Kalamazoo Retirement Task Force Holds First Meeting

Feb 19, 2014

Members of the city's task force on retiree legacy costs listen to a public comment.
Credit Sehvilla Mann / WMUK

A Kalamazoo city task force plans to take on the question of how to handle the city’s unfunded retiree benefits.

The group includes more than a dozen people – retirees and current employees as well as city officials. They held their first meeting at Mount Zion Baptist Church last night, where they agreed on a structure for ten scheduled meetings to come.

Vice Mayor David Anderson says he hopes the city can address the lack of funding now so it doesn’t experience Detroit-like problems in the future. According to City Manager Jim Ritsema, Kalamazoo is currently responsible for about 190 million dollars of unfunded liability for retiree medical benefits.

The task force will make policy recommendations to the city but cannot make final decisions on which ones to adopt.