The local firefighters union has threatened to sue if the City of St. Louis moves forward with common sense reforms to the Fireman's Retirement System. The state-controlled Fireman's Retirement System itself has threatened to sue the City on previous occasions. The costs of any litigation they bring, if it happens, will be borne by union dues or by taxpayers, depending on which one sues.
The threat to litigate is not unexpected. This is a battle for who controls the City's budget, local taxpayers or the state of Missouri.
You will hear a lot about the threat this coming week ' from the union and from Aldermanic President Lewis Reed. It has already been Mr. Reed's excuse to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for holding the bills in his pocket and failing treat two key reform bills the way he treated the other 248 or so bills in this legislative session. Eventually, though, the bills will be heard, because the rules of the Board of Aldermen will trump political pusillanimity in two weeks. And, when the reforms reach the floor of the Board of Aldermen, they are likely to pass.
I am not looking forward to a lawsuit, but you should know that we have done our legal homework. We have thought this through very carefully. And, we have retained one of the best law firms in the City to fight to protect your money, if it comes to that.