What the Board of Commissioners does not want to advertise is that the same thing happened 30 years ago, only to be undone by the Commission in 2008.
Conan Smith alludes to this deal at a Board meeting in June, 2013 but he doesn’t take any responsibility for the decision to make the secret deal, even though he was a member of the Board in 2008.
The Board at that time had 11 Commissioners;
Karen Lovejoy Roe
Rolland Sizemore, Jr.*
Barbara Levin Bergman
* These three members are still on the Board
All of the deliberations about the decision to allow employees in the MPPP buy back into the pension plan occurred in executive session because they were part of collective bargaining, which is allowed under the Open Meetings Act. The final contracts had to be ratified by the Board in open session but there was no discussion during those votes of the decision to re-open the County pension plan.
That decision increased the length of time that the County taxpayers will be paying for pensions by three decades. It also greatly increased the total amount the taxpayers will owe to County employees.
Since many of the County employees who were promoting this decision to the Board and who were the source of information about the decision were enrolled in the MPPP, they had a conflict of interest since they would benefit from the decision to allow them to buy back into the pension plan and receive all of their years of service toward their pension.
Although, the Open Meetings Act allows the Board to meet in executive session and claim exemption for the minutes of those meetings, the Board does not have to claim that exemption. The Board should instruct the County Administrator to release the minutes of those meetings.