Pensions are not the problem

Published: Wednesday, Jul. 16, 2014 - 10:07 am

Re "Pension reform comes at a price" (Editorials, July 11): The Bee's editorial board still misses the point about public pensions. They did not cause Stockton's bankruptcy, nor did they cause layoffs in Sacramento. Employers agreed to pay employee shares of pensions years ago as a cheaper way of enhancing compensation. Employees paying their pension share is fine, but call it what it is: a pay cut.

We now have fewer, lower paid, Sacramento police. As other suburban cities' economies rebound faster than Sacramento, officers will leave Sacramento for higher pay and less work. Perhaps it is time to pay attention to the real causes of economic distress in California cities. They overextended by creating new programs during the good times and didn't want to cut them in bad times. Stockton was mired in bond debt, Sacramento has a myriad unneeded programs.

-- David Topaz, former president, Sacramento Police Officers Association, Bonney Lake, Wash.

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