Lake County News-Sun

Pension reform measure urged

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Village officials, concerned about rapid increases in police and fire pension programs, expressed support Tuesday night for including pension funding reforms on the Nov. 2 general ballot.

Mayor Rhett Taylor said local contributions to the Police Pension Fund have increased nearly 40 percent during the past two tax levy years. Grayslake is not unusual, he said.

"These steadily escalating pension costs have created a fiscal crisis that is consuming an ever-increasing portion of the village's municipal budget," Taylor said.

Taylor said Grayslake has been working with the Metropolitan Mayors' Caucus to include a referendum on the ballot on the question: "Shall the Illinois General Assembly and governor take immediate steps to implement meaningful public safety pension reform which will relieve the extensive burden on local taxpayers now that the General Assembly and governor have reformed the pension systems for all other public employees?”

Taylor said local approval of the resolution would encourage support from other municipalities and put the issue before the public.

"We in Grayslake recognize that a quality pension program for our police and firefighters is vital for recruitment and retention of quality employees."

We also recognize that increasing public safety pension costs are placing local pension funds in financial jeopardy," Taylor said.