Pendleton County judge-executive would like to see a more deliberate approach to fixing pension crisis

11/27/2017 05:35 PM

FALMOUTH – The second biggest question local government officials have right after when a potential special session to address pensions will be called, is how much the proposed changes will cost local governments.

Like many judge-executives and mayors, Pendleton County Judge-Executive David Fields is concerned about the hit his county will take in additional pension costs should Gov. Matt Bevin’s pension reform proposal become law.

“We’re going to be looking at $230,000 increase yearly for our employees, and it’s not something that we can come up with overnight” Fields said. “We’re really going to have to dig down deep and make some changes, make some cuts in different departments.”

Fields is concerned that the governor and lawmakers will rush through a plan in a special session which might not be the best solution. He would like to see more thought going into the process of passing a pension reform plan, not during a special session, but during the first week of the 2018 regular session.

“I commend a lot of legislators in taking that time and going back and saying let’s take a look at this a little more in depth, and I think it’s a smart move,” Fields said. “We don’t have to have that special session; we can have all of this discussion and get everything in place where they can pass it when they first go into session.”

Fields believes that one way to make things right is to separate the better funded County Employees Retirement System from the Kentucky Employees Retirement System.

“I’ve always liked the idea of separating the CERS from the rest of them because we had pretty good funding,” Fields said.

If the proposed plan is not changed, Fields is concerned that the additional costs could potentially bankrupt a number of cities, counties and school systems.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

1 Comments

Comments

  • Cumberland Gap wrote on November 28, 2017 08:51 AM :

    Pendleton has only 14,000 residents, about the size of one neighborhood in Lexington. Why do we expect all these tiny units of government to be big brother? Each one has to have their own management structure so we get lots of duplication and extra cost…

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