windfall profits from 1989 to 2007? Look at the chart again. There is a huge amount of money earned by pension plans during the those years, that is no where to be found today. First I am going to use the rubber hose and spotlight on you. Forget about your rights, you have none today. I am going to beat the truth out of you.

Okay mister employee, how much money did you contribute when your pension benefit was retroactively changed from 75% to 90%? How much money did you contribute when you talked your employer into picking up your pension contribution and then counting it as pensionable? How much money did you contribute when you talked your employer into counting the buy back of unused paid leave as part of your pension base? What did you contribute when you got your employer to give your DROP a guaranteed minimum rate of return? Where did you think the money was coming from?

Okay mister employer, let's hear your answers to the questions I just asked your employee. Forget about taking the fifth. The only fifth available here has a label on it that says "Jack Daniels". Feel free to indulge as needed. What were you thinking those years that you contributed little or nothing to the pension plan? Did you really think there would be no consequences as the result of this fiscally irresponsible behavior?

To both of you - you raped and plundered your pension plans. My advice to you? Put it back! Put all of the stolen money back! If the money had been left in the fund (no granting of unfunded benefits and failure to make contributions), every pension in this country would be way over-funded and the combined contribution (employee and employer) rates for most police and fire pension plans would be somewhere between 15% and 20% per year. The difference between the assumed return of 8% and the real return of 9.95% translates into mucho money, but Frank (employees) and Jesse (employers) James robbed the bank. Round up a posse and bring the money back.

However, there is one problem. A lot of the stolen money has gone to and will continue to go to retirees, who are beyond your reach. Forget about shaking down new hires to pay for your sins. They won't go for it. This leaves two parties stuck with the tab - current employees and the employer. Current employees are not getting out unscathed. You might as well face up to it and make the best deal you can. Mister employer - you're screwed. The big nut (unfunded liability) is one obligation you are not going to be able to avoid. Changing to 401(k)'s will do nothing to reduce this liability. In fact, it will actually make things worse for the immediate future, because you and your current employees will not be able to overcharge new employees, which you are doing now.

There is a way for everyone to get out alive, but not by shooting at each other. Accept the truth - the two of you stole the money and now you have been exposed. Want some real answers? Nah, you want to cling to your old illusions. I told you, you can't handle the truth. Was I wrong?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What Is A Defined Benefit Pension?

By Ron York

A defined benefit pension is an arrangement where an employee agrees to receive less money for the years of active employment in exchange for the employer agreeing to pay the employee for the rest of his life.  It is a very simple concept.

 A person that has a 401(k) plan with an insurance company can elect upon retirement to get a guaranteed check for life or a guaranteed check for 10 years, without regard to the date the employee dies.  The amount of the checks under the two options are not the same.

Let's apply this same explanation to a new employee coming to work at a police department.  To simplify the computations and make it easier to grasp, I have made the following assumptions:

  1. There are no step or longevity raises.  The base is the same for every police officer.
  2. Wages will grow at an average annual rate of 4%.
  3. The discount rate, assuming it is invested properly, is 8%.
  4. The employee will work for 30 years and live 20 years after retiring
  5. The pension plan is 90% of final pay
  6. Annual pay for an employee covered by the pension is $100,000
  7. Employees contribute 10% of pay to the pension
  8. Take home pay is $90,000 per year
  9. The annual pension check is $90,000 
Under this scenario, the employee will receive $90,000 per year for 50 years.

Last year, the city decided to phase out the defined benefit pension.  The employees will be paid in full during their employment years, but to keep from ruffling anybody's feathers, the city will let the employees pick which plan they want.

Here are the options:

  • 50 annual checks in the amount of $90,000 (without COLA adjustments)
  • 30 annual checks in the amount of $112,683 (without COLA adjustments)
Using the above assumptions, both plans are of equal value, if compared at present value.  Before you pension haters have a cardiac arrest, forget about the validity of the assumptions.  You can use any assumptions you want.  This presentation is only shown as a concept, and is not being held as typical or average. 

