Running for office shouldn't be a retirement plan

On July 10, Joey Flechas from the Miami Herald published an article about the City of Miami commission's effort to resurrect their sweetheart pension deal they had in the 90s. It's crazy! So, I wrote a letter to the editor which the Herald published today.

Restoring Miami commissioners' pensions is an insult to voters

The City of Miami Commission's effort to reinstate a $50,000 minimum lifetime pension for themselves is an insult to taxpayers and families that work their entire lives to retire.

I believe in compensating our elected officials fairly, but this proposal reeks of self-serving corruption.

Unlike their own employees that pay 10% of their salary toward their pensions, commissioners would pay nothing. Commissioners are also allowed outside employment to supplement their income. And if they structured their pension the same as their employees, after serving 8 years they would only receive 18% of their annual salary once they retire, not 55% as proposed.

Instead of opting into the pension system used by their employees, commissioners resurrected the sweetheart deal they received in the 90s. This deal was so generous that one of our former elected officials will start receiving $10,000 monthly payments in 2022. (see City of Miami Elected Official Trust Fund actuarial report)

What makes this proposal stink more is that commissioners fully vest into the pension after serving only 7 years. It's such an odd number for commissioners that are elected to four year terms. It makes sense, however, when you realize the sponsor Keon Hardemon is planning to run for County Commission next year and step down a year early.

Running for office should not be a retirement plan.

Commissioners Hardemon, Gort, and Carollo who approved this proposal on first reading should be ashamed. The public needs to speak out and demand this proposal be defeated on second reading.

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