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Posted by on Jun 28th, 2012 and filed under Viewpoints. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Pension Reform
Voter anger [at] the constant raising of property taxes to feed government needs came to an abrupt end with the passage of proposition 13 over 30 years ago. June 5, 2012 will also be remembered as the beginning of the long decline of the public sector unions brought about by voter anger.

The state of Wisconsin took the grand prize for pension reform followed by the California cities of San Diego and San Jose. But let us not forget the recent filing for bankruptcy in the city of Stockton or the smaller city of Santa Ana, which slashed its city fire department and outsourced it to Orange County.

According to the Social Security Administrator, the maximum benefit at age 65 is approximately $30,000 annually. In the public sector, because of the need of self-entitlement, enrichment and greed, politicians have pandered to the unions who were willing to give our elected officials thousands of dollars in campaign money in return for unsustainable higher pay, pensions, medical and special perks than one could not find in the private sector.

Glendale city employees, after 30 years, can retire at age 50 or 55 receiving 90%, 75% or 60% of their last year of spiked earnings … not bad for secure jobs with lots of benefits. Union employees’ contributions towards their pensions are generally offset with salary increases to match.

In private industry, employees have no job security and must worry about their companies staying profitable.

In 2001, Glendale City Council members Manoukian, Quintero and Weaver agreed to change the Benefit Factor for Safety Personnel and City Managers from 75% of their last year salary to 90% with retirement age changed from 55 to 50 years of age.

During these harsh economic times with high unemployment, crumbling roads and sidewalks, dirty parks, dirty streets, increases in utility rates and fees, our city council members must go back to the unions and demand rolling back the pension obligations. Otherwise, public discontent will probably grip Glendale voters at the ballot box in 2013.

Mike Mohill

Hooray for our Grads and their Families – Cheering Allowed!
I really enjoyed your coverage of the various graduations that took place in our wonderful Crescenta Valley. You captured what I personally experienced at our son, Dylan’s, CVHS graduation – the incredible sense of community we share in our special little valley.

If I may also take this opportunity to thank the GUSD and school principals that allow us, the parents, families, and friends to applaud, shout, whistle, blow horns, and make as much noise in celebration as we want as our child grasps their hard earned diploma.

There was a mom who was arrested in Myrtle Beach, SC, for yelling at her daughter’s high school graduation, “Yay, my baby made it, yes!” How many parents feel that emotion on graduation day? Years of prodding, pleading, nagging (yes nagging), bribing, and whatever else we had to do to make sure our kids did their homework and then turned it in. If a child has learning disabilities, the challenge is compounded. If a child is raised by a single parent, there is another level of difficulty on both child and parent.

Any parent being told  they are “forbidden” to cheer for their child – well that is criminal.

CVHS’s graduation was a celebration that Myrtle Beach could take a lesson from. Sitting up in the stands, spontaneous applause broke out for each and every child. I watched as the orchestra supported their own, the chorus, the sports teams, etc. But then it was the parents and families that carried the torch. How could we hold back as we heard the names of kids we’d known since kindergarten, AYSO, youth basketball, T-ball, Scouts, Y, and it went on and on.

Through each name we recognized, our children’s lives passed before our eyes.

I’m grateful we were allowed to shout and cheer. My son loved hearing his sister’s voice, “Dylan – you’re the best brother in the world!” No police. No arrests. Just a loving community shouting to their children and getting big smiles back at them before they head off to adulthood.

Maybe they will remember that moment and return to the Crescenta Valley community after college.

Debi Devens
La Crescenta

 ‘Who’d A Thunk?’
I go hunting every Thursday for the paper – it’s usually under the car – so that I can read Mike Lawler’s articles about Crescenta Valley history. They have enriched my experience of living in this little corner of the world so much. I mean who’d-a-thunk that La Crescenta had connections to John Steinbeck and Spike Jones and that we had a Wild West style brothel in Whiting Woods? You gotta love that kind of stuff.

I am hoping the CV Weekly or Mr. Lawler himself compiles all the pieces into an album, adding the “Then and Now” photos for fun. Keep up the good work.

Lisa Dupuy
La Crescenta

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