Where is Maine headed?

A recent headline in a major Florida newspaper caught my eye. It read, "Big payouts in city pensions under scrutiny." The story contained actual examples of excessive payments paid for, of course, primarily by taxpayers, most of whom do not enjoy such perks.

In one example, a city police captain retired at 46 years old with a lump sum of nearly $700,000 and an annual pension of $120,000.

In another example, two firefighters recently retired with a lump payment of more than $1 million each, plus a monthly pension check and had their health insurance paid for life.

The article also mentioned that in several cities, police officers and firefighters can retire after 20 years of service. Many cities calculate pensions by including overtime, unused vacations and comp time.

Is that where Maine is headed and, yes, Lewiston and Auburn? It would be nice to have a factual story about what retirement benefits are being paid here in this state.

Marcel R. Morin, Auburn

Edior's note: These public employee pension questions can be answered by visiting the maineopengov.org and clicking on "Retiree Pensions." The Maine Heritage Policy Center has made a large collection of searchable pension information available there.

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Comments

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

Excuses.

I have been asked to produce my sorry *zzed excuse for not trying to research the statement that MHPC keeps its donor list private. I'll ignore the usual junior-high pseudo profanity and give you my reason. You can call it an excuse, if you want. This is, after all, a discussion on the opinion page.

I scanned through the comments and noted that the first mention of MHPC funding came from one Ronald Riml at 10:17 am on Mar 17, along with the allegation that keeping donor information private proves some sort of power agenda. I responded at 11:03 that, in my opinion, it's Democrats who are on a power trip - trying to regain what is theirs by divine right.

I also inserted a crack about Rep Pingree. I'm sorry about that, because whatever her mode of transportation, it's just for the greater good of the collective.

For the record, I did not dispute Ron's statement, except the power nonsense. But in later comments, he demands that I research the matter of MHPC funding. You brought it up and there's no reason to be so defensive about it. You research it.

That's my sorry excuse.

Steve  Dosh's picture

HHHmmmMm , St. Paddy's Day

HHHmmmMm , St. Paddy's Day Night 21:40 HST •
This liberal newspaper , Robert ? This liberal newspaper is a lot better than the http://www.twincitytimes.com/ and has the awards and paid readership to prove it
Fact ? ( not just opinion :) Aloha from Pahoa . /s, Dr. Steve Dosh , Bates '78

George Fogg's picture

This url will show you which

This url will show you which party was supported by the MEA amd MSEA Done bya group called Maine People before Politics. It shows that these state unions supplied a ton of money to keep democrats in charge of what the unions wanted. It shows that it was these groups that were the largest contributors to the mess we are now in.

MPBP_msea_mea_analysis

RONALD RIML's picture

My Police Pension is based upon Base Pay Only....

No Overtime
No Longevity
No Educational Differential
No Shift Differential
No other Perks or 'Gimmees'

So why is it that all these Conservatives like Marcel here and Mrs. Shields in another thread always start referring to Florida or live in Florida?

Isn't that where the Guv sent his children to Florida to screw the taxpayers down there out of "Resident College Tuition" and claim a "Homestead Exemption" for some property while he was getting a homestead exemption up here in Maine.

RONALD RIML's picture

Correction

I do get pension based on my educational and longevity differentials - but nothing based upon overtime, shift, comp-time, nor any other perks.

Just to set the record straight.

RONALD RIML's picture

Nor Fire-arms Proficiency

Master-Class Combat Qualified - Illinois State Certified Firearms Instructor (not bad for a lib'rul!)

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"Veritas, a lib'rul? Whooda

"Veritas, a lib'rul? Whooda thunk it?", cried the parrot, while standing at the mirror trimming his beak, gettin' ready for a big date with his "wren wench," as he likes to call her.

Don Berry's picture

The Maine Heritage Policy

The Maine Heritage Policy Center has been wrong or misleading on all information they have put forward. Is that the best you can do !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bob Woodbury's picture

I wonder how...

...they stay in business, having been wrong or misleading from the beginning.

Bob Woodbury's picture

Right wing wacko

by whose definition?

George Fogg's picture

It's even sadder when

It's even sadder when flatlanders from away come to Maine and criticize us and the way we do things. I am one who has donated to MHPC and am a native. There are many mopre who donate here in Maine to MHPC.
I recognize how much good they have done to bring out in the open the greed the public workers and teachers have.
These people from the Big Apple who retire here on good retirements and try to tell us what to do are what is wrong with Maine. We should have blown up the Kittery bridge back in the 50's and not let so many come here and spoil what attracted them. Most are trying to make Maine into what they escaped from. Go figure!

RONALD RIML's picture

George - 97% of those who donate to the MHPC

live in Maine. That's right from their mouths to my ear.

But they won't tell me what percentage of the $$$ donated comes from Maine - and what percentage comes outside of Maine.

Wonder why?? Probably would be a real embarrassment to them. They'de have to rename their outfit the "Outside Maine Influence Heritage Policy Center"

RONALD RIML's picture

How about an "Open Maine Policy Heritage Center?"

Sorry - they don't want us to know who's funding them. They won't even let us know what portion of their donations are from outside the state of Maine.....

No "Openess" there..... Reckon it only works "One Way"

And you know how those "One Way Relationships" work...... Someone's got a power agenda.....

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

And the someone is ...

... the Democrat party. They lost power, they want it back, and they know only one way to try to get it: shoot the other side's messenger. They for sure can't ask the voters to consider their stellar track record.

Speaking of openness, who funds Chellie Pingree? What does the from-away boyfriend get for all that flying around in his Gulfstream V? Maybe she fixes his airport fees.

RONALD RIML's picture

You can look up Campaign Contributions for Pingree here

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cycle=2010&cid=N00013...

And when will I get a link for contributions to the Maine Heritage Policy Center????

RONALD RIML's picture

Organization writing Policy for the Governor more Accurate

So try being truthful next go-around, Robert.

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

When?

When you uncork your thumb and do your own work.

Never try to teach a Democrat pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig. - anon

RONALD RIML's picture

I do my own work.

What's your sorry *zzed excuse.

Steve Bulger's picture

Ed and Bob

Haven't you seen the signs "Please don't feed the troll"?

Bob Wright's picture

I agree Dan. I hate it when

I agree Dan. I hate it when we get bogged down with fact! (sarcasm)

Ed McCaffrey's picture

just go away, Dan...

Just because a group's political views disagree with yours doesn't mean that all of their information is bad. Everyone has a spin, political or religious or personal. Even you do.
"The Maine Heritage Policy Center has made a large collection of searchable pension information available there."
If all they are doing is presenting facts, it's kind of hard to spin that.

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