Pension resolution a must
Bob Pohlmann, 63
Creekside Middle School
Q. What is the biggest issue for the office you are seeking?
A. The biggest issue I see for the city is dealing with the unfunded pension liabilities. In the fire department we have been trying to negotiate a contract that is fair to everyone for the last five years. There is a $22 million unfunded debt in the fire pension plan. Previous contracts awarded to the firefighters are unsustainable for our taxpayers and must be adjusted.
Q. What are your qualifications for the office you are seeking?
A. I am the incumbent having served two previous terms. I am well qualified in understanding the issues as it relates to smart government. I have a master's degree in administration and supervision. As a council member, I have supported an ad valorem tax rate that has not risen in five years and the 2012-13 tax has been lowered by about 5 percent. We have maintained quality services that our taxpayers expect.
Q. If you win, what will be the first issue you will tackle.
A. Our unfunded pension liabilities will have to be addressed for the long-term financial stability of the city and the taxpayers. In two of the three pension plans we are seeing a reduction in the unfunded liabilities due to negotiated agreements and higher contribution levels from employees. The city should seek expert financial advice, include all stakeholders and develop an agreement that makes financial sense.
Q. If you lose, will you continue in politics?
A. Yes, I would consider continuing in politics if I lose. All politics is local and the lessons learned, and experiences at the local level, would be invaluable for a candidate seeking a higher position.