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Miami

Cypen & Cypen
NEWSLETTER
for
DECEMBER 7, 2006

Stephen H. Cypen, Esq., Editor

Never Forget - September 11, 2001

1. FOR DUAL OFFICEHOLDING PURPOSES, MEMBER OF COMMISSION FOR THE TRANSPORTATION DISADVANTAGED IS AN OFFICE:

A city commissioner recently asked the Florida Attorney General whether it is a violation of Article II, Section 5(a), Florida Constitution, for a person simultaneously to hold the position of city commissioner and member of the Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged. Article II, Section 5(a), Florida Constitution, provides in pertinent part that no person shall hold at the same time more than one office under the government of the state and the counties and municipalities therein. Chapter 427, Florida Statutes, creates the Florida Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged to coordinate the cost-effective provision of transportation by qualified community transportation coordinators or transportation operators to those citizens who may take advantage of this service. Based on the statutory powers of the Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged, particularly the authority to develop policy for state and local governmental units; to set standards for the coordination, operation, costs and utilization of transportation disadvantaged services; to monitor and coordinate local, state and federal transportation disadvantaged funding; and to apply for and accept such funding, members of the commission would appear to be state officers for purposes of Article II, Section 5(a), Florida Constitution. Therefore, the Florida Attorney General concluded that such members are officers for purposes of Article II, Section 5(a), Florida Constitution, and cannot simultaneously hold that office and any other office under the municipal, county and state governments.

2. NO AGREEMENT ON MODIFICATION OF “AGE 60 RULE”:

Federal Aviation Regulations currently place an age limitation on commercial airline pilots of 60 years. Commonly referred to as the “Age 60 Rule,” the limitation, which has been in effect for almost 50 years, requires commercial airline pilots to retire from their airline pilot jobs upon turning 60 years of age (see C&C Newsletter for October 19, 2006, Item 2). FAA formed a panel last fall to consider whether to change the rule forcing pilots to retire at age 60. Bloomberg reports that the panel could not agree on whether to raise the age from 60 to 65. Nevertheless, the panel did agree that if FAA regulations are changed in this regard, already-retired pilots should not be allowed to return to work.

3. SIX NEW WORKING PAPERS FROM CRR:

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College has issued six new Working Papers. The titles are

Why Do Boomers Plan to Work So Long?

Health Care Costs, Taxes, and the Retirement Decision: Conceptual Issues and Illustrative Simulations

The Impact of aggregate Mortality Risk on Defined Benefit Pension Plans

Optimal Retirement Asset Decumulation Strategies: The Impact of Housing Wealth

Age, Women, and Hiring: An Experimental Study

State Age Protection Laws and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act

Readers who have further interest can access the Working Papers at http://www.bc.edu/crr.

4. MERCER SAYS ASSETS MANAGEMENT FEES STABLE SINCE 2004:

Institutional asset management fees have remained stable since 2004, according to Mercer Investment Consulting. Mercer said in a study of management fees, that despite the competitive nature of the market, fee levels for traditional asset classes have remained stable since 2004. The highest fees are charged for more complex asset classes such as small-cap and emerging market equities, which are also richer sources of alpha. Equity fees vary between regions, with Asia having the highest and Canada the lowest. Mercer’s study covered 164 traditional and alternative institutional investment strategies.

5. EX-GOV. GETS NO LOVE:

We recently reported that former Illinois Governor James R. Thompson pleaded with a state board to restore a portion of convicted former Governor George Ryan’s pension, saying he was entitled to benefits for the years before his crimes were committed (see C&C Newsletter for November 22, 2006, Item 3). Well, the Illinois General Assembly Retirement System paid no heed to Thompson’s arguments, forfeiting Ryan’s entire $197,000 annual pension. Conviction of a crime requires forfeiture of all benefits, regardless of the fact that convictions were only tied to certain terms in office.

6. CHRISTMAS “COST” RISES:

We do a piece on “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” every so often, the last being Christmas 2005 (see C&C Newsletter for December 1, 2005, Item 7). Historically low unemployment is making it more expensive to give the gift of live entertainment this year, according to PNC Christmas Price Index, a tongue-in-cheek economic analysis based on the cost of the gifts in the holiday classic. According to the 22nd annual survey, the cost of “the Twelve Days of Christmas” is $75,122.03 in 2006, a 3.5% increase over last year. Gift prices mirrored the U.S. Government’s Consumer Price Index, a widely-used measure of inflation calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Christmas Price Index reflects trends in the broader economy. After years of stagnation, wages for skilled workers, including the song’s dancers and musicians, have increased as the labor market has tightened. Also, a decline in the housing market has dampened demand for luxury goods, such as gold rings. The largest dollar increase this year resulted from rising labor costs -- exceeding the rate of inflation for the first time in years. Because of the expense due to shipping costs, to buy everything in the song on the Internet will cost almost $126,000.00 this year.

7. QUOTE OF THE WEEK:

“People who say money can’t buy happiness don’t know where to shop.” Zsa Zsa Gabor

Copyright, 1996-2006, all rights reserved.

Items in this Newsletter may be excerpts or summaries of original or secondary source material, and may have been reorganized for clarity and brevity. This Newsletter is general in nature and is not intended to provide specific legal or other advice.


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