Monday, April 27, 2009

A Timeline of the Police-Fire Pension Fund Citizen's Task Force Selection

Via emails, and even a couple of phone calls, it has come to my attention there was some confusion regarding the process of selection of the 6 final members of the Police-Fire Pension Fund Citizen's Task Force (or 7, including the Chair and Vice Chair selections).

I tried to clarify that process to the best of my ability in this previous entry but, I still received another phone call Friday evening from a citizen who had a lot of questions. He felt it might be helpful to have the Second-Round Applications list posted and still, further clarification.

I went directly to a newly elected member of the City Council to fill in some of the blanks on the process, and to assist in clarifying the issue, which appeared to revolve around whether all of the applicants were included in the process of selection undertaken by our newly elected and ongoing members of the City Council.

Councilman Nick Ibarra thought the confusion might be due to multiple lists, the original, plus the list of new applicants generated by the reopening of the application process for a brief window of time, immediately after the election of the new Council.

"The confusion, I believe, may be that there were two lists distributed. The lists were separated with one list being the original group of applicants, and the other being the new group. But all applicants, both old and new, were given to Council to be considered," Ibarra wrote in an email.

Based on information received in City news releases, from CityConnect entries, my own past reporting and information provided by Mr. Ibarra, this would be the timeline of the process:

Police-Fire Pension Fund Citizen Task Force Selection Timeline

> February 26, 2009, applicants were solicited for the purpose of forming the Task force, with a deadline of 5 p.m. March 9. (City news release, "Police Fire Task Force and Voter Survey")

> March 10, the City's Web log, CityConnect, posted an entry stating the first application period was closed, along with a memo sent from City Manager Greg Burris to the City Council with recommendations for the selection process. (CityConnect: "Burris Memo - Task Force Recommendations")

> March 24, CityConnect issued another entry specifying the City Council, prior to the election of April 7, would choose part of the task force but, reserve some selections for the Council which would be voted in on April 7. (CityConnect: "Council To Begin Task Force Selection Process")

> March 31, at a City Council luncheon, City Manager Greg Burris made his recommendations to the (previous) City Council regarding applicants. Also included was a draft "charge" of the task force. Council could either approve Burris' recommendations or chose their own from the list of applicants for the task force. The City Manager requested they turn in their selections by 5 p.m. April 3. (CityConnect: "Burris Recommends Task Force Members")

> April 7, eleven applicants were approved to sit on the task force. (JackeHammer: "Police-Fire Pension Citizen's Task Force Approved at City Council Luncheon") Two of the members were later disqualified, due to conflicts of interest, leaving 9 approved members. Those disqualified were Carol Mihalevich and Matt Morrow.

> April 9, the new City Council was sworn in. (City news release: "City Council Swearing-in Ceremony")

> April 10, the pension task force application process was reopened with a deadline for applications of 5 p.m. on April 16, 2009.

An April 20 deadline was set for the incoming and ongoing City Council members to turn in 6 more recommended members each for the police fire task force, so that the results could be tallied in preparation for discussion and selection of 6 more members at the following day's City Council luncheon, April 21.

The City news release, again, dated April 10, stated, "Mayor-elect Jim O’Neal said the new Council will be asked to select six individuals from the new applications, the remaining applicants in the original group of 54, and others who have been recommended by Councilmembers. Individuals who have already submitted applications do not need to re-apply if they still wish to be considered for service on the Task Force." (City news release: "Pension Task Force Applications Re-opened" (JackeHammer: "Pension Task Force Application Process Briefly Re-Opened")

> April 13, a CityConnect entry reminded citizens they had another opportunity to apply to be a member of the task force. (CityConnect, "Pension Task Force Still Taking Applications")

Author's note: For further insight, I asked Councilman Ibarra what he could tell me about the process between the reopening of the application process on April 10, and the April 21 meeting, in which the Council approved 6 new members to the force:

"The deadline for the second application process was the 16th of April at 5:00 p.m. The following day (April 17) the applications, both old and new, were delivered to me with my regular information drop off from the clerk’s office." Ibarra replied on April 27 (emphasis mine). "Additionally, Mr. Burris had attached a note requesting that Council have their choice of six candidates turned in for a tally by the following Monday at 5:00 p.m. (April 20) to ensure that the list of successful applicants could be discussed at the Tuesday luncheon."

> On April 21, our current City Council members selected 6 more applicants to sit on the task force. The following "Second-Round Applications" list was distributed to the City Council members, (asterisks marking details added by author for clarification):

Police-Fire Pension Fund Citizen's Task Force

Second-Round Applications*
4/21/2009 (Numbers in parenthesis represent the number of votes the applicant received from the currently sitting City Council. If no number appears, the applicant was a new applicant who had applied between April 10 and April 16 but, who received no votes from the current City Council.)

Charles Wayne Bair
Nathan Baker
Lorenzo Baldwin (3)**
Thomas Billings (1)
Burl Brown (1)
Becki Carr
Gordon Elliot (4)**
Fred Ellison (2)
Jerald Fensterbaker (2)
Ed Griesbaum (1)
Louis Griesmer (1)
Donald Gutierrez (1)
Doug Harpool (1)
Jack Hembree (2)
Carl Herd (3)**
Bob Horton (5)**
Nancy Howard (1)
Denny Hyde (5)**
Chris Jackson
Joy Jones
Glen Larson
Michael Lumby
William Mabary
Joe Passanise (1)
Brian Perdue
Mike Ramon (2)
John Reed (1)
Steven Reed
Micah Scott (1)
Mark D. Steele
Andy Stewart
Larry Stock (1)
Bradley Stokes (2)
Brad Sturges
Steven Thomas
David Trippe (5)**
Katherine Trombetta (1)
Derek White (1)
Daniel Williams

*My understanding is, this list represents all of the new applicants who applied after the new City Council reopened the application process, whether the applicants received any votes or not. Applicants from the previously known list of applicants were included on the "Second-Round Applicants" list only if they received a vote from the current City Council, which would have been turned in by the City Council by 5 p.m. on April 20, in preparation for the luncheon on the 21st.

**Mr. Burris recommended the 6 names which received 3 to 5 votes from the current City Council, be approved and added to the existing 9 task force members to make a force of 15. Councilman Doug Burlison made a motion Burris' recommendation be accepted and those 6 recommended applicants were approved unanimously by a voice vote of the City Council. (JackeHammer: "Police and Firefighter Pension Task Force Selection Complete")

> On April 22, Mayor Jim O'Neal announced and introduced the Chair and Vice Chair of the police fire pension task force as Jerry Fenstermaker and Jerry Harmison. Fenstermaker will be a non-voting member, according to the City's news release.

The official charge for the task force was posted at CityConnect and a video of the news conference, held by Mayor O'Neal, was aired by the City's TV23, it can also be viewed online by selecting it from the "Special Programming" category link. (City news release: "Police-Fire Task Force Chair, Vice-Chair Named") (CityConnect: "Pension Fund Citizens Task Force Now Set") (JackeHammer: "Updates: Special Council Meeting to be Re-Scheduled; Chair and Vice Chair Appointed to the Pension Task Force")

> April 24, the City announced the first meeting of the task force would take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on April 27. The meeting is open to the public and will be held in the 4th floor conference room at the Busch Municipal Building and will also be accessible for viewing online at TV23's Web site.

Following is the tentative agenda for the first Police-Fire Pension Fund Citizen's Task Force:


1. Individual introductions
2. Assign members to three teams
3. Deliverables / Assignments
4. Task force communications
5. Next steps

(City news release: "Pension Task Force First Meeting Date")


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