It couldn’t happen here, could it?
Recent articles in the Seattle Times sparked a memory with local connections.
April 8, 2013, Seattle Times – “State feels bite of workers’ ‘pension spiking‘”
April 9, 2013, Seattle Times – “Disabilities plague government retirees, even golfers”
Our district is carefully managed by responsible elected officials and a deeply concerned administration, right?
Lets look at how one employee turned a paltry $84,718 salary into $236,214 in just 5 years! But more about Robert Stinnett in a minute.
From Mike Baker:
In his Seattle Times series about how public employees use your tax dollars to benefit their brotherhood, several former employees, an unusually high number, were manipulating the system for personal gain with full knowledge and encouragement from leadership.
So when you read about late employment raises to enhance retirement benefits or ‘disability’ claims to collect tax-free payments, you remain calm and comforted knowing that the South King Fire & Rescue board of commissioners would not tolerate such flagrant taxpayer abuse.
Right….<turn sarcasm font on>
Now to spotlight a local connection.
What is your reaction to one employee turning a measly $84,700 wage in 2007 into a whopping $236,214 in a mere 5 years?
You read that right. This “cash-strapped” district, publicly decrying a “crisis”, not only nearly tripled this man’s annual income, just to boost his retirement pay, they approved so much ‘Bonus’ pay for an administrator that they could have put another firefighter on the street!
Well it is actually pretty simple and a trend among public employees.You see, your retirement benefit is based on the last three years you worked. SO, if you are making a piddly $85k per year, and want a $120k retirement income, just pad the income for the 3 years before retirement.
Even if the department is screaming crisis. Even if the firefighters take wage freezes. Even if revenues DECLINE. Even if the chief sends out letters saying we need to raise revenues or people will die.
Robert Stinnett retired in late 2011. Jumping from $84,718 in 2007, to pad the retirement at your expense, his last three full years have incomes $90,492 in 2008 (modest 6.8% raise), $125,718 in 2009 (39% increase from previous year), $132,721 in 2010 (modest 5.5% increase from previous year) and for the first 8 months of 2011 he ‘earned’ $236,214.(78% increase from previous year) Some of that was probably from other sources but was still declared as wages so unless you can correct me, it counts towards his lucrative retirement check at taxpayers expense.
No wonder he was so desperate to get his buddies re-elected.
Retirement from public service is very lucrative when you have friends that will help you pad your nest egg.
Another great example of how the current leadership is actively seeking ways to take your taxes and reduce your services. For the oldest reason of them all, selling you out for the money.