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Policy Matters: Jacksonville City Council President Bill Gulliford

City of Jacksonville
City of Jacksonville

Among the policy challenges faced by city legislators, perhaps the one most closely tied to the economic prosperity of Jacksonville is pension reform.

Among the officials who has been working hard to figure out how the city can meet it's pension obligations without over-taxing residents or cutting essential programs is Jacksonville City Council President Bill Gulliford. 

Gulliford spoke with Policy Matters host Rick Mullaney about where the pension debate is going and other policy challenges the city faces going forward.

'The problem we've got is, unlike any other jurisdiction, any other elected body in the state of Florida, we don't have the same latitude because we don't have rights to collective bargain with the unions," Gulliford said, referring to the city's 30 year agreement with the board of the Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund.

Gulliford said he will reintroduce a resolution to place City Council appointees on the majority of that board that passed in the city last year but failed in committee while under consideration by state lawmakers.

"I think that could be a huge step," he said of the proposal.

Earlier this year, Jacksonville's Retirement Reform Task Force accepted an offer from The Pew Charitable Trusts to help develop a proposal to fix the city's pension problems.

"I'm quite anxious to get an independent view," Gulliford said of Pew, but added that there were other options in the works he wasn't at liberty to discuss.

"We've got to solve it once and for all and we've got to solve it properly," he said.

You can follow WJCT on Twitter @WJCTJax.

Patrick Donges served as WJCT's Digital Content Editor from August 2013 - August 2014.