Letters to the Editor

Sac State parking + Region Transit funding + Metro Fire pensions

Sacramento Regional Transit train.
Sacramento Regional Transit train. jvillegas@sacbee.com

Transit funding

Re “Sacramento eyes new transportation tax, but are residents willing to pay?” (sacbee.com, Sept. 7): While other cities have made major investments in transit, Sacramento’s Regional Transit cut whole lines and reduced service. Portland and Salt Lake City provide the best example of what regions like ours could do with extra funding. Buses are frequent and run into the evening. Instead of focusing all their resources downtown, suburban Portland and Salt Lake restaurants, shops and recreation venues thrive on a constant flow of visitors relying on frequent buses. We need more funding for better bus service. It is up to us to champion a ballot measure that does this.

Benjamin Etgen, Sacramento

Sac State parking

Re “Sacramento State parking is as bad as ever. Here’s what the school is doing about it.” (sacbee.com, Sept. 11): If you think parking is bad, consider taking the bus or biking instead.

Chris Cappa, Sacramento

Metro Fire

Re “This suburban Sacramento agency has state’s highest rate of six-figure pensioners” (sacbee.com, Sept. 1): The Sacramento Bee’s story on pensions paid to Metro Fire retirees failed to report two key facts. Metro Fire is the only fire agency in the CalPERS pension system with more than 500 employees. The Bee compared Metro Fire to other CalPERS agencies with more than 500 employees, none of which are exclusively public safety agencies, resulting in a misleading comparison. A truer comparison would have been with large fire agencies in California, including those in county pension systems. Under such a comparison, Metro Fire’s rate of retirees earning pensions more than $100,000 is comparable or less. The district is currently paying 30 percent less per new employee to fund pensions compared to those retirees featured in the article. This cost reduction is the result of state pension reform in 2012 and new cost-sharing agreements negotiated between Metro Fire and its firefighters.

Capt. Chris Vestal, Metro Fire public information officer, Mather

EXTRA LETTERS ONLINE

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sacbee.com/letters-to-the-editor

HOW TO SUBMIT

Online form (preferred):

www.sacbee.com/submit-letter

Other: Letters, P.O. Box 15779,

Sacramento, CA 95852

150-word limit. Include name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity, brevity and content.

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