'Vote no' group hides who's involved

Posted by Pam Zubeck on Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Colorado Springs Memorial Health System

An effort to persuade Colorado Springs voters to defeat an Aug. 28 mail-ballot question about city-owned Memorial Health System is being done on the down-low, and the City Clerk's Office is investigating.

City Council is urging voters to approve a lease of Memorial with University of Colorado Health that advocates say is worth $1.9 billion over the 40-year term. The opposing group calls itself "Our City Our Care" on its website, but doesn't disclose who's heading up the effort or anyone who's supporting it.

We sent an e-mail to the group to try to learn more, and got this response:

Thank you for contacting us. We are devoted and passionate about galvanizing the supporters of a "no" vote to let their voice be heard. We are the voice of the people who do not want their healthcare decisions and jobs in this community to transfer to Denver. We are choosing to be a platform for others to be heard and shine. Because of this idea we wish to remain anonymous and let the citizens' voices be heard. We are open to answer any questions that do not comprimise [sic] our mission. We ask that email be the engine of all communications.

We also checked the city's website looking for filings of the organization. Nada. Only "Great City. Great Care," a committee supporting the measure, is listed.

According to a guide published by the Secretary of State, "All issue committees must register and file disclosure reports once they raise or spend $200" as required by the Colorado Constitution.

We asked the clerk's office about it and got this message from employee Cindy Conway, "[City Clerk] Sarah Johnson has requested I forward this to her for research. Either she or I will get in touch as soon as she has an opportunity to review."

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

who in their right mind would oppose a world class university health center?!?!
Thank goodness most people from all political backgrounds feel this is a great idea for the city!!!

report 5 likes, 1 dislike   
Posted by jennifer on 08/05/2012 at 11:37 AM

AS I RECALL THE MEMORIAL DEAL, THE CITY WILL ATTEMPT TO STIFF PERA FOR $61 MILLION AND THESE COSTS WOULD THEN BE PICKED UP BY OTHER CITIES ACROSS COLORADO. THEN, SPRINGS TAXPAYERS WILL BLOW MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ON FRUITLESS LITIGATION AGAINST COLORADO PERA. IS THAT HOW THIS PLAYS OUT?

PROOF THAT COLORADO’S GOVERNMENT LIES: COLORADO PERA’S ATTEMPT TO TAKE CONTRACTED RETIREE BENEFITS.

When I was young I held the belief that public service in the United States is honorable, that the United States of America was exceptional in the world, that governments in the United States, while flawed, deserved the respect of citizens.

Now that I am old, I see that I was naive . . . that governmental entities in the United States will intentionally deceive to achieve their goals, and that over two centuries our soldiers have died for a country that will countenance, and even celebrate, base behavior on the part of its public sector instrumentalities. It saddens me, but if this state of affairs persists in the United States . . . Honor is dead.

Some background . . .

You may know that an entity of Colorado state government, Colorado PERA, is attempting to breach its public pension contracts with its retirees. Colorado PERA is attempting a retroactive taking, a “clawback” of accrued, fully-vested pension benefits that were earned by retired PERA members over decades.

Colorado PERA public pension benefits include a “base benefit” that is set at retirement and a “COLA benefit” that adjusts pensions annually to compensate for inflation. The “base benefit” and the “COLA benefit” are set forth in Colorado statutes with identical force of law and legal status.
In its attempt to breach retiree contracts Colorado PERA has created a contrivance. The contrivance that Colorado PERA is using is that somehow the “base benefit” is a contractual obligation, but the “COLA benefit” is not a contractual obligation, in spite of the fact that both pension benefits are set forth in law in an identical manner. What this boils down to is attempted, unabashed, theft by government.

Whether or not Colorado PERA’s attempt to take fully-vested public pension benefits from PERA retirees is ultimately successful in the courts, one fact has been incontrovertibly established . . . Colorado PERA, as an instrumentality of the State of Colorado, is an organization that will lie to achieve its policy goals.

This is a sad fact for the many employees of Colorado PERA, for the trustees that have served on the Colorado PERA Board of Trustees over 80 years, and for the thousands of PERA members and retirees.

And now, the proof of the deceit . . .

Colorado PERA has told us, in writing, that the PERA COLA benefit IS a contractual obligation of PERA . . . and then, after initiating their attempt to breach contracts, Colorado PERA has told us, in writing, that the PERA COLA benefit IS NOT a contractual obligation of PERA. Both of these statements cannot be true.

Colorado PERA in a written document, to the Colorado General Assembly’s Joint Budget Committee on December 16, 2009 states that the PERA COLA benefit IS a contractual obligation of PERA:

“The General Assembly cannot decrease the COLA (absent actuarial necessity) because it is part of the contractual obligations that accrue under a pension plan protected under the Colorado Constitution Article II, Section 11 and the United States Constitution Article 1, Section 10 for vested contractual rights.”

Link:

http://www.kentlambert.com/Files/PERA_JBC_…
Colorado PERA on page 23 of its May 6, 2011 “Reply Brief” in the pension case Justus v. State states that the PERA COLA benefit IS NOT a contractual obligation of PERA:

“Plaintiffs seek to create a contract right that has never existed—an unchangeable COLA for life triggered (inconsistently) by either the date of their retirement or ‘full vesting.’”

Link:

http://saveperacola.files.wordpress.com/20…

That is simply unbelievable.

In one document PERA writes "the contract right has never existed." In the other they write that the COLA benefit is a contractual obligation protected under the Colorado and US constitutions.
When PERA writes that they need "actuarial necessity" to take the COLA benefit, they are not denying that it is a contractual obligation, in fact, it is an admission of the contractual nature of the COLA benefit.

For further information regarding Colorado PERA’s attempt to take fully-vested pension benefits from retirees visit saveperacola.com or Friend Save Pera Cola on Facebook.

report 0 likes, 2 dislikes   
Posted by Algernon Moncrief on 08/05/2012 at 12:45 PM

for profit chains are behind the no vote, no doubt..

report   
Posted by $$$ on 08/07/2012 at 8:07 AM
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Clicky Quantcast