Lawmakers Weigh In On Cincinnati Reform Deal


Cincinnati and its public worker unions last week approved a series of pension reforms that will see the city contribute millions more to the pension system annually. In exchange, workers and retirees will see cuts in their COLAs, and some workers will be held to a less generous benefit formula.

The Cincinnati Enquirer asked for opinions on the reforms from three city council members. Here’s what they said:

David Mann

“Everyone is taking a haircut, including the city. I don’t know that there was any other choice. The only issue I have is where the $38 million will come from. But in terms of the overall problem, that is relatively minor. This is really good news.”

Christopher Smitherman

“This is the biggest issue the city faces. It’s not one of the issues on the public’s radar, but it is a huge deal for taxpayers. This deal brings certainty to the problem. The mayor’s experience with the Collaborative Agreement allowed him to have the vision to apply that experience to the pension.”

Yvette Simpson

“I’m happy there is a resolution, but there are lots of questions. Why do we have to infuse $38 million when don’t know where that money is coming from? Why are we borrowing money to put into the pension system?”

Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley also gave his comments:

“It was important to do this now,” Cranley said. “”We can’t have the city’s credit — which is also the city reputation — continually at risk by not tackling this problem. State Auditor David Yost basically said he was going to look at putting the city on fiscal watch if we did not get this resolved by the end of the year. He has been in contact with judge and me all year. That would have been a catastrophic blow to our reputation nationally.”

Under the reforms, the pension system is projected to be 100 percent funded within 30 years.


Photo credit: “Downtown cincinnati 2010 kdh” by kdh – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –