Private firm paid $70K to run pension petition drive

Aug 9, 2013

A Cincinnati group trying to revamp Cincinnati’s troubled pension system through a charter amendment paid a California firm nearly $70,000 to put petition circulators out on the streets of Cincinnati.

Cincinnati for Pension Reform, a group that includes some long-time tea party activists, says it collected nearly 16,000 signatures, which are now being checked by the Hamilton County Board of Elections. They need the valid signatures of 7,443 Cincinnati voters to put the issue on the November ballot.

According to documents filed with the board of elections, Cincinnati for Pension Reform paid Amo Petition Consultants of Carlsbad, Calif., $69,529.50 to run its petition drive.

City council members have come out against the plan, which would make city employees hired after January 2014 participate in a retirement plan, contributing up to 9 percent of the employees’ base compensation.

Current pension recipients would see no change in their existing pensions, with the exception of a cap of  three percent  increase in any one year.

The city’s pension fund is now only 61 percent funded. In the early 2000’s, it was 100 percent funded.