The Beacon News

No support in Yorkville for pension referendum

Thursday, July 29, 2010

YORKVILLE -- Not in Yorkville.

That was the emphatic message sent this week when the City Council declined to move on putting a question on the November ballot asking for a change in public safety pensions.

The proposal, a non-binding referendum being promoted by the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, would ask voters if the Illinois General Assembly and governor should "take immediate steps to implement meaningful public safety pension reform ... now that the General Assembly and Governor have reformed the pension systems for all other public employees?"

The answer in Yorkville was no. In fact, it was more like silence. When Mayor Valerie Burd asked if anyone wanted to move the question, no one said a word. The proposal died for lack of a motion.

Burd said she would report back to the Mayors Caucus about the lack of support in Yorkville.

"I hope you can report our silence as our input," said Alderman Wally Werderich, 1st Ward.

Burd said she believed the measure would have little support in Yorkville because it has a responsible public safety pension situation with its police pension board.

That point was emphasized by Fred DuSell, a member of the police pension board, who said what is being labeled as "reform" is actually a case of places which have not handled their pension funds well -- such as at the state level -- trying to benefit from the places that have.

He said funds that are not solvent want to create a superfund to make those places that are solvent contribute as a bailout.