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The pension opt-out vote

Early voting has started for the May 15 election of City Proposition #1, which would allow Houston to opt out of the pension guarantee that was enacted last September. The numbers are scary (and getting scarier), but I’m rather torn as to whether or not this is the right thing to do. I’ve read both Greg, who’s voting Yes, and Kevin, who’s voting No, and I’m still undecided though leaning very slightly towards Yes.

For what it’s worth, I attended a meeting of the Heights Democratic Club a few weeks ago, and much of the meeting was a discussion of Prop 1. Both sides made a good case, with City Council member Adrian Garcia presenting the Yes viewpoint. In my mind, the matter largely comes down to how much you trust Mayor White with this hot potato. I don’t think he’s going to screw anyone, and that nudges me gently towards a Yes vote. But I’m not quite there yet. And I need to get wherever I’m going sooner rather than later, because I’m going to a wedding on the 15th, so it’s early voting or no voting for me.

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5 Comments

  1. Tim says:

    I’d imagine you’d be leaning Hard No if Sanchez won the mayor’s race. 🙂

    Anyway, the main reason I support Prop 1 is because Yes on 1 means No on Unfunded Mandates. I consider this matter an unfunded mandate, which I believe are evil (like the Lakers).

    Another cause near and dear to my heart is to stop each successive generation from getting screwed more than the previous, which has happened increasingly over the last 20-30 years and accelerated in pace over the last decade. If the city can’t extricate itself from the mandate, future employees will get the shaft relative to the older workers (who probably also have a more secure shot as Social Security and Medicare). It seems that these days, each new generation gets a raw deal compared to that of their parents, and I think that failure to opt out would be one more small example of this which, cumulatively, is death by a thousand cuts for younger workers.

  2. David says:

    Wake up people of Houston, vote no on prop 1. Have you forgot how big business follows trends. If the city gets the ok to mess with pensions, do you think big business will not follow? Could it be your pension next? The mayor has released statements in a timely manor just before the election to sway the vote his way. He is negotiating with the unions, but yet releases information. Under the negotiating ground rules, all negotiations are to be kept within the confines of the parties involved. So much for Saturday’s Houston Chronicle article. He also wants you to believe that all “Municipal employees” are all of the city employees. Bill White has been in office for only 5 months and all he has done for the city is TAKE AWAY.

  3. Tom says:

    Hey ‘David’, how many message boards on the internet are you going to spam with that same message? You even screwed up and spammed it twice here:

    http://www.gregsopinion.com/archives/004569.php

  4. Terry Weathers says:

    Big business has already done what the city, county, state and us govt. lack in. That is big business has already gone to a cash balance buyout of previous pensions our forefathers had the luxury to have and benefit from. I work for Centerpoint Energy, and I was to young to take advantage of the grandfather clause of getting the benefit of a pension similar to that of Govt. Employees.
    Grab onto you shirttails and wallets, It is going to happen, the sooner the better.
    As with the way city Govt. pensions works, I see why most employees can drive new cars and seem to spend all they earn. Why not when they will bring home the same wages long after they quit or retire from an almost honest well-earned living.

  5. Terry Weathers says:

    Big business has already done what the city, county, state and us govt. lack in. That is big business has already gone to a cash balance buyout of previous pensions our forefathers had the luxury to have and benefit from. I work for Centerpoint Energy, and I was to young to take advantage of the grandfather clause of getting the benefit of a pension similar to that of Govt. Employees.
    Grab onto you shirttails and wallets, It is going to happen, the sooner the better.
    As with the way city Govt. pensions works, I see why most employees can drive new cars and seem to spend all they earn. Why not when they will bring home the same wages long after they quit or retire from an almost honest well-earned living.