Pension obligations threaten the city's fiscal future and public safety as the city is unable to afford new classes of police and fire cadets due to the costs of providing for the benefits to retired police officers and firemen - even as our police and fire corps continues to age.
Likewise, as the city's streets crumble around us the money available for repairing our roads is being consumed by pension obligations.
If there is to be any money to repair our roads, improve public safety, and provide for improved quality of life features, we must first reform the city's pension systems.
The city must do our best, given budget constraints, to keep the promises made to current civil servants in defined benefit retirement plans (pensions) while promising only what taxpayers can afford to new employees in defined contribution retirement plans [the public sector version of a 401(k) which is called a 403(b).]
Please read my white paper addressing in detail my ideas about what type of pension reform is needed to save the city an estimated $284.8 million per year to apply towards improving the roads, public safety, and the overall quality of life in the city of Houston.