St. Pete Beach Pension Board

 Q: Last week the Gabber ran an article about the city’s pension woes. The writer told us "over the past decade the pension funds have earned half of what the pension boards expected."
 My question is, why wasn't something done to correct or address this known problem years ago? Who oversaw the pension board? Who is this pension board?

A: City manager Mike Bonfield first expressed concerns about the growing cost and plan debt in 2008, but, as per state law, the boards operate independently and the city manager has no real control over them. At that time, he says, “the Boards did not present any options relating to lowering costs without increasing the debt.”
 Other than the commission selecting two members of the pension board and the employees selecting another two, the city has no control over the boards. When it comes to managing the costs, the only option the city has, Bonfield says, “is to lower the benefit.”
 The city started negotiations to do just that in late 2010. The bargaining process – also part of what the state law allows – has led St. Pete Beach to the upcoming hearing on April 4.
 The pension boards include the following members:
Firefighter’s Pension Board
Phil Milner (Chairman), Michael Handoga (fire department employee), Bruno Falkenstein, Keith Beattie, Michael Terry and Foster and Foster (Ward Foster, Consultant).
Police Pension Board
Bob Rogers (Chairman), Officer Bruce Johnson, Keith Jacobus, Sean McAuley, Jerry Gorup and Foster and Foster (Ward Foster, Consultant).
General Employees Pension Board
Bill Palmer, Don Pelligrino, John Kretzer, Mike Cohen, Bill Schroeder, Foster and Foster (Ward Foster and Doug Lozen, Consultants) and Christiansen and Dehner, P.A. (Lee Dehner and Scott Christiansen, attorneys).

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