Let's review the pension arrangement.  In exchange for a lower paycheck during the active years, the employer agrees to pay the employee for the rest of his life.  Notice, it is not a commitment by the employer to make deposits into a pension plan.  The employer only commits to annual checks, not some advanced funding mechanism.  Screw GASB!  GASB does not apply!  GASB has nothing to do with funding of pensions.  GASB is only about ink on paper, not reality.  GASB only rules in Kubla Kan or some other abstract place.  The deal is between the employee and the employer. GASB has no standing.  The employer can pay the deferred amount however it wants.  It can pay the full amount on the first day of employment or pay the deferred amounts as they come due, or anything in between.

If there are any of you brain dead GASB parrots left, then go ahead follow the non-applicable rules handed down by the idiots in Norwalk, which allow you to contribute nothing for years, followed by years where you have to pay out the wazoo. The rest of you with a still functioning brain restructure how you are paying for the deferred amounts.  Don't assume that investment returns will be in crapper into infinity.

Has anyone seen my unfunded liability?  No!  I do not have a description.  All I have ever seen is some ink on a piece of paper that claimed to be a proxy.  Boy, that unfunded liability is as elusive as "Red John" or the "one-arm" man.

Before I go, let's have a pop exam.  How much cash does a billion dollar unfunded pension liability demand?  Envelope please.  And the answer is none - zero.  You see, the very fact that it is shown on the balance sheet is proof that it is an unliquidated claim.  Only liquidated claims (the pension checks as they come due) require cash.  But, GASB!  But, GASB!  Yeah, yeah!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Escape From Norwalk

By Ron York

"There is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
And it's been the ruin of many a poor boy
And God I know I'm one"

The Animals - 1964

Norwalk, Connecticut, the Alcatraz of your pension plan, is a rather benign place with nice homes and well manicured lawns, but within the boundaries of this tranquil New England town is a "House of The Sinking Sun" for your pension - The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).

GASB is a collection of accounting eggheads who write the rules for local government financial statements.  It is this esoteric group that has set up the current pension crisis with their absurd theories of economic reality.  Let 's go through this one more time:


In case you did not hear that:


Then why the hell are cities screaming to the heavens that they have to fund their pensions using the GASB fiat?  They're idiots, fools, on drugs?  Nah, it is plain and simple - they are liars and they know it.  They want to eliminate your pension and the GASB lie is just the ticket.

If any of you self-righteous zealots are "offended" by my remarks, prove me wrong!  But, before you get very far into your "hate mail", answer this question:
"Do GASB rules apply to the actual funding of defined benefit pensions?"  Yes or No - no equivocation. (A self-imposed ordinance does not count)

As for police unions and police officers, forget about reforming your city leadership.  They have been lying about this issue for years, they are lying now, they will continue to lie.

You must extricate your pension from GASB and your city leaders.  It can be done if you are determined. 

Pension plans?  Fire the city and their "prophets" (actuaries).  Kick GASB into orbit.

The Purging of The Tea Party Has Begun

By Ron York

Still reeling from defeat at the polls, the Republican Party has assigned blame to the Tea Party and has begun a purge of the extreme right leaning coalition.  John Boehner and company are done taking falls for this group of uncompromising small government zealots. In the end, they could not deliver the vote.

Today's house cleaning by the Republicans is much like the actions by the Democratic Party after the 1972 debacle.  Before you start playing Chopin's Funeral March for the Tea Party, you need to be absolutely certain that the beast is dead.

Although mortally wounded, the Tea Party is still lethal and will be for some time.Their venomous Credo has taken cult like roots all across the nation. Motivated by frustration, the real fanatics in this political sect will go on suicide missions - "Damn the torpedoes.  Full speed ahead."

World War II was over in October 1941 - two months before Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. October 1941 saw Hitler make the largest strategical blunder of his Third Reich reign of terror. He invaded Russia (USSR), another tyrannical hell hole ran by even a colder bastard - Stalin.  The Nazis should have just surrendered that autumn, but they didn't. It would be more than three years and millions of deaths before the hostilities would end. During the period from October 1941 and April 1945, Hitler damn near wiped out the European Jews - all after Germany's death warrant had been signed and sealed.

The Tea Party is has begun its trek down the same road, while refusing to concede a single inch.  The Speaker is now focused on the longevity and relevance of the Republican Party.  As for Paul Ryan?  He is not the future of the GOP, but only a brief historical episode.  As Cousin Eddie said in Christmas Vacation "Clark, if that cat had nine lives, he spent them all right there."  As for the U.S. Capitol, the Tea Party is about to become persona non grata. But, in your town, the Tea Party still has some reprise performances.

