published: Friday, October 18, 2013
Pension plan termination will bankrupt city
While I agree with Greg "Bubba" Warner's position about setting the record straight, I strongly disagree with his misrepresentations to your paper. Mr. Warner's position is not supported by the written email communications uncovered in which he is copied by individuals and their attorneys whom are actively litigating against the City of Avon Park on several frivolous lawsuits. His association to this group actively litigating against the city can not be denied.
He was copied on emails and knew about the exploratory activities by those researching a pension plan termination or closure. Mr. Warner allegedly has made comments to other city employees that he stands to gain about $1 million if the pension plan terminates today. As you know, there are no free rides; with a pension plan termination, if he and others get a million dollars up-front, the taxpayer's of Avon Park will foot the bill. The city cannot afford to terminate the pension plan without incurring massive debt or a possible bankruptcy. These are the same types of financial catastrophes experienced in Detroit, Mich. and Stockton, Calif.
In fact to set the record straight, I must emphasize that Warner knew about the exploratory activities and communications by Plan Administrator (Carol) Knapp to either terminate or close the city's pension plan, and bring financial disaster to the city and its residents. It appears that Knapp in her capacity maintained communication with at least three separate law firms looking for a means to either close or terminate the pension plan. She engaged in this conduct with the knowledge by Warner. The emails provided by Greg Warner as a public record to the city readily reveal that Attorney (Robert) Grizzard, previous Chief Mike Rowan, Plan Administrator Knapp, attorney Adam Levinson, and the pension plan attorney communicated over questionable matters affecting the pension system. Despite there being many public meetings in the sunshine, the other four trustees were excluded from these activities by both Knapp and Warner. In my opinion, these high financial liability matters were concealed from the other four trustees.
To excuse his conduct, Bubba Warner claims that there were concerns over sunshine violations. This is not true. In fact, the board held seven public meetings in the "sunshine" where Warner or Knapp could have briefed the board of their participation in the researching of a plan closure or termination. In my opinion, their associations with individuals whom are actively litigating against the city are indicative of their motivations.
Warner is correct that the city's work force has been reduced by 60 positions or perhaps even more. Just like private industry, during a financial crisis, we have taken the necessary steps to avoid bankruptcy and stabilize finances. In fact, the News-Sun reported in March of 2009 that Avon Park could not even pay monthly bills due to its financial condition. Today, there are still governmental units and private industry within Highlands County still experiencing a difficult economic climate. We have made the tough decisions to ensure the financial survival of the city. We do not want another Detroit, Mich., or Stockton, Calif., in Avon Park. Any layoffs or work force reduction were processed by offering severance pay to those affected.
Warner wants a new direction, and criticizes the city's current direction. However, he fails to acknowledge that under the current leadership, we have reduced property taxes by 95 percent, reduced garbage rates by 20 percent, implemented recycling, and annexed over two square miles. For the first time, we are actually getting a flow of new businesses on Main Street. More importantly, in two more months, the city will be completely debt free. In my opinion, the reverse of the current direction and leadership, will result in higher city taxes and a possible bankruptcy through a pension plan termination or the reckless re-expansion of the city's work force, which is not sustainable under the current budget.
Julian Deleon, PE
City of Avon Park
Borrowing Pension Money (by: Blindman~ - 10/23/2013)
In response to the very first comment at the bottom... Somewhere I saw where Deleon offered to borrow what... 1 million from the pension board at an 8 percent return. That's an attractive interest rate and it was actually very stupid to turn the offer down.
Dear tax payer (by: dr karma - 10/23/2013)
If your kids are getting cavities then maybe you should have them BRUSH their teeth! Unless of course you are one of those toothless wonders that lost their nibblers on smoking crack.
(by: bu45535fgjby - 10/23/2013)
Blindman and Powershot (by: Disturbed - 10/23/2013)
You two are seriously mentally handicapped. I can't imagine what life has been like for the two of you? it must be a constant struggle to have to live in the real world on a day to day basis. To Powershot, have you not seen that the good ole boys are alive and well in the city right now? All this city council has done is follow Deleon like little ducklings. They suckle the teat of the almighty in an orderly fashion. I am embarrassed to be around Avon Park. Remmick and Warner would do a lot more for the city than these souless creatures we have in there now.
all hail king deleon (by: tax payer - 10/22/2013)
Hey, prime minister Deleon, do you mind explaining to the tax payers of avon park why they are being double taxed for law enforcement services? why does the current mayors husband keep wining contract bids for the city? Why you keep mandating federal grant money for a non active police dept? That has three public safety/emt/first responders/fire fighters? Wouldnt that expose you of have having double standards? I hope warner and remnick win just to make your days long and tiring. Also, my kids are getting cavities, mind adjusting my water bill since you cut off floride and are still billing the taxpayers for it.
delon (by: simp - 10/22/2013)
well that boy gone and got himself in something deep. i wonders if the the southsiders gonna put up wit his shinnannygins much longer. hes really been a good masta for the city.
