LETTERS: Henderson government perfect as is

To the editor:

The editorial on the city of Henderson municipal election states, “If Henderson residents want to change the culture of their city government, they’ll have to change their city’s elected leadership” (“Toss incumbents,” March 11 Review-Journal). This is true.

The Review-Journal is located in Las Vegas. I am a resident and voter in Henderson, and I believe that we have a wonderful city just as it is. Improvements can be made to any government, of course, but my Henderson community — Sun City Anthem — was recognized as the leading luxurious, active-adult community for seniors in the nation by 55Places.com in 2011. I fully endorse this rating; my neighbors are caring and warm, and the facilities and assistance for seniors (free to residents) are without parallel.

My wife and I moved here from the East in 2002 and would not exchange Henderson for any other place. And the present Henderson City Council members have worked hard and successfully to keep it a place one can be proud to call home. I do not wish to change the culture of this fabulous community and will strongly support Sam Bateman, Debra March and Gerri Schroder for re-election this year.

JOEL BERG

HENDERSON

Voters letting lies slide

To the editor:

The editorial on Sunshine Week was excellent (“Let sun shine in,” Monday Review-Journal). The extent of the lies and deception in all levels of government is alarming.

What is even more troubling is the fact that many voters don’t seem to care that our political leaders continuously lie, and they cover up fraud and scandals on a regular basis. Why do voters tune in to listen to candidate speeches when most of the content is just lies and false promises?

I wonder how many voters would buy a car or a home from a salesman that they knew was lying or concealing facts about the sale. Voters need to wake up and have a care.

CONRAD RYAN

LAS VEGAS

PERS contributions

To the editor:

The editorial on the Nevada Public Employees Retirement System states, “In the private sector, few companies offer retirement benefits so generous,” and cites how today’s state employees see the state contribute 25.75 percent for regular employees and 40.5 percent for police and fire.

I was so surprised by those numbers that I had to log into PERS and double-check for myself. As one of the regular state employees referenced in this editorial, I participate in this so-called “Ponzi scheme,” but apparently I’m getting short-changed. According to my pay records, I contribute around 12 to 13 percent — double what I would contribute into Social Security, since state employees aren’t entitled to Social Security benefits — which the state matches dollar-for-dollar, making its contribution around 12 to 13 percent, not the 25.75 percent cited in the editorial.

A 12 percent government match isn’t too far from the 9 percent government match (for police and fire employees) advocated for in the editorial, which would actually see my bi-monthly paycheck increase by around $60 if implemented across the board.

As for retirement age, I was confused by the suggestion that “career public employees should actually have to work until they’re 65 or 67, like everyone else.” I can’t speak for other agencies, but I am one of the younger employees in my work center, and I will reach the 30-year mark at the ripe young age of 65. I have attended retirement parties for outgoing workers, none of whom were under 65. In fact, most of our office’s turnover has been from people taking private-sector jobs, where the pay and benefits are more substantial.

As for those members of public employee unions “accustomed to having members retire before Social Security eligibility at nearly full income replacement,” even the Nevada Policy Research Institute states that the average regular state employee receives 83.7 percent of base pay upon retirement. On paper, 83.7 percent isn’t too shabby, but considering that the rate of pay for most state employees maxes out after 10 years’ time-in-grade, in a job like mine with limited promotion potential, that 83.7 percent comes after having been pay-capped for about a decade before retirement.

Either I chose the wrong state agency to work for, or these “cushy” PERS retirement benefits I keep reading about in the news are a little too good to be true. Well, too good to be true for everyone except politicians and organizations who stand to benefit the most by using state employees as a scapegoat.

MATTHEW C. FINK

LAS VEGAS

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