Before the Tea Party is emasculated at the local level, pension plans for police and fire will be only hollow shells of what they are today.  Police unions that hesitate to take action will end up in the political gas chambers.  It does not matter that you make it until two days before the surrender, you are still dead.  The smart union will adapt, compromise, and live to show the tattoo on its forearm, while the others get their names engraved on a stone memorial.

Postscript: How did we get into this mess?  Police unions made the same mistake the Tea Party did - we overreached and got slapped down.  Pick yourself up and start making amends before your pension is just another casualty.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

You Are Already Dead and Do Not Know It!

Ron DeLord
By Ron York

Most of you are walking dead pensioners.  Your pension is about to be eliminated and you refuse to acknowledge it or you do not know what to do to prevent it.  Even the national police unions are paralyzed by the unthinkable, as they continue to conduct pension seminars that focus on lawyers, investment advisers, and ministerial duties.  None of these will matter in a few years.

Ron York
There is a way to save your pension, but it is not found in the conventional wisdom of today.  The solution has to be implemented before your pension is gutted by over-zealous politicians.  It has to be done now, not as part of a long-term "strategy."  If any of you have any strategy, long or short term, please mail it to me.  I haven't seen one yet.

Want some answers?  Real answers?  Come to Jacksonville January 30 and 31 to get some real answers.  A two day program addressing this very issue will be presented by Ron DeLord and Ron York.  Two old geezers?  Damn right - with over ninety years combined experience.  Two radicals?  Do you really believe the same old tripe will save you this time?

Today is the day of reckoning.  Are you prepared?  Tell the truth.  You do not even know what prepared means, let alone how to achieve it.

For some of you, it is already too late.  Nothing can save you.  You are toast.

Those of you still standing download the brochure, complete and submit the registration form and then book a flight to Jacksonville.  It will be the best investment you ever make.  I guarantee you it will not be the usual old crap you hear everywhere else. Tired of having sunshine pumped up your skirt?

Come to Jacksonville and get in your face, bona fide answers.  Learn from the most controversial police labor leader on this planet.  Learn from a man who couldn't win a popularity contest if his life depended on it, but has stood for election and won many times.

Think we are full of crap?  Send a fire breathing email to   The rest of you?  Wise up and take control.

Jacksonville Brochure

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Pension Front line Reaches Jacksonville

By Ron York

Couched in the boilerplate language  that is being used by cities all across the county, Jacksonville Mayor, Alvin Brown is making his attempt to put some lipstick on yet another pig disguised as pension reform.  Pension reform has become a Madison Avenue moniker for cut and eliminate, that is being justified by authoritative sounding phrases such as "Best Practices."  Just who gets to decide what "Best Practices" are?

The mayor's chamber of horror for the police department showcases doubling the employee contribution rate, raising minimum years to be fully invested to 27, and raising the minimum age for receiving payments to 60.  The mayor's strategy appears to be a play where a public relations  campaign is being used to misdirect attention from the ball while an end around move on the Police and Fire Pension Fund is successfully executed.  Based on posted comments by the public on various Jacksonville news sites, the misdirection part of the tactic is a "graveyard smash."  However, local FOP President, Nelson Cuba has thrown a yellow flag that is casting doubt about whether the mayor has scored or stepped out of bounds.  The Mayor is signalling touchdown, but Nelson keeps pointing to the legal boundaries.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Encino Men

By Ron York

A much heralded press release last week announced the launching of a new website "to monitor municipal bankruptcies and Chapter 9 filings in California."  The press release goes on to claim: " Is the First Website Exclusively Focused on Financially-Distressed Cities, Towns and Special Districts in California."

Alright!  It is about time we got some watchdog to keep a lid on these bankruptcy filings, but when I went to the website, I quickly discovered that it was nothing but a bunch of bankruptcy attorneys (in Encino) and other anti-collective bargaining consultants who were hawking their wares and advocating the Camden, New Jersey plan.  One article on the site is titled "Union Busting."

Wow, it's as if you called 911 and a fake cop shows up and robs you.  Want to know who is really on your side today?  Go look in the mirror.  That's it.  Why is that?  There is no money in being on your side, but there is plenty to be had on the other side.  Don't misunderstand me. Not everyone opposing you is in it for the money.  There are many who believe in their cause just as you believe in yours.