(by: cd - 10/21/2013)
You can't have all these people on the payroll we can't afford it
the truth according to Julian (by: Julian's conscience - 10/20/2013)
Out of over 8000 pages of emails provided to Julian he cherry-picked 67 pages of nothing that is against the law. I thought all the lawsuits had been settled in Julian's favor. He and Park have said that many times in public. Explain how his implications that Greg Warner is getting contributions from people who are suing the city can be true. Supposedly no one is suing the city they all lost!!!!!! You cannot have it both ways Julian. Again there are not any current pending lawsuits according to Julian so how can anyone be attempting to terminate or close the pension plan through legal channels. More twisted information and scare tactics. Julian is a master at creative interpretation of tiny bits of truth. Spin Away--far far away.
Does Bubba get to keep his job? (by: Brenda - 10/20/2013)
Julian, you had Greg reapply for the Code enforcement job, Does he get to keep it and be put on full time? Why do you continue to be in everyone's business! Fire or Police pensions do not concern you. You are getting paid to do the work of a City Manager not going to Sam's Club to shop or follow people around to see what they might be doing, or worry about a resolution to show your stuff, or go to the radio show and air yourself as an idiot not a good move.....
Pension Plan (by: Jim Barnard - 10/20/2013)
Very well written and straight to the point!
Good ole boys (by: Powershot - 10/20/2013)
Warner opened the door to criticizm the moment he went public with his own column. I appreciate the Newssun for allowing Deleon to counter Bubbas claims.
Accountability (by: Citizens Aware! - 10/20/2013)
It's no wonder why Carol & Bubba never wanted to answer questions about their activities before the City council without their attorney being present. And it's no wonder why their attorney was not available for the meeting. Bubba's letter "setting the record straight" appears to contain a couple of cleverly crafted half-truths about his not sharing information with the other trustees, intended to deceive the average reader. That's what the attorney gets paid for and I'm sure Bubba's letter was approved by him.
Oh Please (by: too tired - 10/19/2013)
Why do you continue to beat the same dead horse? If you say it enough times even you may believe this babble.
Millionair Club (by: c3ukz - 10/19/2013)
I would love to hit that Jack-pot with Bubba holding my greased hand. Bubba's agenda with Knapp's lawsuit of the Church on South Lake will all get unraveled soon in court. We now know who the match maker for Rowan with Grizzard had been all along. Knapp aka the "sleeper secret operative" has been manipulating for a while. She has been throwing darts and back dooring for some time. Go back to Broward and carry your venom there.
Ouch! (by: The second smartest man in the room - 10/19/2013)
Bubba walked right into that one!
Buba the barbarian (by: Over sized - 10/19/2013)
You been exposed. Greed on the million to allow your boy rogue to get paid. You made some promises and taken contributions from several who are suing the city. You sweated up on stage during last debate, next time wear deodorant for real men.
AP Rock oN~ (by: Blindman~ - 10/19/2013)
Greg & Carol were not going to mention closing the pension plan to the other trustees until they could figure out how to do it and get everything in order. Sometime after exploring and learning "only the city" could terminate the plan, Greg Warner decides to run for Mayor. Meanwhile the City gets a phone call and the Manager becomes suspicious. After research and accusations by the City manager, Greg & Carol attempt to throw suspicion of their intension by advocating what they have learned through the very means of what they deny, and that is by emphatically stating... "only the city" can terminate the pension plan. Mr. Warner's priorities appear to be in this order; his family & personal needs, friends & associates, the pension beneficiaries, last & least of all... The People of Avon Park.
Deleon (by: Not fooled - 10/19/2013)
Julian did you ask the Pension board to borrow $1 million dollars? Did you try to get the Pension board to go under the League of Cities? Sutherland is a big supporter of that organization. Also, you put Lister as board of Directors, he is your body guard and I suppose you want him to hand over the pension to you!!!!!
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