The OC Register has two Letters to the Editor that I’d like to pass along. The first one appears today and the second appeared on Saturday.
Thank you, Mr. Berger and Mr. Anderson.
ACLU sues supervisors
Why did the American Civil Liberties Union sue Orange County and three of our supervisors because one of them, Supervisor John Moorlach, responded to William D. Fitzgerald’s baiting remarks with a with the statement, “Have you ever been polite?”
I personally have been present when Moorlach has attended and was requested to speak at many events honoring our veterans [“O.C. sued on free speech grounds,” Local, Sept. 10].
Furthermore, why did I see nothing from the ACLU when a Santa Ana councilwoman accused Jewish landlords” Irv and Ryan Chase with “ethnic cleansing” and compared them with Adolf Hitler? In addition, what right does anyone have to tell someone who owns, pays mortgage and taxes, what they can or cannot do with their property?
Union frustration peaks in O.C.
The frenzied diatribe against O.C. Supervisor John Moorlach [Reader Rebuttal, Sept. 4] might have some credibility had it been written by someone other than Nick Berardino, general manager of the Orange County Employees Association, a powerful O.C. labor leader, fully empowered by government to exploit defenseless nonunion taxpayers for the benefit of his members.
Among other charges, Berardino complains that Moorlach’s pension will exceed “what most police officers will earn.” In other words, Moorlach, a county supervisor with enormous responsibilities, should get less than some police officers? This is very strange logic.
The fact is that organized labor, whether in the government or private sector, is very frustrated these days. Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO, has said that his organization will de-emphasize its relationship as a “pillar” of the Democratic Party.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama flies to Detroit to take part in the union festivities on Labor Day. Are there any nonunion jobless Americans?
Sidney P. Anderson
FIVE-YEAR LOOK BACKS
The Board of Supervisors voted for the retiree medical changes and Norberto Santana, Jr. of the OC Register covered the matter in “County retirees protest supervisors’ cuts in medical benefits – But a labor official says unions had to face ‘harsh reality’ and reach a deal with the county.” A number of changes were made to the employee retiree medical plan to reduce the unfunded liability, as the majority of its funding had dried up. It was either modify or completely discontinue this unvested benefit. Other post-employment benefits, a promise to pay a benefit sometime in the future, can be just as financially debilitating if it is not funded in advance. The County went from a “pay as you go” approach, with minimal employee funding, to an annual funding approach into a trust totally by the County, to be paid over a thirty-year period. The strategy is not much unlike how the County funds its pension plan. Consequently, it is odd that the similarities would be lost on some. Here are selected paragraphs:
This year, the state’s legislative analyst concluded that state liabilities for such medical benefits could be as high as $70 billion.
“It’s just staggering what’s going on out there,” said County Treasurer/Tax Collector John Moorlach, who warned county officials about the impact of retiree medical costs as far back as 1999.
Even labor leaders – who vehemently disagree with Moorlach over the impact of pensions – concluded that the mounting costs for retiree medical benefits in Orange County had to be addressed.
“We had to embrace the harsh reality that the plan no longer had the funds to support it,” said Nick Berardino, general manager for the Orange County Employees Association.
Despite retirees’ comments that they had been excluded from negotiations over the changes, Berardino said, “We saved them from a looming and inevitable disaster.”
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