The Daily Transcript put this question to mayoral candidates Donna Frye and Jerry Sanders: Current pension benefits for city employees are widely viewed as being excessive when compared to pensions offered in the private sector. Do you agree that the city's pension benefits are excessive and, if so, what would you, as mayor, do to avoid the granting of excessive pension benefits in the future?
The current pension system is not sustainable. I've offered an honest, realistic plan to address the city pension debt.
First, I will seek speedy court determination of the legality of employee benefits approved by the city council in 1996 and 2002, and terminate those ruled illegal by the courts.
My opponent says she will act outside the law and unilaterally terminate these benefits (many of which she voted for) prior to a court ruling. This reckless action would expose taxpayers to hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits and years of expensive litigation, and ultimately leave the city right back where we started.
I will use the threat of bankruptcy and lay-offs to bring city employee unions back to the bargaining table to reform the city pension system and move toward a benefit plan similar to the private sector, including:
-- Jerry Sanders
Candidate for mayor
Editor's note: Mayoral candidate Donna Frye did not supply a response to this question as of presstime.
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