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Kalamazoo Retirement Task Force Holds First Meeting

Sehvilla Mann

A Kalamazoo city task force plans to take on the question of how to handle the city’s unfunded retiree benefits.

The group includes more than a dozen people – retirees and current employees as well as city officials. They held their first meeting at Mount Zion Baptist Church last night, where they agreed on a structure for ten scheduled meetings to come.

Vice Mayor David Anderson says he hopes the city can address the lack of funding now so it doesn’t experience Detroit-like problems in the future. According to City Manager Jim Ritsema, Kalamazoo is currently responsible for about 190 million dollars of unfunded liability for retiree medical benefits.

The task force will make policy recommendations to the city but cannot make final decisions on which ones to adopt.

Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. She covered those topics and more in eight years of reporting for the Station, before becoming news director in 2022.