Walkup Calls for End of IMRF for McHenry County Board


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Mike Walkup, the Republican nominee for McHenry County Board Chairman called for an end to member pensions Tuesday.

I took lots of notes and don’t have time to transcribe them, but fortunately Walkup provided me with the following copy of what he read.  (Unfortunately, it is in all capital letters, so it is more difficult to read than upper and lower case would be).

Walkup IMRF p1

Walkup IMRF p2Walkup IMRF p3

So Walkup’s comments can be searched I am also going to publish them below:

I WOULD LIKE TO ADDRESS

BRIEFLY THIS MORNING THE ISS UE OF PENSIONS AND THE IMRF THAT HAVE SURFACED THIS OVER THE LAST YEAR.

SENATOR ALTHOFF HAS TAKEN THE LEAD ON THIS RECENTLY AND HAS INTRODUCED A BILL, WHICH HAS PASSED THE SENATE, THAT MAKES SOME ATTEMPTS AT FINE TUNING THE PENSION SYSTEM AS IT APPLIES TO ELECTED LEGISLATIVE OFFICIALS IN COUNTIES, MUNICIPALITIES, TOWNSHIPS AND OTHER
LOCAL GOVERNMENT BODIES.

WHAT IT DOES NOT DO, HOWEVER, IS ADDRESS THE OVER ALL QUESTION.

WHAT I AM HEARING FROM THE PUBLIC AS WELL AS OTHER LOCAL LEGISLATORS, IS THAT THE PUBLIC DOES NOT WANT LOCAL OR STATE LEGISLATORS TO RECEIVE PENSIONS.

PERIOD.

OUR OWN PENSIONS ARE A CASE IN POINT.

WE ARE SOLICITED TO SIGN UP FOR OUR PENSIONS DURING FRESHMAN ORIENTATION BEFORE WE HAVE EVEN BEEN SWORN IN AS NEW BOARD MEMBERS, AND AT A TIME WHEN WE DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT OUR NEW JOBS.

SOME SALIENT POINTS OF THE PENSION SYSTEM ARE ALSO NOT HIGHLIGHTED AT THAT TIME.

FOR EXAMPLE, IT WAS NEWS TO MANY BOARD MEMBERS THIS YEAR THAT ONCE THEY HAD SIGNED UP FOR THE PENSIONS THEY ARE NOT THEREAFTER ALLOWED TO WITHDRAW.

IN FACT, EVEN IN THE PAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, WHEN I HAVE SPOKEN OF THIS WITH OTHER BOARD MEMBERS, THEY WERE NOT ONLY UNAWARE OF IT, BUT POSITIVELY REFUSED TO BELIEVE ME AND WANTED TO SEEK VERIFICATION
FROM OTHER SOURCES.

IT IS LIKE ROACH MOTEL. YOU CAN CHECK IN BUT YOU CAN’T CHECK OUT.

OR HOTEL CALIFORNIA. YOU CAN CHECK OUT ANY TIME YOU LIKE BUT YOU CAN NEVER LEAVE.

THIS IS, UNFORTUNATELY, NOT ADDRESSED IN THE BILL WHICH IS NOW BEING SHEPARDED THROUGH THE HOUSE BY REP. JACK FRANKS.

ANOTHER, EVEN MORE DISTURBING SITUATION WHICH IS LIKEWISE NOT EMPHASIZED TO NEW MEMBERS, IS WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T VEST.

A FEW YEARS AGO, THE PERIOD OF TIME WHICH WAS REQUIRED TO VEST IN THE PENSION WAS INCREASED FROM 8 TO 10 YEARS.

THIS SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD THING, EVIDENCING RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT.

HOWEVER, IN THE CASE OF ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO USUALLY HAVE FOUR OR TWO YEAR TERMS AFTER WHICH THEY HAVE TO BE RE-ELECTED, IT MEANS THAT THEY HAVE TO BE ELECTED TO THREE TERMS OF OFFICE TO VEST IN THE PENSIONS.

THIS ENCOURAGES LEGISLATORS TO BECOME CAREER POLITICIANS IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR THEIR PENSIONS.

WHAT IS MORE DISTURBING, HOWEVER, IS WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MONEY THAT HAS BEEN PUT IN WHEN SOMEONE DOES NOT SEEK ELECTION OR IS NOT ELECTED TO A THIRD TERM.

ALTHOUGH THE MONEY THAT THE MEMBER PUT IN PERSONALLY IS RETURNED, THE PORTION PUT IN BY THE GOVERNING BODY THAT EMPLOYED THEM, WHICH MEANS BY THE TAXPAYERS, IS RETAINED BY IMRF.

BEAR IN MIND HERE THAT IMRF, DESPITE IT’S NAME, IS NOT AN AGENCY OF THE STATE BUT IS A PRIVATE COMPANY INTERESTED IN MAKING A PROFIT.

THEREFORE, THE TAXPAYER MONEY IS TAKEN OUT OF THE GOVERNMENT AND GIVEN TO A PRIVATE COMPANY.

