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Longboat Key Wednesday, May. 15, 2013 4 years ago

Town pension plans top regular workshop agenda

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

Town pension plans top the agenda for the Longboat Key Town Commission’s regular workshop Monday, May 20.

At the workshop, commissioners will review a proposed ordinance that freezes the Firefighters’ Retirement System pension plan. Pending discussion, the ordinance will be forwarded to a special meeting later that day for approval on first reading.

The freezing of the plan is the first step toward a commission-directed initiative to cap town financial responsibilities moving forward.

Human Resources Manager Lisa Silvertooth is working to enter the firefighters into the Florida Retirement System (FRS) pension plan as part of the terms of a new three-year contract that the town and firefighters reached in March. Silvertooth said the process is lengthy and requires a lot of time to complete.

The commission has already created a new pension board that will begin meeting to oversee the future of three pension plans the town is seeking to freeze — including the police and general employees pension plans.

At the workshop, commissioners will also review ordinances that modify the composition of the current General Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees and freeze the general employees’ pension plan.
Town Manager Dave Bullock told the Longboat Observer he polled general employees to see what kind of future retirement benefit they want.

Out of the 44 people, 34 general employees said they prefer a defined contribution plan over an option to move to the FRS pension plan.

“That’s what they want, so that’s what I will recommend to commissioners,” said Bullock, who intends to have a budget line item in next year’s budget for a new general employees retirement account.

The new retirement account calls for the town putting in 6% for employees, with general employees voluntarily putting in up to 6% of their salaries for their retirement. Whatever the employee puts in, the town will match 50%. So, if an employee agrees to invest 6% of his or her salary into the new retirement account, 15% total will be invested into the account for the employee.

Also at the workshop, commissioners will:
• The possibility of holding a referendum that would redistribute grandfathered Colony Beach & Tennis Resort units to the town’s existing tourism pool of 250 tourism units.

• Proposed changes to the town’s property maintenance code;
• A resolution that depicts Comprehensive Plan amendment changes related to the town’s telecommunications ordinance;
• A proposed contract for new town attorney Maggie Mooney-Portale.

• A commissioner to a property maintenance subcommittee the Planning and Zoning Board formed to review restrictions on the parking and storage of boats and trailers.

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