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Committee debates ways to pay off pension debt

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  • | 5:00 a.m. February 6, 2013
  • Longboat Key
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The town of Longboat Key’s Investment Advisory Committee is planning for a future with capped pension plans.

At its Jan. 23 meeting, town staff and Commissioners David Brenner, Jack Duncan and Lynn Larson discussed the impact of unfunded pension liabilities and how to pay off pension-plan debt.

Town Manager Dave Bullock said the town will hold a workshop, most likely in February, to discuss how to pay off more than $27 million in unfunded pension liabilities.

“Once we have a ratified firefighter contract, we will no longer have the ability to protect any discussions about pension plans that are currently held in closed-door executive sessions,” Bullock said. “In the public, we will discuss ways to resolve post-freeze pension obligations and lay out options to fund the unfunded liability.”

The debate will be whether to ask Longboat Key voters to fund a future bond to pay off the debt.

Part of the issue includes adding $27 million in debt to the town’s balance sheet, which town staff said will reduce the town’s net assets from $98 million to $71 million.

“If we recommend buying a bond, the net assets behind the bonds won’t be as significant as they appear to be right now,” Brenner said.

IT Department receives top marks
A December audit of the town’s Information Technology (IT) Department found one issue with the department and its security measures — its passwords.

The Investment Advisory Committee had requested the audit of Information Technology Director Kathi Pletzke’s department be performed.

In January 2012, a forensics investigation at Sarasota City Hall revealed the city of Sarasota’s IT department had corrupt files that resulted in the loss of 100 unaccounted for public emails. The news prompted the town of Longboat Key and other municipalities to make sure their IT departments were safe and secure.

The audit showed the town’s IT Department needs to increase password lengths from five characters to seven characters and create password expirations every 180 days.

Town Manager Dave Bullock said Pletzke will implement the password changes.

Commissioner Jack Duncan and others were pleased with the results of the audit.

“I’m impressed there’s really nothing wrong at all,” Duncan said. “If all we have is a password issue and that’s the biggest problem we have, we’re in great shape.”


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