Editor's Note: The following is an open letter to fellow residents of New Milford from Terry Pellegrini, a longtime New Milford resident and former town attorney.
Some of you may remember my "Manifesto" of several years ago.
It evoked some spirited discussion but, now several years later, not much has happened. The politicians on both sides seem to have gone back to business as usual and the old kick the can down the road method of governing.
So, I thought I might revisit some things and see where we are at:
First, let's talk about the town's pension plan. As I understand, it is a "defined benefit plan." This is a plan where the town must pay a fixed amount to a retiree irrespective of what happens in the marketplace or whether to town's income goes down.
These "Cadillac plans" the private sector did away with in the '80s. Why do we still have it? It is these plans that have bankrupted Stockton, Calif., and several other cities in Rhode Island and Alabama.
Do we have a unfunded pension liability?
What are the actuarial assumptions and are they valid?
Why should a police officer retire and make more than what he was making while working ?
You the citizens of the town of New Milford should be asking your representative to answer these questions publicly. Also, since the mayor is on the plan, she should obviously recuse herself.
I think the Town Council should appoint an independent committee to review the plan and make recommendations for freezing it and go to a 401(k) type plan.
That's my two cents. Let me know what you think at email@example.com.