How ironic that the theme of Rob Dolan’s farewell speech was: “Keep investing in yourselves.” He and the Board of Aldermen could have done the right and incredibly cost-effective thing for the taxpayers and city employees by creating an open election for our next mayor.
When Dolan chose not to resign before January 8, aldermen Mike Zwirko, John Tramontozzi, Gail Infurna and Monica Medeiros invested in themselves by seeking to become president of the board and interim mayor for the next two years. That ballot went four rounds with this foursome voting for each other until it came down to Infurna and Tramontozzi. How impacting was the outcome?
On April 2, 2012, Dolan and the aldermen voted life pensions for all city employees – aldermen included -- after just 10 years service. The city’s retirement regulations require at least age 55 to begin receiving a pension for employees with less than 20 years service. With 20 or more years, one can begin collecting at any age. All city pensions are calculated by the average of any top-3 consecutive years’ salary with age and years of service then applied for a final annual percentage. Those calculation charts are available on the city’s website. (Teachers and administrators are part of a separate and totally independent retirement system – MTRS.)
Just coincidentally, Dolan resigned as mayor in his 20th year of city service, all as an elected official – 16 as mayor and four as a part-time alderman. He is eligible to begin collecting a life pension and health benefit from the Melrose taxpayers anytime. If he waits, for example, until age 55, he gets $37,500.00 plus the $18,000.00 health benefit for life. At age 60, $50,000.00 a year plus health for life. At age 65, $62,500.00 plus health for life.
Age 65 is the highest on the age-calculation column, making the prize for Infurna a whopper – and a black-and-white example of “unfunded pension liability.” Just coincidentally, Infurna completed her 20th year as an alderman with a salary of $4,000.00 a year. In two years as mayor at $125,000.00 annually and last year as alderman, she will get $254,000.00. Her top-3 average will thus be $84,600.00 with 22 years service. And just coincidentally, she will be 65 years old. That all calculates to a $46,566.00 a year pension for life the day after she leaves City Hall.
If Infurna collects for 20 years, that’s almost a million dollars plus health insurance for two years of full-time work. It all reflects unfunded pension liability: the ability for taxpayers and current city employees to support future retirees and benefits with disproportionate contributions by current employees, especially the part-timers and short-termers. The average retirement contribution by all city employees hired after 1979 is about 8 percent of gross annual income. Call it 10 percent for example sake.
Infurna made 80K over 20 years as aldermen, contributing a total of about $8,000.00 toward retirement. In two years as mayor, she will contribute about 25K from her $250K salary -- a total of $33,000.00 in total retirement contributions over 22 years. She will collect a pension of over 46K in just her first year of retirement. That means she draws on other employee contributions thereafter. Taxpayers and future retirees will have to fund future retirements if or when that well runs dry, i.e unfunded.
While the retirement board manages a portfolio of maximum return for employee contributions to keep the system funded for long-term sustainability, no return on investment can remotely sustain any system with amounts withdrawn like Infurna. Not to mention the ethical questions about why she should benefit so much more than the average city employee.
The ongoing elephant in the room now is Tramontozzi, a full-time attorney who also takes the 18K health benefit as alderman while proclaiming himself ready to be mayor right after Dolan resigned. He held out to that last possible opportunity to be mayor before switching his vote for Infurna. Why? Stay tuned for that that likely payback.
“Keep investing in yourselves,” our former leader decried. Gotta wonder what Infurna’s theme will be.
Gail's themes are "stab your friends in the back" and "I'm Rob's puppet". She will consult with Rob every day during a conference call including Mike and Brigid.
As usual Bob Snow is dead wrong on the facts. No pension for Infurna. Snow is a mentally ill bum who hasn't lived or paid taxes in Melrose for over 10 years...but he can't let go of the animosity he has after getting kicked to the curb by the school department 20 years ago.
Don't know Snow. He could be completely wrong in his posting about GI.
Infurna is not her own woman and she stabbed MZ in the back.
RD, ML and BA will be pulling all the strings while "Puppet Gail" does what she is told.
RD will be the virtual Mayor of Melrose.
I concur. Makes you wonder about the motivation for posting such a blatantly erroneous rebuttal to Snow.
Interestingly, in the retirement board newsletter I got this morning, I saw that Bewtra and Lipper-Garabedian are now members of the Melrose retirement system. They are both now eligible to enroll in city health plans, and they will both be pension eligible after 10 years.
Rob Dolan - the gift that keeps on giving.
It was interesting in that it was coincidentally mentioned in today's retirement newsletter, you freaking twit.
Brigid did a great job "ghost writing" the "Pretender Gail" FP explanation "Letter to the Editor"............
