As the City of Alexandria begins the Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget development process over the next few months and continues to strategically plan for its future, we would like your input regarding your operating budget and capital improvement program priorities.
I am disturbed to find hidden on page 170 of the city's 554 page FY15 budget proposal that the City Manager feels that there is no longer a need to provide retirees with life insurance. While I was preparing to leave the city after 26 years of service, I met with several financial advisors and all asked about life insurance. They all stated how important income, insurance, and savings were in retirement. Because of the city's promise of life insurance to retirees, I did not seek other insurance. Failing to fulfill this promise will cause many people who will not be able find or afford new insurance policies a great hardship. We stood by the city during other difficult budget periods missing cost-of-living adjustments, merit raises or both many times. Now is the time for the city to stand by us and live up to their word.Removing the cost of life insurance for retirees from the proposed budget reduces the amount by $247,430 or less than four one hundredths of one percent. While employees by the city, I heard many of the current city council members speak at public events and praise the work force for their efforts, commitment and sacrifice. Now is the time to see if they meant what they said and are willing to live up to their promises.
Tom Dumproff (431) | User | March 6, 2014 - 8:43 PM
I began my career with the City of Alexandria in 1987 after having worked with the County of Arlington for 6 years. Upon my arrival in Alexandria, it became readily apparent to me that the City was a good place to work and that the work force was valued by the City Council and the City Government. For a 26 year career, I gave the City my all, sacrificing many things to make sure the citizens of Alexandria were served well and that their communities were always safe for both work and play. This was a promise and oath I made as a Deputy Sheriff for the City of Alexandria Sheriff’s Office. Throughout my career, I never once deterred from this promise and commitment, as it was a pledge I made at the inception, with full knowledge of the expectations of its citizens, the Sheriff, and the City that had been placed on me. Upon my retirement in 2013 as Undersheriff for the City of Alexandria, I knew within my soul, I had fulfilled my part of the bargain.Now it is time for the City to stay true to the pledge and promises they made to its work force. Every retiree signed on in their respective job/position with clear expectations of what the City promised. Most retirees are well beyond the age at which they can secure affordable life insurance. This window of opportunity passed, because each of the retirees knew the City ‘had their back’; at least that is what all of us were promised. The cessation of funding for the Life Insurance Benefits for the City’s retirees, is nothing more than a breach of trust and commitment to so many individuals (once important employees ) that gave their blood and sweat to the City for so many years. We as retirees deserve better. Those who are in favor of this cessation of funding should be ashamed of themselves. I would be.Tony Davis
Tony Davis (436) | User | March 6, 2014 - 1:26 AM
I was working for the police department when City Maager Vola Lawson extended the life insurance benefit to City employees. I saw it as taking care of my life insurance needs in retirement and did not seek any additional insurance at that time when I was younger and in good health. When I finished my police career after 30 years I had in the interim developed significant health problems that would prevent me from obtaining life insurance on my own. The proposal to stop funding life insurance pulls the rug out from under me and my family's financial security five years after I've retired. I hope you'll reconsider this action and keep the promise made when I was working for the city.
Ray Hazel (432) | User | March 4, 2014 - 11:11 PM
Please consider the following thoughts before making a final decision to break the city's promise and committment to dedicated retired employees who served, supported, and helped make Alexandria the great city is is today: Fairness, Honor & Integrity (relative to the city's promise and committment to provide life insurance benefits), and WWVD ("What Would Vola Do?").
Joe Morrash (430) | User | March 1, 2014 - 6:21 PM
I worked for the City for 42 years before retiring in 2003, now the City wants to stop funding my life insurance costs. I am 70 years old and cannot afford to purchase life insurance on the open market. This benefit was promised to all retires and now you want to take it away from us, after I gave you over 42 years of service. Like P.Jones stated the current City Manager didn't contribute the great City, it was the former employees made the City what it is today. Also, noticed the City Manager doesn't stay in one job long enough to build up any kind of retirement. I would understand, if the City stopped paying life insurance cost for employees with less than 5 years and any future employees, they are young and can afford to purchase life insurance. Retires cannot afford this additional cost. Therefore, I am asking the City to reconsider not stopping the funding of life insurance for emplyees who have retired.
B. Allen (429) | User | March 1, 2014 - 9:42 AM
I cannot believe the City Manager is actually considering eliminating the City's share of life insurance costs for retirees. Many retirees rely on this insurance to pay off bills, funerals, , and provide some degree of comfort for the remaining spouse. The cost for retirees to purchase insurance is considerably higher than if purchased at a younger age. It seems that personnel and employee issues, such as benefits, are the first things that our Manager wants to eliminate. I was employed by the City for 35 years and grew up in Alexandria. It amazes me that even retirees have to beg to retain their benefits. There are many services that are currently being provided that are wasteful. But because of political favoritism they still exist. Zero based budgeting is not a new concept. It was a popular budgetary tool in the 80's and did not accomplish anything at that time..Stop cutting of the dedicated public servants that contributed greatly to make Alexandria the great City it is currently. It was not the current Manager.
P.Jones (427) | User | February 28, 2014 - 1:05 PM
Please provide comments on the Fiscal Year 2015 Proposed Budget.
OMB (23) | City Staff | February 27, 2014 - 8:41 AM
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