A new pension board that will meet for the first time later this month will eventually be responsible for overseeing three frozen pension plans for town employees.
While Human Resources Manager Lisa Silvertooth works to freeze the current Longboat Key Fire Rescue pension plan, Town Manager Dave Bullock is also working to freeze the pension plans for both general employees and police officers.
General employees, who opted not to unionize in March, received ballots last week, asking them whether they are interested in joining the Florida Retirement System (FRS) pension plan or receiving a 401(k)-type retirement account moving forward.
Ballots were due May 1, and Bullock plans on discussing the results with the Longboat Key Town Commission.
“The commission ultimately has the final choice on what kind of retirement the general employees get moving forward,” Silvertooth said.
Firefighters already have agreed to enter the FRS pension plan as part of a new three-year contract.
During contract negotiations that started in March, Bullock has offered police officers the same options as firefighters. Those options include entering the FRS pension plan or receiving an alternative retirement program.
The commission agreed with a plan Vice Mayor David Brenner proposed at the March 20 workshop that allowed the commission to select five board members (one of whom would be named the board’s chair), while the town manager would be responsible for naming two board members.
Both the Town Commission and Bullock had a hand in picking the pension board members (see sidebar), who have one-year terms.
The new pension board will hold an informal meeting May 15.
New pension board members
Chairman Gerald Feder — retired attorney and former Firefighter Retirement System Board of Trustees member
Vice Chairman Armando Linde — retired economist
Shannon Gault — retired marketing professional and former Firefighter Retirement System Board of Trustees member
Lee Riley — retired chief operating officer for large law firms
James Pappas — retired investment adviser
Keith Tanner — firefighter/paramedic and Longboat Key Fire Rescue District vice president
Matt Taylor — firefighter/paramedic