The truth is Gail tried to "buy back her time" to qualify for her $50,000 a year kiss in the mail for life (for 22 months as acting mayor of Melrose). Unfortunately for Gail (and fortunately for the taxpayers of Melrose) the scheme did not work out. Gail's letter left out one little fact, she fully intended to collect that pension Mr Snow correctly calculated. Shortly after 6 Alderman made a deal with her to make her Mayor (all 6 Alderman knew exactly what they were doing sticking it to taxpayers and we will not forget their names) Gail learned she did not win the Melrose pension lottery. Facts are important people.
I know of no other way to "buy back" time than the option to buy back military time, and I believe that option has expired. If you do, please enlighten me. I'm not clear on what time she wanted to "buy back".
In any case, she will still be eligible to collect a pension based on her age and years of service. I don't know how old she is, and I don't know how many years of service we're talking about. If I knew those numbers, I could tell you exactly what her percentage would be (I have the chart right in front of me), and if I knew her highest three years total salary, I could the calculate the dollar amount. My sense is that Snow is probably about right.
While I find this pension debate fascinating, it appears to be based on conjecture.
Mr. Snow, when did Ms. Infurna and/or the retirement board, etc confirm that this is how the system works and that she plans to use it in this way? If no one with first hand knowledge has corroborated your theory, then I don't really see the need for you to scream fire in a crowded theater.
I am a city retiree. Mr. Snow's methodology is correct. There is a chart (I'm looking at it) that gives you your retirement percentage based on your age and years of service. You then multiply the average of your highest three years salary totals (usually the last three years) by the percentage from the chart. That yields your pension.
I can't accurately calculate Infurna's pension since I don't know how old she is or how many years of service she has. The chart is more heavily weighted towards the final years of a person's career. As an example, if at retirement she is 63 years old and has 22 years, her percentage would be 50.6% If the average of her last three years salaries is $85,000.00, her Option 1 pension would be $43,010.00. Option 2 or Option 3 pensions are less, but pay the remainder of your annuity to your survivors, or cover your spouse after your death. Which option she chooses is entirely up to her, but once you choose an option, you cannot change it later.
Bear in mind this is a Group 1 chart, where you max out at 80% at 65 YOA and 32 years. Group 2 maxes out at 60 YOA/32 YOS. Group 4 (Police, Fire, etc) maxes out at 55 YOA/32 YOS.
That help you any?
Whether you like him or not, Bob Snow is seldom inaccurate/wrong.
As I said, I can't accurately calculate Infurna's pension (if any) since I don't know how old she is or how many years of service she has, and no I didn't read her statement in the paper. If what you say is true, and I have no reason to think otherwise, she in fact would not be eligible for any pension at all. You need a minimum of 10 years YOS to even qualify. I was merely commenting on the methodology used to calculate city pensions.
I am a little confused about one thing though. I didn't know you had a choice as to whether or not you could opt out of the Melrose system. I don't believe I've ever heard of that happening before. That should be easy enough to confirm with one call to the Retirement Office.
What exactly does confirmed know? Reading the response one would say absolutely nothing. Next time you plaster a post with all kinds of garbage I'd suggest doing a little homework first. You must have been a sanitation transfer engineer.
Confirmed knows exactly what he’s talking about. State employee and our retirement system and numbers are exactly the same, and as he described. There is no option not to participate in the retirement system. And you are a total ass for your inane response to factual information being presented
What exactly is your problem? Seems to me Confirmed knows the pension system a heck of a lot better than you do. A poster challenged whether Snow's methodology was accurate, which it was. Confirmed said right up front he couldn't calcualate a pension for Infurna because he didn't have the applicable numbers. All he did was post the formula for how a pension would be calculated. It's not garbage. It's accurate. Here's a piece of advice for you - it's far better to be thought an a$$hole than to open you mouth and confirm it.
It's clear that your problem is with Bob Snow. I get that, but why jump all over someone who has presented accurate and factual information about how pensions are calculated? Seems to me he was just trying to correct some of the misstatements and misunderstandings from previous posts.
There are a lot of people who don't read that useless rag of a local paper, myself included, and I don't see Infurna's statement anywhere on the online version either. I also don't see Confirmed casting any aspersions on Infurna. All he/she did was provide accurate information about how pensions are calculated. What's wrong with that? Maybe if you have an issue with Snow you should take it up with Snow.
According to MGL Chapter 32, any full time (20 or more hours per week) employee MUST join the pension system. Any part time employee who was employed prior to 2009 had the option to join or not.
And this is why my previous comment was relevant:
"If no one with first hand knowledge has corroborated your theory, then I don't really see the need for you to scream fire in a crowded theater."
Seems she won't be getting that million-dollar payday now that we've heard her side of the story.
Let's delete this misleading thread and move on.