Ever wonder why there are no editorials advocating "corporation busting" or "chamber of commerce busting"?  Any "honest" economist can quickly explain to you how an employee union is no different than a corporation or the chamber.  All three are aggregations of individuals with similar interest that seek to influence the marketplace and increase the slice of the pie that its members receive.  It is an unavoidable destination for the human pathology.  I digress.  The answer?  As for corporations and the chamber? There is gold in them there hills.  As for your mining claim?  Nothing but fool's gold. Sure you get a salary and pay union dues to support your cause, but it "chump change" compared to other two.

Maybe we should model the "other side" and engage in subterfuge.  We could rename our national unions, while keeping the current acronyms. The FOP could become "Federation to Obliterate Pensions (not)".  NAPO could become National Anti Pension Organization (not)".

Can't do it?  I knew you couldn't.  I hope you never can.

Read more here:

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Austin Star-Telegram Attacks Austin PD

By Ron York

Just over an hour ago, the Austin newspaper published a hit piece on the Austin Police Departments.  It seems that Tony is unhappy with the large pay out checks that some police officers receive upon retirement - money for uncompensated work and unused paid leave.  I have the solution.  Pay police officers when they work overtime and let police officers take their paid time off as they earn it.

Hey Tony, this is not our first Bass tournament.  Austin PD?  A great department - something Art, Wayne, Todd and Mike would all agree on.  You're lucky, but just don't know it.

The Hit Piece

Friday, October 26, 2012

Victory In Pueblo, Colorado

Kirk Taylor, Pueblo County Sheriff
Tommie McLallen
 By Ron York

This afternoon a federal jury in Denver awarded Tommie McLallen an award of $311,600 against Pueblo County Sheriff, Kirk Taylor for his termination in 2009.  McLallen was the head of the Fraternal Order of Police for his agency and was trying to obtain collective bargaining for his department.  The Colorado Fraternal Order of Police supported McLallen through out this whole ordeal.  Mike Violette, Executive Director of the Colorado Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council and Frank Gale, a Denver County Deputy and First National Vice-President of the Fraternal Order of Police had very active roles in this case.

Mike Violette, who was in the courtroom today, had this to say after the verdict was announced:

 "Tommie this one is for you brother! You did what many fear to do. You stood up against a corrupt administration that fabricated false charges against you and in the process caused you and your loved ones two and one half years of pain, financial loss, and suffering. They bantered their false allegations and charges against you in the public format through the media trying to destroy your reputation. Now it is their turn.

You had honor and integrity and they were exposed for having neither. You followed the will of your members to gain them collecting bargaining rights and they were union busting bureaucrats. You have been vindicated brother. You are a hero to many and an outstanding example of courage and integrity.

Your courageous and moral fight in the face of adversity on behalf of the brothers and sisters of the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office will be forever remembered. The dishonesty of this Sheriff and his underlings will also be forever remembered. In many circles they would be removed from our honorable profession for providing false testimony. What they did brings dishonor to our profession. They should be ashamed for what they did. The pain they are each feeling over this disgrace will be with them forever. They are tainted in the eyes of the citizens of Pueblo County and their peers."

Let's hear it for Tommie!

Tommie Tonight
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fort Worth Falls - Is Your City Next?

Steve Hall, FWPOA President 
 By Ron York

Fort Worth went down in flames this morning - not one vote for Fort Worth's fineness.  FWPOA President, Steve Hall has worked very hard to prevent today's defeat, but in the end it was not enough.

If you have not been listening, you had better tune in before it is too late for your department. There are no excuses for the carnage we are suffering nationwide, but there is a reason.  We were completely unprepared for the viral attack that now has us under its spell.  We are still unprepared.

Rick Van Houten, FWPOA Past President
Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin wake up before you suffer the same fate.  You don't have much time.  It may already be too late.  Omaha and St. Louis are you listening?
Steve Hall and Ft. Worth Press

Photographs were taken by Ron DeLord this morning inside Fort Worth City Hall.

