Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Pay millions to firefighters now!

Why do I feel that my taxes are going up? My commitment to live within the city, as we are about to start a new house, is being severely tested. This story is from AP via KATC’s web site and pointed to by topix.net:

A state district judge's order that the city of New Orleans pay firefighters more than 100 (m) million dollars in back pay and an additional nine (m) million to 12 (m) million dollars in future wages and benefits could end up costing city workers their jobs.

If paid all at once, Chief Administrative Office Charles Rice says the total would amount to about a third of the city's annual budget. Such a hit could force layoffs of up to 20 percent of the city's work force -- or up to one-thousand employees, including 200 of the city's 700 firefighters.

But Rice said the money won't be paid right away. He says there's some question in state law over whether a judge can tell a governmental body how to craft its annual spending budget. He says the city would take up to 30 days to file legal motions on that matter.

Rice says a special committee is looking into an array of possible solutions. Whatever plan it comes up with likely will involve a proposal to the state Legislature granting the city new means to raise money to pay the judgment.

Nicholas Felton Junior, a union leader for the firefighters, chastised city officials for exploiting lengthy legal processes to delay paying. He added that young firefighters are prepared to be laid off for the sake of more senior and retired firefighters, some of whom have been waiting more than two decades for money owed them.

The money is part of a multimillion-dollar award set by the state Supreme Court in a dispute that first went to court in 1981.


jbv's Competitive Edge 


Anonymous YatPundit said...

this is what happens when municipal governments are allowed to avoid paying judgements--there's no incentive whatsoever to deal with the issue. The only winners are the corporate defense lawyers who are hired by the city to go to court. They get their money up-front.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous ldukes said...

I am a member of that group of firefighters that the city owe money to.After more than twenty years and numerious appeals the city is still trying to delay payment to its firefighters. After the tragic incident that just happened to our city I guarantee you some politician will say how good a job the firefighters did and how much they love them and than turn around and stab them in the back yet again Leroy Dukes

2:10 PM  

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