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Readers' Views: Give us the true amount of unfunded pension liability

Posted 10/15/13

Editor,Recently, I attended a Middletown Borough Council meeting where council had David Unkovic speak on a financial report prepared by the borough’s financial consultant, Mark Morgan. During this presentation, Unkovic stated the borough has $8.9 …

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Readers' Views: Give us the true amount of unfunded pension liability

Posted

Editor,

Recently, I attended a Middletown Borough Council meeting where council had David Unkovic speak on a financial report prepared by the borough’s financial consultant, Mark Morgan. During this presentation, Unkovic stated the borough has $8.9 million in unfunded pension liability. This information was re-stated in the recent edition of Middletown Matters, the borough's newsletter.

This type of liability is reported to and tracked by the state. This information can be accessed at www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/publications/3194/municipal_pension_plan_reports/525535. Go to the status report of 2012. Around page 65 you will see the information for Middletown. It shows our unfunded liability for both uniform and non-uniform employees to be at approximately $4.2 million.

I do not suggest that amount is insignificant or should be ignored. However, we the public should not be deceived as to the true amount. Perhaps Morgan included other debt in the figure of more than $8 million. I do not know, but it was presented as unfunded pension liability, which simply isn’t true according to the state report.

Unkovic also started his presentation praising the benefits of borough-owned assets such as the electric, sewer and water systems. In the latest issue of Middletown Matters, council insists it is not considering the sale of our assets. However, by the end of the presentation, Unkovic was suggesting exactly the opposite, and advised the sale of the sewer plant. This council has repeatedly suggested selling off these assets, whether they admit it or not.

At a subsequent council meeting, one of council’s supporters made personal attacks on individuals running against the incumbents. No one on council made any attempt to stop these attacks or to say they were inappropriate. This has happened on more than one occasion. This goes straight to their character.

To allow some surrogate to campaign for you during council meetings by attacking our opponents is disgraceful.

If you, the citizens of Middletown, truly want to see a change to open and honest government, make it a priority to vote and remove all the incumbents in the Nov. 5 election.
                                                     
                                     Thomas Handley
                                     Middletown

(The writer is a candidate on both the Republican and Democratic ballots for Middletown Borough Council in the First Ward.)