The $16.9 million employee pension fund is our biggest asset. I’m active in watching over this portfolio which backs up our obligation to pay retired employees as a member of its Board of Trustees. I was appointed to the Board by Mayor Barry Glantz soon after his election.
But my contribution to the Pension Board did not start last year.
I was there as a concerned and engaged citizen at Pension Board meetings, contributing to the deliberations. I supported steps that have been taken such as removing an underperforming manager and instituting an employee contribution to the fund.
I was there in 2009 when the pension fund had dropped to $12.6 million down 29 percent from its $17.7 million high. I was there in 2011 when the unfunded pension liability hit a record high of $9 million. That’s seven years of pension fund payments.
The fund is now up to $16.9 million, and the unfunded liability is down to $8.1 million. We are headed in the right direction but we must maintain a steady course.
I have the experience from work on the Monsanto pension fund and now managing the fund at GRAN PRIX Bowling Supply. I am qualified and experienced to make critical pension fund decisions on the City Council.
I was the first to recommend accelerating contributions to the pension fund to make sure the fund is 100 percent funded by the time most of the employees reach retirement age. This could increase the return on our reserves by $1 million over 10 years and prevent any chance of a pension fund crisis in the future. The Board of Trustees endorsed my recommendation and now awaits approval by the City Council.
There is more to be done. As an active member of the Board of Trustees, I am reviewing investment policies and evaluating prospective money managers to improve investment results and reduce fees.
I will make sure the pension fund is well managed without delay if you elect me as your City Council representative.
Vote for me April 2 – for finance experience and common sense financial judgment.
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I was there – for over a year- as the Council debated and deliberated how to pay for the street alignment and the traffic signal at Graeser and Olive.
I said on the record that the city should pay for the project with the funds on hand- with contributions from the developer and St. LouisCounty. The developer proposed a complex structure, a Transportation Development District, which would borrow money and collect an extra one percent sales tax for 40 years.
There were two things wrong with the plan. One, we did not get to vote on the new tax. Two, the TDD structure added over $1 million in interest and administrative fees to the cost- at our expense.
And to top it off, the whole financing scheme fell apart (as I warned) when the debt could not be underwritten. The city bailed out the TDD by purchasing all the debt.
I was there working as a consultant with the city’s Finance Director to make sure that purchasing the debt was the best alternative available at the time.
The bailout was the best option. But now, when we shop at the Walgreens, the city is indirectly collecting taxes from us every time the TDD pays interest to the city.
Why should Ward 1 residents pay more taxes?
If I had been a member of the City Council I would have supported the street improvements but opposed the risky, costly financing scheme. There were others on the Council who felt the same way but they did not have a majority.
If I am elected to the City Council I will work to dissolve this TDD and eliminate the TDD tax.
As an MBA in Finance, retired Director of Corporate Finance at Monsanto, and successful business owner, I know finance. I will be there to ask the right questions when financial schemes are proposed in the future. If elected, I will vote for the common sense solution.
Vote for me April 2- for finance experience and common sense financial judgment.