City retirees plan ‘full-on press’ to get their cost of living adjustments reinstated.


By SARA VANDEN BERGE

Former employees of the city of Stephenville are planning to gather at the downtown plaza across from City Hall at 5 p.m. Tuesday to ask members of the city council to reinstate their cost of living benefits.

“I have made signs with the names of about 40 retirees and their number of years of service,” said former city secretary Cindy Stafford. “We expect quite a few retirees to be (at the plaza) as well.”

Stafford will address the council during its 5:30 meeting.

“I will get to address the council at the podium,” she said. “We were planning to pack Council Chambers, but since we can’t do that, the retirees are going to gather outside.”

In 2017, the city council stripped the cost of living increases that had been given to retirees since 1996.

“We were never given a good reason other than to save money,” Stafford said. “And we weren’t given any notice. It was very disappointing.”

The cost of living increases were calculated at a rate of 70% of the Consumer Price Index to protect from inflation.

Stafford said she hopes the council will listen and act on the group’s request.

“Anything they do is better than nothing,” she said. “Reinstating the benefit would be a gesture to retirees that they have value and it would show us that the council is trying to do something to help.”

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Beneath the Surface News. sara@beneaththesurfacenews.com