I wanted to say thank you to Senator Joan Huffman. It is rare elected officials look out for the taxpayers.
Senator Huffman, in an act of open defiance, inserted a provision into her pension reform bill that would require a vote on Mayor Turner’s billion dollar Pension Obligation Bonds (POBs). It must be a good amendment for taxpayers because Turner swiftly denounced the amendment as a poison pill. Turner’s demagoguery was quick and telling, omitting the fact that he carried the original enabling legislation, which created the mess. Did I mention all three Houston Public employee unions endorsed Turner?
Why is Mayor Turner so against a vote? Because he knows that this bond will be defeated at the polls. This one billion dollar bond does not buy one road improvement, hire one more police officer or firefighter, or build one park. All the money goes directly to city employees and their very lucrative Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP). This plan, originally supported by Turner when he was a state representative, has caused the unfunded liability totaling 8 to 10 billion dollars. Senator Huffman has the right idea because I fear we have another Dallas on our hands.
All investments need to be carefully scrutinized and the amount and size of every DROP account needs to be disclosed. The Enron-style accounting, lack of transparency, fraud, and misrepresentations associated with the pensions have been staggering.
Thank you Joan Huffman for looking out for the taxpayer!