Since you seem so intent on splitting hairs, split this one:
What a joke this string, and this entire site is. It started out by copying and pasting a hit piece the biggest Fraud in the history of Melrose, Bob Snow, put out on Gail Infurna...claiming the alderman hooked her up with a pension for life. As with all Snow's garbage it was completely false. The lemmings all fell in line and then the truth came out...and you pathetic losers tried to change the purpose of the string into an educational piece on City Pensions. I am amazed at how f*cking stupid the whiners on this website are. The bozos lost again. You were wrong. It was great seeing you all show up at the alderman's meeting a few weeks ago to taste some more bitter defeat. Unfortunately a clown car isn't quite big enough for this crowd. I'm designating a clown bus...and Monica is the driver. Honk, Honk, everyone climb aboard.
Pathetic angry child
I know, right? Imagine waking up in the morning, rolling over, seeing that, and knowing your had to deal with that 24/7/365. I'd eat my gun.
On the other hand, I've never seen a talking rectum before, so I guess that's something.
Gail Is Not The First Female Mayor Of Melrose She Is The First female Replacement mayor. A Mayor Is Voted Into Office By The People Of Melrose.Not By A Room Full Of Liberals And One Republican.Just Stating The Facts..What The Hell Happened To Melrose We Are Screwed....
Infurna was not elected by the voters of Melrose. Charter process allowed BOA members to pick Gail for their own agendas. I bet Zwirko is having many sleepless nights that he didn't have the guts to really lead a Charter Review. ILLEGITIMATE MAYOR was handpicked by the Mayor (who made deals with Lemmerman and Garabedian). Dolan is still the Mayor. "Illegitimate Gail" will be told what to do by Lindstrom who will get daily marching orders from Lynnfield. The MPS will suffer the most by Ms. Illegitimate who loves Taymore and is known for her go along to get along voting record. Glad my last kid is graduating in June!
Give Manisha Bewtra a chance. Alderman Lemmerman has a track record on which she can be judged. Bewtra has yet to prove herself one way or the other. Lipper-Garabedian is too close with Paymore-Taymore and throws around the word "Transparency" like DeSelm threw around "Nascent". I still have hope that Alderman Bewtra will step up and show some of the creativity and caring she has shown in the Planning Department and as a Commissioner on the MHRC. The biggest question about MB is her relationship with the dangerous Sam Hammar.
Yup. Years ago she declined to participate in the pension system. In her case, given the pittance that would be involved, I might have done the same thing. Then this Mayor thing comes along, and she prances into City Hall and tries to retroactively change her selection and pay for all those years after she declined to enroll. Nope. Sorry. You can't do that. You made your choice and now you're stuck with it. That would be like me going in there and saying I want to change from Option 2 to Option 1. Nope. Sorry. I made my choice and now I'm stuck with it. Don't feel too bad for her - she gets 2 years at 125K a year for being Dolan and Taymore's mouthpiece.
"And as for complaining about the charter review process, your hero Monica could have brought up the mayoral succession plan for change during the BoA vote on it and she didn't. Any number of citizens (like you "fine" posters) could have gone to the meetings and spoken up that 2 years was too long for the board to be choosing the replacement. The fact is you didn't; no one did. Maybe, just maybe, it is actually a fine way to choose a mayor, or, at bare minimum, is not a big deal at all."
Did and did....
Monica did indeed try to change that (you just didn't pay much attention, did you?!).
I was present several times for charter review mtgs and did present alternate views about what could (should, IMHO) be done.
It is a big deal, and this city sadly deserves the mess it has allowed to take place with its corruption and patronage schemes.
There is major dirt that deserves a full forensic audit, something not likely to happen with this bought bunch, but might end up having to take place in spite of themselves.
“Monica did indeed try to change that (you just didn't pay much attention, did you?!).”
No she didn’t. And yes I did.
It’s all public record. Nice try though.
Pretty simple. Snow's article was right in theory. Infurna attempted to fleece taxpayers by buying back her time to get back into the pension program, but her laziness cost her big time! If she could have, she would have and we'd be pumping tens of thousands of our dollars into a worthless slobs retirement for years to come for all of 20 months as interim mayor.
wrong snowflake she was not voted in by the people.the people vote for mayor.
That is correct. Don't forget that the year to year percentage increases are graduated - smaller in the earlier years, and growing larger by far in the last ten, and especially the last five. My memory is that the increases are 2.5% per year over the last five before maxing out. The entire payout would come from Lynnfield.
I'm not sure how the health care thing will work. I'd guess he'll maintain his Melrose coverage rather than swap to Lynnfield's and then have to reenroll here - provided there is provision for reenrollment in that case.
If the Doughboy transfers his retirement to Lynnfield he is he not a retiree, and he is definitely not an employee of Melrose. I would think that he would have to take Lynnfield's healthcare plan, or his wife's if she has a plan.
my tiny mind knows we are talking about the mayor not the president.whats that got to do with melrose we the people vote for mayor thats all im saying.we did not vote her in she was appointed.