High pension costs reduce fire service
Re “Capital fire crews lag in speed of response” (Page 1A, Aug. 9): Pension costs are putting our safety at risk.
The Sacramento Fire Department’s budget has exploded since the recession, but crews have been cut to pay for enormous increases in pension costs that enable firefighters to retire in their 50s at pensions that exceed $100,000 for full-career rank-and-file workers.
Since these rich benefits can’t be reduced, the best solution is to hire private companies to handle emergency medical calls, and use trained volunteers to shore up fire departments as workers retire – concepts that work well in many states at a fraction of the costs we pay.
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New stations built today have over-the-top amenities for firefighters to enjoy while waiting between calls, expensive and unnecessary. Whatever happens, a citizens and taxpayer advisory committee should be formed to make sure their needs are handled in a cost-efficient manner. This isn’t rocket science.
Marcia Fritz, Sacramento
Katehi returns to first love, softly
Re “UCD chief quits under pressure” (Page 1A, Aug. 10): Rather than getting sacked, Linda P.B. Katehi will be crowned chancellor emeritus and permitted to resume her position as a member of the distinguished faculty at UC Davis.
But anyone familiar with the corrupt culture of California university administrators has ample grounds for suspicion. Here are some questions The Bee should consider for further investigation: How many courses will Katehi teach each quarter? How often will her classes meet each week? How soon before she demands a sabbatical?
This list could go on, but the point should already be clear. The Bee’s work is not finished.
Michael Magliari, Chico
Students deserve better from UC
UCD Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi resigned amid extensive findings she violated university policies, squandered public funds in a cover-up attempt and misled her bosses and the public.
Yet she remains at the university in a faculty position. This is wrong. UCD deserves better. Her retention at this stellar university sends a message to students and the public that it is OK for her or anyone to violate established university policies and be retained on the faculty.
It would be in the best interest of UCD if she were to leave. There is no place on the faculty for a person with her failings.
Ronald M. Nelson, Gridley
There must be a better way to vote
The government is run by liars, scoundrels and dummies. That’s what you’d conclude by watching political ads. No wonder we don’t trust elected officials, when every election winner comes out covered in the slime opponents have thrown at them.
There is a better way of picking candidates. For 11 years, I’ve been volunteering at Project Vote Smart, which is a strictly nonpartisan information source. Jimmy Carter and Jerry Ford were founders, and Vote Smart’s board has equal numbers of prominent Republicans and Democrats.
VoteSmart.org records every vote and of the major candidates for offices. Ten minutes on the website beats 100 commercials.
If we’re going to elect good people, someone has to take the responsibility for finding them. And we’re not going to do it by watching attack ads.
Stephen Gould, Sacramento
Scott Jones risks losing public trust
Re “Jones waffles on voting for Trump, now says 'I don't know' ” (Page A3, Aug. 9): Trustworthiness can be relative, dependent on one’s perspective. Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones won’t vote for Hillary Clinton because he feels she isn’t trustworthy. Several words come to mind when mulling Donald Trump, but “trustworthy” doesn’t come anywhere close to making the list.
Jones should worry about his own trustworthiness. Many adjectives swirl when considering Jones for Congress, but “trustworthy” isn’t one of them.
Angela F. Luna, Sacramento
Katinka Hosszu is captivating
I am intently watching the Olympics and rooting for the United States’ team. However, the most outstanding performance is by Katinka Hosszu of Hungary, who has two gold medals, one with an astounding world record. I guess when a small Eastern European country excels, it does not merit equal attention.
Andrew Pichler, Carmichael
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