The bulk of Mayor Francis Slay’s firefighter pension reform bill stalled today in the St. Louis Board of Alderman’s Public Safety Committee.
The committee passed a provision barring trustees of the Firemen’s Retirement System from suing the city over the design or benefits of the pension plan. But the committee postponed voting on major reforms that would make firefighters to pay more into the system and prevent retirement until age 55.
Alderman Larry Arnowitz says he’s certain if reform passes, firefighters will fight the changes in court.
An effort by St. Louis mayor Francis Slay to get the spiraling cost of firefighter pensions under control also allow the same sex-partners of city firefighters to get survivor benefits if their partner is killed in the line of duty.
"This is something that could not be done at the state level, would not be done at the state level, which is another reason we want to get local control of the firefighter pensions here in St. Louis," Slay said.
The St. Louis Board of Commissioners have approved a plan to reduce the number of city police districts.
The city currently operates a total of nine districts that were established back in 1962.
But Police Chief Dan Isom says the department had twice as many officers back then and more than twice the number of citizens to serve.
“In the last 30 years we’ve lost about 1,000 officers,” Isom said. We used to have 2,200 officers, now we’re down to about 1,300 officers. But the slots for those command structures are still the same.”