To the Editor:
Over the past 25 years I have always emphasized the need for privatization of our services including only paying wages and benefits that reflect 90 percent of the non-union workforce in addition to taking affordability into consideration realizing our infrastructure needs.
It was recently reported on Fox Business that government sector pensions will lead to the eventual downfall of many state and local economies in which additional various forms of taxation will be a nightmare. In this commentary I'll exclude the endless unsustainable provisions in the contracts of our town workers and just focus on the unsustainable pensions.
The average pension for fire and police, after only 20 years, is approximately $5,400 a month, other departments average approximately $3,300 at 28 years. These amounts don't include the cost of continued paid healthcare upon retirement in which at present is approximately $4.2 million annually. The pensions are based on two factors, what they averaged over their three most productive years in which because of minimum staffing requirements some years police and fire can average over $32,000 in overtime. In addition, severance packages that include up to 140 unused sick days, a 180 unused vacation days and the remainder of the 15 paid holidays, that can be well over $50,000, half of which is calculated into the pensions. Is it any wonder retirees can make more money upon retirement.
As for 90 percent of the non union workforce that depend on Social Security the average is $1,350 per month based on what was averaged over 32 years at age 65. Note: at present, there are now more retired police and fire personnel than present workers. How can it be that we have fewer workers than we had 10 years ago, we bring in much more revenues, via continuous development, our budgets continue to climb, taxes never come down and our infrastructure continues to be deplorable? When the economy takes a down turn these unsustainable pensions will be a nightmare as things will only get worse.
In closing, we need to elect politicians who have the courage to address the above and put taxpayers first. In addition to the above bad news approximately 32 percent of eligible voters across our state are either employed in civil service, retired from civil service and are eligible voters living in the same household in which they overwhelmingly support and make up the nowadays extremely liberal open boarders big government Democrat Party. To the readers I say, the perfect Christmas gift this season would be the gift of truth via passing this commentary along.
Peter A. Filippi III