BY PRESIDENT NESS:
The city of Duluth finds as follows:
(a) By resolution, the post employment health care benefits task force was appointed by the Duluth City Council to report findings and recommendations to the city regarding the impending financial problems and challenges related to delivery of retiree health care benefits;
(b) The task force presented a complete and comprehensive plan for solving the problem to the council on December 12, 2005;
(c) Task force members Don Bye, David Lindstrom, John Nys, Allan Winters, and task force chair Arend Sandbulte have collectively dedicated over 1,000 hours of volunteer time to this report;
(d) The Duluth City Council recognizes and appreciates the experience, dedication, knowledge and expertise of the task force members and their extraordinary efforts on behalf of the city and its citizens;
(e) According to the most recent actuarial valuation, the current unfunded liability facing the city is about $280 million dollars and, if responsible corrective action is not taken, this number is expected to grow to over $300 million by January 1, 2007.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Duluth City Council hereby accepts and endorses the post employment health care benefits task force report as presented on December 12, 2005.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Duluth City Council requests that the mayor and his administration also endorse the report and work closely with the council to implement its recommendations or equivalent.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the council seeks to implement the task force’s recommendations or equivalent by December 31, 2006.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the council requests that the administration prepare monthly progress reports that addresses each task force recommendation for each month of 2006.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the council asks for the good faith, cooperation and shared sacrifice from all interested parties in order to address this issue.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the council views past, present and future employees of the city of Duluth as partners in solving the most pressing local financial issue of our time; we recognize the significant personal sacrifices being called for and we greatly appreciate any efforts to help solve this problem; and in this spirit, the council anticipates a strong and positive working relationship with all parties to quickly and decisively take action to create a sustainable benefit plan for years to come.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: This resolution sets out the council’s plan to resolve the retiree health care financing issue facing the city.