To the Editor:
Part-time jobs! Full-time pensions! No wonder there is a mass exodus from Illinois. When, how and why did serving the community become so lucrative? Public service is intended as just that, service to the community, not a way to pad one’s pocket for a part-time job.
Rep. Jack Franks’ proposal to eliminate pensions for all new board members and require strict reporting guidelines for those already in the system makes sound fiscal sense. If you want to serve McHenry County, you serve – not with the idea you will pad your retirement income year after year to the tune of $7,000 to $8,000 a year for life, but to ensure a better place to live, grow and enjoy life.
Someone needs to stand up and get Illinois out of this mess. Re-amortize the pension debt, establish a 401K program for all new employees beginning fiscal 2017 instead of a pension program, freeze Medicaid payments and get Illinois’ fair share from the federally mandated program instead of only about 80 percent, and reduce the number of duplicate governing bodies and programs. These all will help begin to get the state on the road to recovery.
Franks’ pension approach is comprehensive and will save taxpayers millions of dollars, which hopefully will lower some of the highest aggregate taxes in America before there’s no one left to turn off the pension printing press for part-time employees.