A Double Dipper's Worst Enemy

Hollywood gadfly Pete Brewer is on a one-man crusade to expose the city's unnecessary spending on pensions

Templeton also agrees that the new rules -- allowing officials access to the tax forms and even medical reports of pensioners and allowing the city to offer some disabled workers jobs before automatically paying their pensions -- are "fair and equitable to everybody." But he won't accept any proposed change in the old rules that would apply to the 95 current disability pensioners. "That was the agreement they had, and that's it," he insists.

Giulianti agrees. "What's fair and right isn't always legal," she says. "But we can't retroactively apply to somebody a different law just because one is bad. They operated under certain assumptions."

Official failure to challenge that agreement, to try to tune up a costly and clumsy law, is a political decision that will only continue hurting taxpayers, Brewer says. "It's really about politics, and you have to keep that in perspective. There's a [February] election coming up. And no one wants to lose the unions' support by questioning their pensions."

Especially when Templeton and other representatives of the general employee union are going to interview all 16 current candidates for Hollywood office this week.

Contact Roger Williams at his e-mail address: Roger_Williams@newtimesbpb.com

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