Saturday, August 18, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 24

Santa Maria Sun / Letter To The Editor

The following article was posted on October 3rd, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 31 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 18, Issue 31

Look at Lompoc's real issue

By Patrick Lenow - Pasadena

I read with interest multiple stories about Lompoc’s management of its budget crisis in the Sept. 14 issue of the Sun. One account was more editorial in nature (“A house divided”) and one was more opinion-oriented (“Loopy in Lompoc”). Both were interesting. What I found amazing is that there was no explanation of the real issue here. The real issue is how public employee big union bosses have influenced government officials at the state, county, and local levels to provide benefits well above the levels provided in the private sector. And it’s no wonder, as unions make significant campaign contributions. Cause and effect? You decide. However, we are now seeing the result of this ongoing cycle. Funds needed for schools, children, the elderly, our roads, police, fire, and other vital services will be sacrificed in order to meet unsustainable retirement and health benefits.

This must change. We have already seen multiple municipalities declare bankruptcy because of these issues. The unfunded liabilities continue to grow and will bankrupt more governments, depriving citizens of essential services. This is not a commentary on hard-working public employees, rather short-sighted union leadership whose tactics will harm residents and public employees alike. Agreements must be rescinded. When will residents demand that public employees receive defined benefits, such as 401k plans, like in the private sector? They never will if journalists do not bring this issue to light.

We may not like how public officials are attempting to resolve these issues, but let’s make sure we remind readers of how we got here.

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