Councilman does complete 360 on pensions

The Providence City Council president said Monday that an effort to reinstate automatic pension hikes for retired city workers – launched just days after the council unanimously passed the changes – has been abandoned.

Michael Solomon said in a statement that he met during the weekend with Councilman John Igliozzi about his plan to submit an amendment to restore cost-of-living increases for retirees.

The entire council, including Igliozzi, voted for legislation to take away the increases, and Mayor Angel Taveras signed it into law last week. Igliozzi later backtracked, saying it was “too severe” and that he would seek to amend it.

Three members of the council’s finance committee, which Igliozzi chairs, called for a meeting Monday to replace him, but that meeting has been canceled.

“There is no greater vote that the council has taken than the vote last week to save Providence from fiscal ruin,” Solomon said in the statement. “I expressed this sentiment to John along with my sincere disappointment in his actions last week. During these meetings, John conveyed to me that he would abandon his initiative to amend the pension ordinance.”

Taveras vowed to veto any attempt to reinstate the cost-of-living increases after Igliozzi and Council Pro Tempore Terrence Hassett changed their minds. The pension changes are expected to save nearly $16 million next fiscal year.

Solomon did not specifically mention the post of finance chairman, but said he’s “proud” of his leadership team and that it will continue to “move forward.”

Jake Bissaillon, chief of staff to the council, said Igliozzi remains finance chairman.

Article source: http://www2.turnto10.com/news/2012/may/07/councilman-does-complete-360-pensions-ar-1027722/

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