Officials need to show control over tax dollars
Thanks to Michael Bonfield, St. Pete Beach city manager, for his informative column on the public pension crisis. Our elected officials in Tallahassee, both Democrats and Republicans, vote these lucrative pensions not only for government employees, but also to enhance their own pensions at taxpayer expense.
A public employee retiring after only 25 years of service and drawing a pension of 50 to 75 percent of annual compensation, will get a cost of living adjustment each year, which was not mentioned in the article. Cost of living adjustments in private sector pensions are all but eliminated. We need to elect public officials more concerned about controlling how our tax dollars are spent than being influenced by union support for re-election.
Marvin Merrill, Madeira Beach
Jaywalkers are hazard
Tuesday by the downtown post office I saw three cars dodge a pedestrian diagonally crossing First Avenue North, one car swerving to change lanes. Fortunately, there was no accident and no fatality. At night on Fourth Street N, U.S. 19 or Ulmerton Road, jaywalkers crossing mid-block are more likely to be fatalities.
Rather than belittling Mayor Bill Foster and police Chief Chuck Harmon for their efforts to curb jaywalking with warnings and tickets, they should be commended. Even nicer would be if the jaywalkers went to court and a judge sentenced them to stand on a street corner holding a sign saying, "Jaywalking is dangerous. Cross only at designated crosswalks."
The concept that people should cross streets at stoplights or marked pedestrian crossings seems to escape many in the general population. In most cases, it is only 20 to 100 feet to the nearest point at which they could cross safely.
Richard E. Oliver, St. Petersburg
Large print requests
I am a caregiver to elderly ladies older than 90. They are all quite active but have very poor eyesight. If the Times could offer large print to subscribers, my ladies would love to be able to read the paper. They would even be willing to pay extra.
By having large print, they could read the paper while I tend to their other needs. I currently read the paper to them, which is time-consuming. They all have their own subscriptions and would really like to know all the news. I am limited in my time with them and it would do them good to be able to discuss current events with others in their community.
It would be a wonderful service and would attract more subscribers.
Phyllis Dodge, St. Petersburg