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On August 24th, Mayor Bob Foster and the Long Beach Police Officers Association (POA) announced a historic tentative agreement to significantly reform police public pensions. The POA voted last night to support a proposal that not only reduces pension costs, but protects police officers from layoffs in the upcoming 2012 city budget.
Mayor Foster released the following statement, "This vote affirms that POA is providing real pension reform and recognizes something that I've said time and again - sustainable pensions are ineveryone's best interest. I applaud the members of the Long Beach POA for taking this important step and recognizing that the fiscal health of our city and high quality level of public safety service that this community deserves go hand in hand."
Mayor Foster is right, not only has he and the POA delivered historic pension reform, but they have set a new standard that will be modeled across the state.
I want to thank the men and women of the Long Beach Police Department. With this bold move, they have proved to us that once again their top priority is the safety of our residents. I've always been a proud supporter of our department, and this only makes me prouder. In addition, I want to thank Steve James, the President of the POA. Over the last two years since I have been in office, Steve has always wanted to achieve responsible and substantive pension reform. Now, he's done it.
Additionally, I want to thank our Mayor. I have no doubt that these reforms would not have been possible without his leadership and commitment to fiscal responsibility. He has shown incredible leadership by rolling up his sleeves and getting this deal done.
This agreement will return to the City Council on September 6 for approval. I'll make sure to send all of you the details on the agreement soon.
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