THE AMOUNT MAY ALSO SURPRISE YOU.

THE CONTRIBUTION AMOUNT OF THE LEGISLATOR AT THE LOCAL LEVEL IS 4.5% BUT THE GOVERNING BODY’S CONTRIBUTION IS AROUND 10.24%, OR ABOUT 2 AND ½ TIMES THE AMOUNT PUT IN BY THE MEMBER.

THEREFORE, IN THE CASE OF COUNTY BOARD MEMBERS WHO ARE PAID $21,000 PER YEAR, THE SHARE THAT IS LOST TO THE TAXPAYER OVER, SAY 8 YEARS, IS MORE THAN $17,000, ALMOST A FULL YEAR’S SALARY FOR A BOARD MEMBER.

THIS IS EVEN MORE EGREGIOUS WHERE THE MEMBER HAS DECIDED IN ADVANCE TO TERM LIMIT THEMSELVES TO LESS THAN THREE TERMS (YOU WILL REMEMBER THAT WE CANNOT IMPOSE TERM LIMITS ON OURSELVES WITHOUT A CONSTITUTATIONAL AMENDMENT AND THAT AMENDMENT CANNOT BE PUT ON THE BALLOT EXCEPT BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY).

THESE MEMBERS ARE TOLD THAT IT IS NEVERTHELESS A GOOD IDEA TO JOIN IMRF FOR THE DEFERRED TAX ADVANTAGES. WHAT IS NOT EMPHASIZED, HOWEVER, IS THAT NOW IMRF WILL BE GETTING OVER $17,000 OF TAXPAYER MONEY WHEN THAT MEMBER RETIRES.

IT IS A SCAM PERPETRATED BY THE IMRF COMPANY ON UNSUSPECTING NEWLY ELECTED LOCAL LEGISLATORS AND ON THE LOCAL TAXPAYERS.

IT IS A TRANSFER OF TAXPAYER MONEY TO A PRIVATE COMPANY TO ENHANCE THEIR PROFITS AND ALLOW THEIR EXECUTIVES TO BE PAID LARGE SALARIES TOTALLING, IN THE CASE OF THE CHIEF EXECuTIVE, NEARLY $300,000 PER YEAR.

THE BILL NOW BEING HANDLED BY REP. FRANKS DOES NOT ATTEMPT TO CHANGE THIS.

THE SITUATION IS FAR WORSE IN THE STATE LEGISLATURE, WHICH IS NOT A PART OF THE IMRF SYSTEM.

THERE, THE AVERAGE LAWMAKER MAKES OVER $80,000 PER YEAR, ALSO FOR PART TIME WORK, BUT THE TAXPAYERS CONTRIBUTE OVER $120.000 PER YEAR JUST FOR THE PENSIONS, FOR A TOTAL OF OVER $200,000 PER YEAR PER STATE LEGISLATOR.

I AM THEREFORE GOING TO BE CALLING ON OUR BOARD TO DO TWO THINGS.

FIRST, I DO NOT THINK THAT WE SHOULD CONTINUE TO RECEIVE PENSIONS NOTWITHSTANDING THE POSSIBLE PASSAGE OF THE ALTHOFF/FRANKS BILL.

I BELIEVE THAT WE SHOULD TERMINATE OUR INVOLVMENT EFFECTIVE WITH THE NEW TERMS OF OFFICE THAT BEGIN IN DECEMBER OF THIS YEAR.

THIS WILL NOT AFFECT THE ABILITY OF THOSE MEMBERS WHO HAVE VESTED TO RECEIVE THEIR BENEFITS.

WHY TRY TO MAKE SOMETHING WORK THAT SHOULDN’T EXIST IN THE FIRST PLACE?

SECOND, I WOULD CALL ON OUR LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN PROVENZANO TO PLACE ON THE AGENDA FOR THE NEXT LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEEE MEETING, DISCUSSION OF AN INITIATIVE TO REMOVE THE PENSION SYSTEM FOR ALL LEGISLATIVE OFFICIALS, WHETHER LOCAL OR STATE, WHILE ALLOWING THOSE WHO HAVE VESTED TO KEEP THE PENSIONS THEY HAVE CONTRIBUTED TOWARDS.

MCHENRY COUNTY HAS FOR SOME REASON BEEN SINGLED OUT FOR THE PROBLEMS OF THE ENTIRE PENSION SYSTEM IN ILLINOIS.

THEREFORE, IT IS ONLY FITTING THAT MCHENRY COUNTY BE THE CATALYST AND PROVIDE THE LEADERSHIP FOR CHANGE.


Comments

Walkup Calls for End of IMRF for McHenry County Board — 16 Comments

  1. A good start ….. if it really comes to pass, many of the blood sucking lice STILL on the County Board may bug out when these perks are history ….

  2. I believe the total comp to IMRF is not over 11%, that is employee and employer contributions together.

    Each gov agency is different to a degree on employee vs employer portion of the total contribution.

