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The Friday episode of “As the Jax Pension Deal Turns”

Back in the days when soap operas dominated the daytime television landscape, casual viewers knew that the Friday episode was the one to watch, in terms of climactic plot resolutions.

If only that were true for Jacksonville’s Police and Fire Pension Fund negotiations.

On Friday morning in a conference room at city hall, PFPF Chief John Keane introduced a series of amendments to the Jacksonville City Council members on hand, including Bill Gulliford and Lori Boyer. A big one would transfer the entire reserve fund balance of slightly more than $79 million into a newly created account: “Reserve for Additional Payment on Unfunded Actuarial Liability.” That would be under city council control, and the amount charged to it would not exceed the amount appropriated from the General Fund, and it would also contribute to stabilization.

As Keane put it, “Don’t want to spend it all at once.”

There would also be additional contributions from police and fire, contingent on their salary reduction being restored, which Keane described as them stepping up and making an additional contribution.

There are still a number of points of negotiation remaining, obviously, related to everything from ensuring that the agreement will be binding on future councils to ensuring that the PFPF has the option to change its fund’s investment strategy to maximize return.

More negotiations will be held next week, at a time to be determined, involving Gulliford, Keane, and other interested parties.

As of yet, however, this deal is still stuck somewhere short of the goal line. With the July 1 transition looming, every day counts if the intention is to get a firm deal in front of the current council.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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