You are on page 1of 2



February 11, 2017

Dear Mr Martin,

I take exception to Metrotex's support of three former mayors who have banded together at the
request of the current mayor under the benevolent-sounding title of "Taxpayers for a Fair
Pension." There is nothing "fair" about what Mayor Rawlings insists on doing in trying to strip
pensioners of interest, COLA, and Benefit Supplement payments that have already been
credited to pensioner accounts. He wants the pensioners, who did nothing wrong, to pay for the
mismanagement of the pension fund by its former administrator and 12 trustees (which included
four city council members).

In my own case, after serving 40 years and 3 months as a Dallas Police Officer, he is now trying
to strip me of 59.5% of my life savings. He then goes on television and publicly calls retired
police officers and firefighters "greedy" for taking the opportunity to enter the DROP program
developed by the City of Dallas and approved unanimously by the City Council in 1992 to retain
senior police officers and firefighters. Why did the City Council at that time, in all of its collective
wisdom, think that interest rates (which they approved) could be sustained and guaranteed at 8-
10% when everyone knows that the economy runs in bull-and-bear market cycles? All First
Responders gave up some portion of our life-time pension entitlement in order to enter the city's
guaranteed and promised DROP program. Again, in my case, I gave up 17.5% of my pension
entitlement to enter DROP. If I had not done so, the city would now be paying me a 96%
pension. The Mayor's actions in his public speaking role and his legislative maneuvering behind
the scenes to renege on the city's promise are both abominable and disgusting!

As has already been succinctly pointed out by "D" Magazine and WFAA in their recent reports,
suffice it to say that none of these three former mayors took any responsible action to address
any pension concerns they may have had during their time in office. They, like the current
Mayor, have tied the city's financial woes of the pension fund crisis to the 22-year old Pay
Referendum lawsuits.

In that instance, the city was caught in 1988 violating the 1979 Pay Referendum when it gave a
pay raise to Fire Chief Dodd Miller, and did not include 'trickle-down' raises to maintain a 5%
pay raise differential between all pay grades. The city essentially admitted that it was wrong
after receiving an opinion in 1988 (nine years after the referendum) from then-City Attorney
Analeslie Muncy that the fire chiefs were correct in their assertion. The city manager then
ordered raises to be given to the other fire department executives who brought this discrepancy
to the city's attention. The problem, however, was that the city did not allow those raises to
trickle down to the rank-and-file firefighters. When the firefighters challenged the city in 1994
and were forced to file a lawsuit for lawful compensation, the city reversed its position,
maintaining that the 1979 ordinance was no longer in effect.
The City of Dallas is NOT facing financial ruin or bankruptcy. This is a game of poker and the
Mayor is daring us to call his bluff. The economy in the Metroplex is healthy. Ever since I moved
to the DFW area in 1974, I have always heard that Dallas is a banking and financial center, just
as Houston is the oil center and Fort Worth is the cattle center. Dallas is not about to ruin that
reputation by declaring bankruptcy and lose all of the potential business that it can lure to the

Dallas DOES have other options to solve the two financial problems it faces. One issue is with
the lawsuits which it could settle with an out-of-court settlement to the 3 or 4 groups of plaintiffs.
Just admit that the city messed up and is now going to try and do the moral and ethical thing.
Make an offer of 30 or 40 cents on the dollar. The payout will be far less than what a court
judgment will bring on May 8 in Collin County, if the city is ordered to pay $1-$4 billion dollars.
Not to settle out of court is just plain stupidity on the city's part. The city is fighting hard to get
retroactive Sovereign Immunity to save it from lawsuits. They are fighting so hard because they
know they violated the referendum, got caught at it, and now will have to "pay the piper" after 22
years of delaying tactics.

The second issue, of course, is the pension losses. The Mayor insists that it's 'his way or the
highway' with his despicable proposal of Sovereign Immunity and "Clawback." He has at least
three other options that he refuses to use in any combination: (1) a moderate tax increase, (2)
infusion of money currently in the city's financial reserves, and (3) selling of pension obligation
bonds. He used the latter to solve the problem with the civilian employee pension plan, but will
not do so with the Police and Fire Pension because he says he wants to use bonds for his
"transformational projects," a euphemism that most of us interpret as "more parks and bridges."
At the same time, he is leading the charge to infuse money into the Trinity River Park project
($600-$700 million?) and another reinvigoration of Redbird Mall. The money is there; he just
doesn't want to spend it on the pension fund.

I would suggest that you reevaluate your position as a community leader, dig deeper on the
history of how we got to the current stage, and advocate for the city to exercise its other
financial options, and "do the right and moral thing."


Kenneth E. Seguin
Major of Police (retired)
Dallas Police Department