Lexington's state legislators should take up Mayor Jim Gray on his invitation to join the search for solutions to the crisis in the city's police and fire pension fund.
And Gray should make good on his promise that representatives of the city's police and firefighters will have a "central role" on the pension-reform task force that he appointed Thursday.
Without buy-in from police and fire ranks and the support of lawmakers, the task force's work will come to naught.
That's because, in a unique and odd arrangement, the state legislature controls decisions about police and fire pensions in Lexington even though the pension system is paid for by local taxpayers and administered on the local level.
Through the years, the legislature has made promises to police and fire that the city has not kept.
In fact, one of the task force's first chores will be getting a clear view of just how far under water the city is on police and fire pensions.
The unfunded liability in benefits is estimated at $221 million, but the total liability of the fund, including medical expenses and bonded debt, is estimated at $536 million.
That's more than double the size of the city's annual General Fund budget, according to a press release accompanying yesterday's announcement.
Not only do the concerned parties need a plan for honoring existing obligations to police and firefighters, they must chart a fair and sustainable path going forward.
This will require open minds, honest reckonings and a willingness to find common ground that has been lacking in the past.