Friday Catchall: Paying pension debt now or later? | The Daily Courier – Arizona News

Friday Catchall: Paying pension debt now or later? | The Daily Courier – Arizona News

Prescott Mayor Harry Oberg was one of two votes against using $11 million of reserve funds to pay down the Public Safety Personnel Retirement System debt. (Courier file photo)

The Friday Catchall:

CHANGING STANCES? — It is a little confusing to say the least when candidates or elected officials cross back and forth on issues. When it comes to the City of Prescott’s pension debt (unfunded liability) it has gone something like this:

Just prior to the Aug. 29 vote, in a visit to the Courier offices, Mayor Harry Oberg reiterated his opposition to Proposition 443. At the same time, some in the community had heard the city had a portfolio of as much as $123 million in enterprise funds.

Oberg said the city loaning from reserves to itself could be of interest for the council after the election — a plan B of sorts. Yet, on Tuesday, when the City Council approved an $11 million payment from reserves — to help pay down the debt — Oberg called for restraint.

So what changed?

Oberg told me this week, “I don’t think there’s any interest on the council borrowing from the enterprise funds. That’s off the table for now.”

As for the $11 million, “A majority of the council saw it as keeping a promise to the community.”

The mayor was concerned though. Apparently, the PSPRS (Public Safety Personnel Retirement System) has done poorly in the investment markets during the past two recessions, and “even though we have reserves, that’s our rainy day fund, if a recession were to hit,” Oberg said, adding that the PSPRS could have problems again, and the city may need its…

click here to read more.

Share this post

Post Comment