Ship of Fools

By Ron York

It's 1:30 AM here in Santa Fe.  I have just finished calculating the costs for the changes to the Fort Worth retirement system that have the Fort Worth Star Telegram and the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce salivating.  As the result of pressure from these two, the Fort Worth city council will adopt most of those changes in a few hours in a building 600 miles Southeast of here.  Nothing short of an unforeseen disaster can stop the outcome.

In a few hours, I will arise and log into the City of Fort Worth's website and watch the proceedings.  The ordinance will be read like the disclaimer at the end of a car dealership television commercial - :"APR 20% with approved credit, subject to change without notice, blah, blah,blah."  No one will be listening,  What little "debate" there will be will be merely perfunctory.  The city clerk will orate a roll call vote in a faint monotone and immediately announce that the ordinance has been approved.  The mayor and the city clerk will sign the ordinance, followed by impressing of the city seal on the last page of the document by the city clerk.

Retirement benefits will be cut substantially, but the combined normal contribution and the amortization of the unfunded liability will remain about the same.  I guess that falls into the category of "Less is More."  Oh, "conservatism" comes with a price that makes the tea a bitter vetch.  Next, the pressure will be applied to the pension board and its executive director to cut the discount rate used by the actuary.  This is the centerpiece of the newspaper's and the chamber's agenda.  If they are successful, the city will have to contribute an additional 3% of payroll.  I know - "No pain, no gain."  But, I thought the goal was to ease the pain.

Several months ago, the chamber's financial guru took me to task for my analysis of the city financial statements.  I had used the proceeds of bond sales as a positive item in the earnings statement, which cause him to throw a yellow flag.  Strange, since the expenditures made with the money from the bonds are shown as expenditures, but bypass the revenue section and instead are reported in the "Other Sources/(Uses)" section.  This is pretty elementary stuff. Kat, 1+1=3.

Oh well, the ayes have it and we ain't got none.  I make a motion we adjourn.  What, my motion dies for lack of a second?

Fort Worth City Council Meeting

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fort Worth, Texas - Showdown At The O-K Corral

By Ron York

Tomorrow the City of Ft. Worth begins the process of going down the road of protracted litigation involving the employee's retirement system.  The City Council is scheduled to approve an ordinance that will implement large reductions in benefits for both new hires and existing employees.  The employee unions are powerless to stop the vote, but appear to have a good chance of reversing some of the changes through litigation.  The mayor, council, and city manager are marching to the orders of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram and the Ft. Worth Chamber of Commerce, who are hell bent on diminishing pension benefits.

Tomorrow?  High fives from the city council.  The future?  Millions of dollars spent on attorneys by the city and the employee unions.  The City of Ft. Worth claims, that while they nor required to, they have been negotiating with the employee groups.  If that is so, it is a might strange method.  Since April, when the mayor rolled out the "pension reform", there has been no movement by the city.
If the employees agreed to pay all the costs necessary to get the pension to fully funded, the city would reject it.  This fight is more about ideology than money.  To the newspaper and the chamber it has become a war for the very heart and soul of the  City of Ft. Worth.  Their lust for blood from the socialist "union thugs" has preempted reason.
You can watch the "festivities" on the internet, starting at 8:30 AM Central Time.  Here's the link Ft. Worth City Council Meeting Tomorrow the City of Ft. Worth begins the process of going down the road of protracted litigation involving the employee's retirement system. The City Council is scheduled to approve an ordinance that will implement large reductions in benefits for both new hires and existing employees. The employee unions are powerless to stop the vote, but appear to have a good chance of reversing some of the changes through litigation. The mayor, council, and city manager are marching to the orders of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram and the Ft. Worth Chamber of Commerce, who are hell bent on diminishing pension benefits. Tomorrow? High fives from the city council. The future? Millions of dollars spent on attorneys by the city and the employee unions. The City of Ft. Worth claims, that while they nor required to, they have been negotiating with the employee groups. If that is so, it is a might strange method. Since April, when the mayor rolled out the "pension reform", there has been no movement by the city. If the employees agreed to pay all the costs necessary to get the pension to fully funded, the city would reject it. This fight is more about ideology than money. To the newspaper and the chamber it has become a war for the very heart and soul of the City of Ft. Worth. Their lust for blood from the socialist "union thugs" has preempted reason. You can watch the "festivities" on the internet, starting at 8:30 AM Central Time. Here's the link Ft. Worth City Council Meeting