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Phoenix City Council to vote on pension spiking again

PHOENIX -- The pension spiking issue in Phoenix isn't dead yet.

Pension spiking is a term used to describe a process where Phoenix City employees can include unused sick leave and vacation time to boost their pension.

The Phoenix City Council voted 5-4 last week to reject a plan that would have ended pension spiking by July 2014. After the vote was taken, Mayor Greg Stanton said, "I assume we'll be seeing this issue again soon."

Today's the day.

The city council will meet at 10 a.m. to re-vote on the proposal. Stanton said he scheduled today's meeting after four of the nine council members filed a motion for reconsideration.

Two council members were part of the group that voted to support the proposal.

"That was Councilwoman (Thelda) Williams and Councilman (Tom) Simplot," said Stanton. "(The other) two supported a different policy or plan. That was Councilman (Jim) Waring and Councilman (Sal) DiCiccio. All four asked me to get this back on the agenda as soon as possible."

Stanton said he was legally obligated to schedule a meeting at the earliest possible date.

"We'll be here on Halloween," he said.

The Mayor said it's possible that some council members may change their votes.

"Some may feel that this plan is better than nothing...They may feel this isn't the perfect plan, but they may feel that this is a good plan," Stanton said. "I feel it's the right plan."

Stanton was in the minority when he voted in favor of the plan last week.

When asked whether he and the city council are rushing the vote to make it look like they're doing something about pension spiking before next week's city election, Stanton replied "I can't speak to that issue."

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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