    Add health care to the list of benefits that should be considered as excessive, or make the elected pay the entire cost.

    Other gov agencies cover healthcare or a big portion of the costs for the employee, but not so much the rest of the family if at all.

    Without pension contributions taken from pay, the take home will increase a tad after taxes of course.

  3. I believe most run for the 3Ps like Cal says, Power and Prestige are the true drives, the Pork part is just a benefit.

  4. How did Mike Walkup write this given his allergy to ink?

    Did he overcome it because he knows that the only way to withdraw from IMRF is to get a nice fat lump-sum payment of what you’ve already paid in..?

  5. And was the original REALLY all in caps?

    Or did somebody just miss the entry in the Internet Style Guide where writing in all caps denotes “I’m a wack-job..?”

  6. Thank you Michael… this is a good start.

    Know that many of us out here… will work over your fellow members to get them on board!

  7. This was in all caps so I could hold the paper away from my face to read it. The printing from a computer doesn’t contain ink. It is a plastic that has been melted and sprayed onto the paper by the printer.

    I get asthmatic reactions to the dust generated from photocopy and certain other types of paper when it I have to shuffle a set of papers in front of me such as a legal file or medical records. Also perfumes, scented candles, air fresheners and some cleaning products. Individual pieces of paper are not so much of a problem. It is a chemical sensitivity, not an allergy, strictly speaking. I take allergy treatments for my allergies. There is no treatment for the chemical sensitivity other than avoidance.

    Since having to close my law practice down in 2002 for this reason, I have been representing clients all over the country who have much worse sensitivity problems. I do this out of a home based office which is paperless. Many of my clients are homeless. Most are women, who for some reason are much more prone to this type of problem than men. Most to don’t have problems with paper. It is usually scented personal care products worn by others and various chemicals used in and around job locations, such as cleaning materials, pesticides, herbicides, air fresheners, Windex, etc.

    They are living in tents in national forests, shipping containers, remote cabins, or out of their cars. Others have been able to modify their homes and just avoid going out into the world. I have helped many of them hang onto their jobs by obtaining ADA accommodations, or otherwise disability benefits from Social Security where that wasn’t possible.

    I am very proud of the work I have been able to do and the people I have been able to help. They are probably the most disadvantaged and helpless people in our entire country. I am putting people back into homes instead of throwing them out of them like Mr. Franks.

    Life has handed me some lemons but I have opened a lemonade stand.

    I skipped at run at County Board in 2002 for this reason. Back then everything was on paper. Since then I tried a stint at the Park District after first verifying that I could get the meeting materials in advance on a memory stick and use a laptop during the meetings, which I did for five years without problems.

    By then, the County had gone to I Pads. Ironically, I had discussed this with Paula Yensen before running to make sure I could handle it.

    I sit on an end seat at the Board meetings to avoid being wedged in between two people who might be wearing perfume or shuffling a lot of papers. This has worked out well. You will notice in some photos that I lean back in my chair. This keeps me away from my seat mate (no offense Diane), and helps with my back problems and fibromyalgia. This also allows me to get up and stretch at the side of my desk. I am in physical pain 24/7/365 and have been this way since the early 80’s. It’s no fun, but I have overcome it and built a law practice which grossed over $500K per year.

    For those who have suggested that I have not been successful in my law practice, that is the reason. The addition of the chemical sensitivity to photocopy paper on top of the fibromyalgia made it impossible to continue. I receive disability benefits from a private insurance policy that I had paid for over a couple of decades of my practice. I am allowed to do other things as per the type of policy that I had so I do not need the Chairman’s job for the money. I also don’t need the pension.

    I do not anticipate any problems stemming from my chemical sensitivity or pain issues as Chairman. Most information at the county is on the computer system. I do have to get some larger packets put onto zip drives occasionally, but that has not been a problem. I do not have to sit for extended periods, or, if I do, I can get up a bit and move around. People who have back problems will be able to relate to that.

    I hope this clears up the rumor mill on my medical situation. It is what it is.

  8. Its about time someone steps up to the place and does what the taxpayers want!,

    Kudos to you Mike.

    I hope this happens, its time everyone takes on their own responsibility for life after Work.

  9. IMRF isn’t the elephant in the room.

    The Cadillac healthcare plans the Board Members are entitled to is the big current problem.

    In no universe should < 1,000 hour/year employees receive county health and dental insurance.

    If a Board Member takes the health and dental insurance and has dependents on the plan, they can more than double their effective compensation. See

    https://www.co.mchenry.il.us/home/showdocument?id=36861

    Mike Walkup, will you be taking the lead on this issue by rejecting your health insurance benefits?

  10. Interesting how people posing as Republicans post on this blog to give Demoncrats ammunition to use against them in an election.

    “Stupid is as Stupid does?”

  11. OK stand4truth, this thread is about the IMRF for the county board.

    Perhaps . . . you might consider staying ON TOPIC & making meaningful comments.

    Again, comments like ‘Hey gas bag …’ Are gradeschool playground language.

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