JACKSONVILLE, Fla -- Monday morning, Mayor Alvin Brown unveiled his proposed budget to city council.
"Jacksonville will not be part of America's failures," he told the crowd.
Mayor Brown cited Stockton, California, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Jefferson County Alabama as he unveiled next year's budget. Three places that filed for bankruptcy. Mayor Brown says without drastic change Jacksonville will follow their lead.
"Were gonna make sure that the challenges that we have right now we don't face in the future. Its not sustainable," he said.
The Mayor says the key is pension reform. Right now, it's price tag grows every year. The city will spend $150 million on it next year. But we wanted to dig deeper and find out how real of a threat the pension really is. We took that question to Jon Lyons with FSCJ.
"I would think it would have bee acted on years ago," he said. "It seems every administration tends to kick the can down the road"
Lyons says the problem is the way the pension is set up -- it's a defined benefit plan -- so the city has to fund all the money. And city workers are living longer lives. He says the good news is we have some options.
"One of the options would be cut back on the very generous benefits the city has. I know I would not be very popular saying that to city employees but the truth is the benefits are unsustainable. Or switch to a more corporate style defined contribution plan."
And Mayor Brown has made it clear he'll do what he needs to to benefit everyone.
"I'm gonna do everything I can to save taxpayers money. You can take that to the bank," Mayor Brown said.
He would not get into the specifics of the pension reform the city has been working on, but says the goal is to get it done and approved by next year's budget.