Retirement board splits over need for independent manager (February 3, 1999)
By Ron Fonger, JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
Days after revelations that a city employee failed to transfer pension funds properly, members of the city’s Retirement Board are renewing calls for an independent manager to oversee Flint’s $800-million pension system.
Already, a power struggle is shaping up, with employee and retiree representatives on one side and those loyal to Flint Mayor Woodrow Stanley on the other.
Advocates of an independent administrator said they are tired of delays, some of which they attribute to what they call foot-dragging by Finance Director Marc Puckett.
Puckett, who is resigning from his city post, is also the secretary of the Retirement Board. In addition to the delays in transfers, Puckett confirmed this week that the last three years of retirement system accounts have not been subject to a stand-alone audit.
On Tuesday, an investigator with the state Department of Treasury’s Bureau of Local Government came to Flint to investigate complaints about the tardy fund transfers.
We just can’t continue to have it (this way), said police Lt. Mark Smith, a Retirement Board member.
Smith and Hugh Rose, vice chairman of the board, said there may be enough votes to approve the hiring of an independent administrator because of the recent problems.
A Retirement Board committee headed by Rose has been studying whether an administrator should be hired and collecting information from Michigan communities that have such a structure.
Whether it’s an independent administrator (or not), we need to invest some more resources in (the system), Rose said.
Board member Donald Phillips, who represents Flint retirees, is a longtime advocate of the move. This week, City Council President Scott Kincaid said he backs the change as well.
The city of Flint really needs its own retirement administrator, said Kincaid, who is circulating petitions to oppose Stanley for mayor this year.
(Retirees) really can’t rely on the city finance director. … This clearly shows a reason why the pension board ought to have its own administrator.
The debate over hiring a pension administrator dates back to at least the administration of former Mayor James A. Sharp Jr., when board members complained that retirement services were being controlled too closely by then-Finance Director John Corbliss.
Former Mayor Matthew S. Collier, who succeeded Sharp, also fought the effort to hire an outside administrator, maintaining the board did not need its own full-time official.
City Administrator David H. Ready, who chairs the Retirement Board, continued to suggest as much this week.
Adding a new administrator would take hundreds of thousands of dollars away from investments designed to benefit city retirees, he said.
Ron Fonger covers Flint city government and Bishop Airport. He can be reached at (810) 766-6317.
Copyright Flint Journal / MLive Media Group (mlive.com). Used with permission.
Files dealing with Marc Puckett
- 19920114 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920225 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920303 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920305 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920319 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19920623 Minutes of a special meeting of the city council for the City of East Detroit, Macomb County, Michigan
- 19960111 Retirement firm accuses official of favoritism
- 19960403 Folks soaked by water bills may get relief
- 19960920 Marc Puckett’s red light ticket
- 19990130 $9-million pension fund transfer raises questions
- 19990202 Retirement panel urges ‘immediate’ audit of plan
- 19990203 Retirement board splits over need for independent manager
- 19990203 Finance director resigns under fire of pension flap
- 19990210 Former finance director lashes back at critics, hints suit
- 19990224 Flint to boost pension fund
- 19990319 Flint sent tax funds to wrong units
- 19990326 Ex-finance director cashes in on $6,000 in unused vacation time
- 19990330 Flint could owe state millions some industrial facilities taxes have not been paid since 1996
- 19990408 Stanley acts on money woes, appoints new finance chief
- 19990411 Stanley must share blame as part of his plan to fix city’s financial woes
- 19990909 Audit details shortfalls in financial procedures
- 20100219 Personal injury complaint against Marc Puckett
- 20100408 Answer of defendant, Marc R. Puckett, to plaintiffs’ complaint
- 20101227 New finance director to step down
- 20101228 Marc Puckett out — Again
- 20101230 Leadership turmoil
- 20110104 The world according to John Moorlach
- 20110110 City faces $231,000 deficit
- 20110113 Interim finance director named
- 20110210 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- 201102405 Marc Puckett’s ticket for stopping on a red signal
- 20110817 Marc Puckett’s ticket for no license plate
- 20120309 Marc Puckett’s Orange County accident case information
- 20120425 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- 20120703 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- 20140724 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- 20141124 Marc Puckett’s ticket for coasting out of gear
- 20141205 Marc Puckett’s ticket for speeding
- 20150529 Marc Puckett’s ticket for improper use of preferred lane
- Comments for tonight’s council meeting
- The innumerate Mr. Puckett
- Shill crazy after all these years
- Earth to Puckett!
- About those awards
- One PRR story: American Express (CC)
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- 20160913 Investigation: Flint / Apple Valley Connection
- 20160915 Economic Speech (Trump)
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- 20170319 Trump EPA grants Michigan $100 million to fix Flint water system
- 20170320 Sinkhole: Effort to replace pipes to Flint homes off to slow start
- 20170806 Vehicle belonging to AV town manager involved in hit-and-run
- He’s gonna need a good lawyer
- 20170809 Apple Valley official believes Liberty could have followed him before crash
- Public trust destroyed (Carloni)
- 20170907 Hit-and-run investigation involving Marc Puckett’s Cadillac sent to DA
- 20171010 Marc Puckett’s speeding ticket
- A question of character
- 20171206 Apple Valley Finance Director Marc Puckett charged with felony hit-and-run
- 20171206 A long wait for crash victim
- 20171117 A history of infractions
- 20171207 Apple Valley Finance Director Marc Puckett on personal leave after felony hit-and-run charge filed
- 20171214 Apple Valley Finance Director Marc Puckett pleads not guilty to felony hit-and-run charge
- 20171214 I-15 crash victim seeks $2M in damages from Apple Valley
- 20171219 Editorial: Passing the Puck (Valles)
- 20171228 Town Hall position not a factor in Puckett’s custody status, attorney says
- 20180105 Puckett forced out as Apple Valley’s Assistant Manager & Finance Director
- 20180109 Tin Cup Men (Valles)
- 20180116 Puckett’s dismissal just what the town needed (Valles)
- 20180307 Puckett deposition set for mid-April in town’s eminent domain case
- 20180425 Pre-plea report ordered in Puckett’s felony case