Re "Despite pension, Parks warns of cost," May 21
I read the article twice with growing disbelief. No wonder L.A. is broke ... the numbers are staggering. No one doubts that Bernard C. Parks and others have earned pensions for their service, but the amount is unbelievable, particularly because he is taking it while earning a second salary. Shouldn't there be a provision that defers the start of a pension if one is still gainfully employed by the same government agency? Is it possible that this man is working on reform? He has lost my confidence.
I think I can fix the budget problem in 30 seconds.
CalPERS, the state's public pension fund, has about $180 billion. Cut everyone's pension (including mine) by enough to pay down the deficit from the CalPERS stash.
Adopt a sensible budget on July 1, and in the good years (that always occur) use the surplus to pay back CalPERS and its pensioners.
I'm willing to take a hit now if the state guarantees to pay me back in the future -- with interest.
The writer is in the department of mathematics at Cal State Long Beach
Parks warns of soaring payroll and pension costs yet draws a retirement benefit of $22,000 a month.
I am in favor of good retirement benefits for police and fire personnel; theirs is a difficult and dangerous job. But there are many people such as Parks who are telling us all we need to tighten our belts, but they do not seem to be tightening their own.
Retiring at 90% of one's salary, and collecting a current salary, is egregious.
The average city employee pension is one thing, but that is truly repulsive. Please continue to publicize the facts about government pensions, and please investigate L.A. County and California state pensions as well. I would like to know how much they are costing California.
Our leaders are always pleading poverty, then making cuts to schools and other public services.
The cuts should begin with their own cushy salaries, like Parks'. Why do they need so much money if they are retired?
As senior citizens, we survive on about $30,000 -- yearly.
South El Monte
Here's a proposition we can all vote for: no double dipping. Choose your pension, but you get only one.
While the rest of the citizens of Los Angeles pay more in taxes and get less in services, those who make the rules just keep cashing in.
Whoever said crime doesn't pay was never an ex-L.A. chief of police and current L.A. councilman.