A few people have posted online comments asking why the Winnebago County Board didn’t end pension eligibility for current members.
I reported HERE that board members voted Thursday to eliminate pensions for those elected in November 2012 and after.
The board can’t legally strip themselves of pension benefits because those benefits are protected by state law. They also cannot vote to change the compensation of an elected official who is serving his or her term.
State law says that compensation for an elected official must be set at least 180 days before an election.
However, current board members who pay into the pension plan won’t continue earning credit toward their pension if they’re re-elected in November 2012 or after. Board members must have eight or more years of service to the county to be eligible for a pension. Board members who have less than eight years of service would receive a refund for any pension contributions they’ve paid once they leave the board.
Here is a list of the 17 board members who currently contribute to the pension plan, and whether they voted for or against ending pension eligibility.
Four of the six that voted against ending pension benefits currently pay into the plan. Nine voted to end pensions despite their own payments into the plan. Four were absent.
Bob Kinnison, R-10: Absent
Tom Owens, R-1: For
Kay Mullins, R-8: For
Dianne Parvin, R-4: Absent
Lynne Strathman, R-1: For
Dave Tassoni, D-7: Against
L.C. Wilson, D-12: Against
Isidro Barrios, D-11: Against
George Anne Duckett, D-12: Absent
Frank Gambino, R-14: For
Pearl Hawks, D-6: Against
Kyle Logan, R-3: For
Wendy Owano, R-5: For
Rick Pollack, R-13: For
Dorothy Redd, D-6: Absent
Fred Wescott, R-9: For
Jim Webster, R-2: For