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4/10/2013
Weiner: "County Pension Underfunded; taxpayers beware" - WDEL

Councilman Bob Weiner echoed concerns raised by Grimaldi and was among the four council members who voted against Stone's appointment.

"I join you in your concern that this pension was funded at 120 percent, and now it's funded at 74 percent and by the new definition it will be funded by 54 percent," Weiner says.


Pension board appointment sparks debate
By Tom Lehman, WDEL

An appointment to the board of trustees for New Castle County employee's retirement system sparked debate at Tuesday night's council meeting.

WDEL's Tom Lehman has more.

Dave Grimaldi, Chief Administrative Officer for County Executive Gordon, opposed the appointment of Terry Stone to the board, saying that the council should select someone who has the proper background and education in finances.

Grimaldi says he and the administration had been unaware what board Stone was being nominated for, and would support his appointment to a board that was more suited to his experience in human resources if there was an open spot on that group.

"This is too critical a time to have an amateur, a financial amateur to manage 400 million of the county's assets," Grimaldi says.

However, Councilwoman Janet Kilpatrick, who sponsored the resolution in question, says Stone fit the guidelines for a vacant seat on the board. She says Stone had volunteered to serve on a board, and since there was a vacant seat on the board she was nominating him to fill it.

Council is allowed to appoint four members to the board, two of which are required to be involved in banking and investment while another had to be a retired member of the system. The other spot was reserved for a member of the public.

"He is not a finance person, but he is a well-respected member of the community," Kilpatrick says.

Kilpatrick expressed surprise over the administration raising their opposition to the nomination for the first time at a committee meeting, only hours before the council session began.

Grimaldi says he and the administration were aware that there was a nomination, but not which board he would be appointed to.

Michael Coupe, the county's Chief Financial Officer, also stressed the importance of appointing someone with the appropriate financial capabilities to the board.

FOP Lodge 5 President Mike Zielinski spoke at the meeting and told council that he believes the current status of the pension fund necessitated the appointment of someone with proper financial background and experience and that another candidate would have been preferred.

Councilman Bob Weiner echoed concerns raised by Grimaldi and was among the four council members who voted against Stone's appointment.

"I join you in your concern that this pension was funded at 120 percent, and now it's funded at 74 percent and by the new definition it will be funded by 54 percent," Weiner says.

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