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Updated Nov 1, 2013 - 6:29 am

Councilman vows to continue pension spiking debate

(KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- The fight over pension spiking in the City of Phoenix may not be over, even after the Phoenix City Council changed its mind on a measure that it rejected last week.

The council voted 5-4 on Thursday to approve a plan that supporters say would end pension spiking by city employees by next July.

Not everyone agrees.

"It doesn't end it by July 2014," said Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, who voted against the plan. "It only talks about the pensionability for car allowance and phone allowance, and that's pretty much it."

DiCiccio said that's not enough.

"If you really wanted to end the spiking, you would stop the deferred compensation spiking, you would stop the vacation and sick leave accruals...some people have over two to three thousand hours when they retire," he said. "That's what creates the spiking."

DiCiccio wants the public to decide the issue.

"There's already been a citizen's iniative moving forward. It was filed about a week or so ago," said DiCiccio. "It's going to move the City of Phoenix to a 401K plan, just like the private sector. That's going to stop the pension spiking."

DiCiccio said it's a shame that stopping pension spiking has had to come to this.

"It's obvious that this council can't do it, and the politicians won't do it, because they're beholden to the unions. The citizens are going to have to do this on their own," DiCiccio remarked.

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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