Mayor Parker and HPOPS Announce Deal to Save Police and Jailer Jobs
Mayor Annise Parker and the Houston Police Officers Pension System (HPOPS) have announced an agreement that will save more than 450 jobs at the Houston Police Department. The agreement, which has already been approved by the HPOPS Board of Directors, allows the city to defer payment of $17 million of its FY2012 police pension payment obligation. If needed, the City also has the option of deferring another $8.5 million in the following fiscal year. In return, the City is offering HPD’s headquarters building at 1200 Travis as collateral for the deferred payments.
“This allows us to avoid laying off any police officers or jailers,” said Mayor Parker. Like the Houston Police Officers’ Union, HPOPS understands the gravity of what the city is facing and has been willing to work with us on finding solutions. 1200 Travis is not functional and we were already beginning discussions regarding its potential sale and the need for a new police headquarters. We can use the equity in that asset to help us bridge the budget gap for FY2012.”
The agreement with HPOPS requires the city to put 1200 Travis on the market for sale/lease back in January 2012. The deferred payments would be paid back to HPOPS at 8.5 percent interest from the proceeds of the sale of the building, or earlier if the City so elects. This interest rate represents the required return on all HPOPS investments and inures to the City’s benefit as it must fund the system in any event.
“We have a demonstrated track record of working with the city,” said HPOPS Vice Chairman Ralph Marsh. “I want to thank the mayor and City Attorney Dave Feldman for all of their efforts. They have done a wonderful job of representing the taxpayers of the City of Houston. We strive everyday to make sure the officers who put their lives on the line, and their families, are provided the pension benefits they have been promised.”
The agreement requires City Council approval.