Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionOver 30 years ago, Rev. Al Sharpton defended a young girl named Tawana Brawley, who accused several men of rape.It was eventually proven to be false. This was the start of Rev. Al’s rise to become the nation’s civil rights champion — also $5 million net worth. Do a Google search.James KownackScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsSchenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census
IT’S human nature to pry the most possible out of a good thing – to suck the last bit of lobster from the claw, to lick the ice cream bowl, to hit the snooze button until the very last minute before getting out of bed. But this aspect of human nature can lead all too often down a dark road when the compulsion to wring the last drop of goodness from something isn’t balanced with a thought of its long-term consequences. And that’s exactly what’s happening with the county’s pension system. According to an independent analysis, following up disclosures in the Daily News, a majority of Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies and firefighters have figured out how to game the pension system. They maximize their already sweet pensions through questionable disability claims or “spiking” their last year’s pay, which is what each individual pension’s future worth is based on. Indeed, there’s an entire culture of pension maximization that encourages and supports this kind of behavior. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! They’re getting theirs, but at what cost? This naked contempt for both the public treasury and the pensions of future generations is appalling, not to mention disappointing. It’s a pity that employees who are charged with keeping the public safe have no problem fleecing the public when they retire. That these workers get lucrative pensions at all is a bit of a miracle considering that pensions are virtually a thing of the past in the private sector. If there is any hope of keeping the county’s pension system from bankrupting the treasury, steps must be taken to revise state law that allows for such abuse. The county Board of Supervisors has plenty of influence in California’s politics. Now’s the time for members to wield it before it’s too late.