published Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Mayor Andy Berke extends deadline for police and fire pension reform

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke has extended the deadline for his 18-member task force to find ways to cut the police and firefighters retirement plan.

The original deadline to reach a consensus on how to curb the city's $150 million in unfunded liability to the fire and police pension plan was Dec. 31.

PFM Consultant Vijay Kapoor, who is working with the task force, requested the extension earlier today that would extend through January.

"This is challenging work and while members have not yet reached a consensus, they have made considerable progress," he wrote in the letter to Berke.

The idea Kapoor wrote is to be able to present a plan to the Fire and Police Pension board by their Feb. 6 meeting.

The pension board has to approve any cuts to the plan. If the board rejects the plan, Berke could ask the City Council to approve it and then the public would decide by referendum vote.

Both sides have said they would like to avoid the latter option.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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