GI Council Votes to Pay for Retirees' Pensions

By  | 

Some of the uncertainty surrounding the pensions of seven police officers hired by the City of Grand Island before 1984 is now over.

The council spent more than six hours working on this issue at a study session and meeting on Tuesday. Wednesday's meeting lasted less than 40 minutes with council members voting on several key issues.

The council decided while their last four retirees were overpaid based on a joint annuity calculation, the council will not ask them to repay any money.

One council member said the police officers themselves were not to blame. Another said it's an unfair situation the city is responsible for.

"Our ways of doing things have been questioned considerably and I think we realize that we need to take a look at some of those and make sure that this does not happen again," said Bob Nienmann, council president.

The council also approved a resolution officially stating pre-1984 police retirees from here on are to be paid on a straight-annuity calculation.

The police union's attorney told the council Tuesday that would be unconstitutional, but the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 24 president said pursuing legal action will be up to the remaining retirees.

"I think they'll have to look at their own circumstance and then make that decision on their own, however, as an FOP we will support them in whatever decision they decide to make," said Jarret Daugherty.

The council also appointed member Chuck Haase and finance director Jaye Monter as the layperson members of the police and fire pension committees.

The council did not discuss how they'll fund those seven remaining police retirees. That will be an issue at another meeting.