City retirees petition council to reinstate cost of living adjustment in benefits
City retirees gathered in front of Stephenville City Hall Tuesday afternoon to petition the city council to reverse the action taken in 2017 that removed the cost of living adjustment from their retiree benefits.
Over 40 signs were positioned on the Downtown Plaza, which had each retiree’s name and how many years they have been retired.
Bob Self, who has been retired for 18 years, was the organizer of the petition.
“In the summer of 2017, the council decided to eliminate the cost of living adjustment for retirees. They didn’t ask us, tell us, look at us, give us a call or anything. We found out about it at the end of January when the Texas Municipal Retirement System notified us that there would be no cost of living adjustment for 2018,” he said. “I thought, ‘Okay, maybe they’re having a bad year. We'll get it back next year.’ 2019, we still didn’t get it back. 2020 we didn’t get it back and I started saying, ‘If we don’t ever ask for it, they’re sure not going to give it to us.’”
Self said there are currently at least three members still sitting on the council who were there in 2017 when the cost of living adjustment was eliminated.
“We're here to petition them in their meeting tonight to reinstate it; that’s what this is about,” he said.
Cindy Stafford, former city secretary, addressed the city council via Zoom and spoke on behalf of the other retirees.
There was no action taken on the matter.
Stephenville Mayor Doug Svien told the E-T that, “any action taken (pro/con) will be part of the budget process which concludes about end of August.”