When local issues arise, The Daily News has traditionally held the opinion that local issues are best resolved by the people, and the elected officials, of the community.
The issues could be Galveston and its debate over zoning or the police pension fund.
The debate could be over what is the cost/benefit of widening and improving state Highway 146 and FM 646. Just a simple question — did anyone give pause to consider how much local voice is really being heard — about the impact on local businesses and local economies? Or was it decided with only a cursory public meeting?
As for the proposed coastal barrier along the Gulf, despite the few community meetings about the proposed decade-long project, how much is really being heard by the people who live there? There is a lot of debate, both pros and cons about the plan, but how many local voices are being listened to?
On the flip side, there is a running battle over Galvestion’s police pension fund between the city council and the police union.
A bill in Austin was filed last week that aims to reform Galveston’s ailing police pension by raising the city’s contribution rates, raising police retirement age and restructuring the board that makes pension decisions.
State Rep. Dan Flynn filed House Bill 2763, which proposes the city increase its contribution rate from 14.83 percent to 18 percent of police payroll and that officers continue to contribute 12 percent of their salary to the plan.
A well-meaning piece of legislation, we agree.
The bottom line is that it is for the city and police to come to the compromise.
The city and police have both hoped to come to an agreement at the local level or risk the state House of Representatives pension review committee taking over the process.
The city and police are headed toward agreement but nothing is finalized yet, pension board Chairman Geoff Gainer said Thursday.
Flynn’s bill was essentially a placeholder to be amended as the city and police agreed to changes, Gainer said.
Alternatives are still on the table, said David Erinakes, Flynn’s chief of staff, in a statement.
“It is important for all parties to know that there is still time to negotiate with each other, develop new strategies and update this base bill,” Erinakes said.
While Flynn’s and state Rep. Mayes Middleton’s, who represents Galveston and Chambers counties, aid is appreciated, at the end of the day, it is ultimately up to the city and police to hammer out an agreement.
• Dave Mathews