Former Onset fire chief's pension increase request denied

By Matthew Bernat | Nov 09, 2017

The Onset Fire District Prudential Committee denied a former fire chief’s request for a pension increase, but didn’t rule out revisiting the issue at a later date.

On Thursday, committee members heard from former chief James Draper, who retired 20 years ago. Over that time, Draper said the cost of living has increased and his pension hasn’t kept pace.

Chair Charles Kleuber said he was sympathetic; however, he noted voters recently approved a new $8 million fire station and the district had to watch its finances.

“It’s not whether you deserve an increase, but whether the district can afford it,” said Kleuber.

Under state law, municipal employee pension increases must be approved by a two-thirds vote at Town Meeting. But because Draper worked for the fire district, Klueber noted that his pension request only needed approval from two out of three Prudential Committee members.

Kleuber said he wasn’t comfortable approving the request without some input from voters.

“I don’t feel two people out of three-thousand should make that decision,” said Kleuber.

The Prudential Committee set aside Draper’s request, saying they’ll likely revisit it next year. Members did not disclose how much the increased pension would cost the district.

Comments (14)
Posted by: cranky pants | Nov 10, 2017 08:28

Time to do what many retirees do... Find yourself a little part time J-O-B, maybe downsize that big house...

Welcome to real world living.

 



Posted by: bob | Nov 10, 2017 11:20

C.P.,You hit that right,and they wonder why the towns and cities pensions are going broke.....But I bet that after there next meeting he gets it.....



Posted by: desertsky | Nov 11, 2017 07:48

Unbelievable! He retired twenty years ago?! Give me a break..this is laughable!! I've heard of COLA's but to request more pension because you don't think you make enough??!! Yeah, right...I decided my husbands pension from the railroad isn't quite cutting it and I'd like MORE...CP is spot on..get a damn part time job and be grateful taxpayers are paying the bulk of your health insurance. I'm sick of the public employees crying poor mouth. No sympathy for any of you. We all have worked hard and many of us still have to do it to some degree to get by. Stop sucking off the system.



Posted by: Buzz 123 | Nov 11, 2017 08:13

I agree with all the posts. Get a part time job and down size the house. My father worked a part time job after he retired. Employers like to hire retirees because they are dependable.

 



Posted by: cranky pants | Nov 11, 2017 08:45

I'm not 100% sure on this, but I think the fella doesn't even reside in Wareham or Onset. If that's the case money he gets won't be spent in our community.

Boring !

Maybe the shouldn't have retired so early ?



Posted by: Spherebreaker | Nov 12, 2017 12:04

The nerve of even asking is incredible. It does show how the ratepayers are looked upon by these folks. These districts are not good for Wareham and should be disbanded.



Posted by: Spherebreaker | Nov 12, 2017 12:32

The nerve of even asking is incredible. It does show how the ratepayers are looked upon by these folks. These districts are not good for Wareham and should be disbanded.



Posted by: OnsetTogether | Nov 12, 2017 13:41

They did not deny the request, they tabled it. There are others who would be eligible for superannuation as well. The request was made, in part, due to the very large increase voted for the current chief. The PC could have voted and would have had to come back to the taxpayers to fund it or not. They very specifically left the door open to reconsider the request whenever they choose.



Posted by: jjjjjj | Nov 12, 2017 14:11

Interesting how people develop such strong opinions while not knowing facts (or caring to know, for that matter).

 

If government jobs are such a goldmine, why didn't some of you "line up at the trough"?

 

I don't know former Chief Draper or his situation.  But I have a spouse who worked in municipal offices for years.  Worked a solid full-time schedule including 12-hour days. The health insurance offered was expensive enough and limited enough that we opted for my private employer's coverage. Dealt with taxpayers (customers) who felt entitled to give her a hard time daily because they "paid your salary" - behaving in a way they would never think of in a private business.  By the way, she was an hourly wage employee - no "salary"involved - if she didn't work she didn't get paid. Had to work over a year and half before getting 2 weeks of vacation per year. No golden parachute of hundreds of hours of unused vacation and sick time to buy out when she left - those are more for the bosses and big city/state unions.  Simply put, she was no better off than any employee of a private company.  And got crapped on daily for the privilege.

 

Draper's pension is likely a percentage (say 80%) of what he earned 20 years ago, with COLAs likely averaging around 2%. And all of it taxable. If he's even eligible for Social Security by working since then, those benefits are cut by 2/3 because of drawing a Massachusetts municipal pension - into which he he paid 7+% of his salary the whole time he was working.  (The pension isn't all free gift money.)  I'm not casting an opinion either way about how he manages his money, but I wonder how many of you would consider that to be enough for your needs.  And stop painting all government employees with the same brush.  Most of them, especially at the town level, are in the same situation as you.



Posted by: Newlyaresident | Nov 12, 2017 15:22

6J’s, asking to increase a pension doesn’t happen in the “real” world. This guy apparently couldn’t wait to collect his, and now, 20 years later, he wants to revisit how he now can’t make ends meet. He should have thought about that a long time ago. And when we all took a financial beating in the mid 2000’s, his check arrived every month at full value. So the answer is - move along and tighten your belt. And the esteemed members of the Prudential Committee need to shut this off quickly and decisively. If this guy wins, they’ll have a line out the door of unhappy retirees who need to revisit their deals!



Posted by: Newlyaresident | Nov 12, 2017 17:32

6J’s, asking to increase a pension doesn’t happen in the “real” world. This guy apparently couldn’t wait to collect his, and now, 20 years later, he wants to revisit how he now can’t make ends meet. He should have thought about that a long time ago. And when we all took a financial beating in the mid 2000’s, his check arrived every month at full value. So the answer is - move along and tighten your belt. And the esteemed members of the Prudential Committee need to shut this off quickly and decisively. If this guy wins, they’ll have a line out the door of unhappy retirees who need to revisit their deals!



Posted by: cranky pants | Nov 13, 2017 07:35

Good point. Kill the idea now before the onslaught. Wish I could retire at 50...



Posted by: baron1701@yahoo.com | Nov 13, 2017 10:03

whats a 'pension'?



Posted by: OnsetTogether | Nov 14, 2017 22:21

The irony: his daughter and Member Fernandes’ daughter work in Athol Schools. They went on about how “stupid” “nasty” and “lazy” the people of Athol are, how they don’t want to substitute in the school cafeteria. Next time I’m in Athol, where I have family, I’ll share the opinion they have of “those people.”



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