Decatur’s retired city employees will go without a state-authorized bonus of up to $600 after the City Council this week rejected it, with councilmen saying retirees knew what their pension would be when they retired and were already compensated for their work. 

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bayne.hughes@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2432. Twitter @DD_BayneHughes.

(5) comments

Maxwell Hamilton

News Flash: we actually have a councilman who has “learned” and has “principles” and understands “policy”. Happy days are here again, indeed.

LYNARD PATTERSON

Pitiful, pitiful. What goes around comes around. Hope this comes back to bite the 3 council women in the butt.

Charlie Specoli

With Mr. McMasters saying that the retirees knew the pension when they retired is true, but he didn't have to say it the way he did. If there is one councilman that does not appreciate the retirees, it is McMasters based on his statement. The city council didn't hesitate to buy a very expensive Christmas tree, and pay annually for a company to put it up and take it down and the millions for one mile of beautification on 6th Av.. Notice if you criticize those expenditures at least Mr. Ladner can justify them. While i did a bit of research on this, the City of Hoover not just Montgomery participated in the program, so there are probably other comparable sized cities that have also= that Mr. McMasters may have missed. None the less, with the exception of Mr. Jackson the city councilmen have made it quite clear that retirees do not matter, even after admitting that there is money for the request. So, they don't care about you Mr. and Ms retiree, they don't care that they apparently voted to pay less for your insurance so that you pay more, and that inflation is at an all time high. Tough retirees!! You knew your pension when you retired so sink or swim becasuse we don't care. Yet just across the street county government does for their retirees, who knew what their pension was when they retired also. So Decatur retirees remember the expensive Christmas tree and it's maintenance, and a multi million dollar mile mean more to this council than you do, and if you are wondering, there is something very wrong with that. Last, with his statement McMasters showed his arrogance something the city government officials have plenty of, with his unnecessary remark about retirees knowing their pension. He and the other two that voted against could learn something from the county commission.

Carlton McMasters

Mr. Specoli, I didn’t agree with the bonus but that doesn’t mean I don’t care about retirees. I’ve never discounted the fact that if it weren’t for previous employees we wouldn’t be where we are today. Depending on when they retired we either pay 100% or 87% of their insurance premiums, something that doesn’t happen in the private sector. Our current employees are behind in market based pay and we do have needs that affect all of our citizens that could be addressed with $252k. Apologies if it came across arrogant. Not everything I say always makes it in the article. If you’d like to discuss it further, shoot me an email cmcmasters@decatur-al.gov

Carlton McMasters

Charlie Specoli

You may care about retirees, but your statement of they knew their pension when they retried sends a completely different message. These employees did not work in the private sector, so I don't see why the private sector has to come into play. Where you are missing the boat as are the majority of the council is that other government entities have participated in this program for their retirees. Yet Decatur refuses. These government entities also have budget constraints and needs unique for their cities and counties just like Decatur does, yet they find a way where as Decatur refuses. I don't thinks those government entities are any better or smarter than ours, but they have found a way. Last, retirees struggle in times like these, and it's not like these retirees come to the council every year and ask. I read that it has been since 2003 or 2007 since they asked or received any relief depending on which news article you read. However, I think this city can do better, especially when the city approved an expenditure of a very expensive Christmas tree and it's related upkeep. Yall can do better the retirees at least in this citizen's mind deserve better. Thank you for your response.

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