Suburban And Downstate Mayors Call For Police And Fire Pension Reform
(CBS) — More than two dozen mayors and village presidents from Chicago’s suburbs and downstate are warning Illinois lawmakers not to forget that they are undergoing a police and fire pension crisis of their own, reports WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore.
South suburban Lynwood Mayor Eugene Williams says municipalities outside of Chicago are being crippled by ballooning public safety pension costs even as they try to develop communities like his.
“Our downtown plans are going to work. Once they do that, then all of that money comes in and it still goes to something that is totally unsustainable. We can’t continue to get new money in just to throw it all out the window and not do the kinds of things our residents need, community needs,” said Williams.
Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis says changes are needed in things like cost-of-living adjustments.
“Peoria places a high value on our police officers and firefighters. We want them to be safe and we want them to have a retirement plan, but if it is not going to be solvent when they retire, it doesn’t do any of us any good,” said Ardis.
There are 660 individual police and fire pension boards across Illinois.