3:22pm

Thu October 6, 2011
The Commonwealth

Task Force to Examine Pensions

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has announced the formation of a task force to study ways the city can handle its ballooning Police and Fire Pension Fund deficit. Failure to address the problem, he says, could result in significant cutbacks in services. The total liability of Lexington's Police and Fire Pension Fund, an estimated $536 million dollars, is currently twice the size of the city's General Fund budget. It's a situation that's led many cities across the country to consider bankruptcy. Mayor Jim Gray says he's determined not to see that happen in Lexington and that's why a task force is necessary.

"This is the most significant issue facing the city. At the end of the day it's about the numbers. Do the numbers work?" Gray said.

Heading up the mayor's task force is Tim Kelly, retired publisher of the Lexington Herald-Leader.

"I have no interest in seeing this task force affix blame in terms of how the city has gotten to where it is right now," Kelly said.

At a press conference this morning, Gray said all reasonable options should be on the table, but, as always, the key will be getting all sides to agree to a solution. In the meantime, the mayor has set no hard deadlines for the task force.