Riley: Will Mayor Elorza Stiff The Pension Plan Again?
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Providence generally paid in October after the fiscal year. I challenged the State Auditor General to show me any other city in America that accounted for its pensions the same way. In 2015 New Actuary Segal agreed with my assertion that Providence was overstating pension assets by roughly $63 million dollars. This was denied by the City and the auditor general.
Reaction to my allegations was swift: 1) Segal agreed with me and hit Providence with an increased liability of $63 million. 2) Hoyle defended the city’s accounting though he wished they didn’t handle it the way they did. He assured me that Elorza had a plan for paying the contribution on time. 3) Elorza finally publicly acknowledges the failure to contribute to the pension plan on day one instead averaging contributions 450 days late. In 2015 Elorza made a pledge to contribute on or before June 30, 2015, which is actually 365 days late.
“But for at least the 11th consecutive year, the city is planning to make the majority of its annual required contribution, known as the ARC, sometime after first-quarter tax revenues begin flowing in on July 24. In other words, the city will use the money it receives during the 2015-16 fiscal year to cover a leftover tab from the 2014-15 fiscal year," wrote WPRI in 2015.
Elorza Misleading the Municipal Bond Market
As most people know the term “fraudulent” or the act of fraud requires an element of intent.
Brazenly ignoring the Auditor General's wish, Elorza and prior mayors each year said they would pay “on time," Every City other than Providence does this. Yet Providence never does, it’s obvious that this fact pattern is misleading and likely fraudulent.
I believe Jorge Elorza has been misleading everyone about the true financial condition of Providence since he was elected and he has knowingly approved false accounting of pensions each year as well as approved improperly diverted pension contribution payments made to the plan, deducted from each employees paycheck. He uses the employee funds to cover operating cash flow problems, that he claims do not exist. Well, it is now four years later and Elorza still has not paid on time. This “undesirable behavior” goes unremarked upon by our Auditor General.
So now the Mayor has hit upon a sudden revenue source with his speed cams. Three full years after his pledge to contribute in full to the pension plans “on time." Can we, therefore, expect him to actually contribute to worker pension plans by June 30, 2018? Or is that too much to ask? Does he just prevaricate about finances or have there been other promises Mr. Elorza made to citizens and state officials in the full knowledge he will never be held accountable.
Related Slideshow: GoLocal: Benchmark Poll, October 2017
Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?
Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...
Definitely be voting: 78%
Probably be voting: 13%
What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?
Jobs and economy: 21%
State budget: 9%
Corruption/Public integrity: .8%
Don’t know: .9%
Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?
Net: Approve: 28%
Definitely approve: 15%
Probably approve: 14%
Net: Reject: 67%
Probably reject: 19%
Definitely reject: 48%
Don't know: 4%
The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).
$50,000 or less: 27%
More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%
More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%
More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%
$150,000 or more: 13%
Don't know/refused: 17%
What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?
Black or African American: 6%
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