Here’s Dianne Jacob and Pam Slater-Price’s letter to the rest of the Board of Supervisors proposing the drastic cut in retiree health care benefits.

Again, I know it’s strange to see me heap praise on Jacob and Slater-Price, but let’s be clear: I would have praise for them had they proposed a tax increase to pay for the health care of their retirees. What I hate is to watch governments try to pretend like you don’t have to pay for the benefits you award employees.

I praise the realism – the pragmatism to see a problem and address it head on. The county is providing a benefit it can no longer afford. I’m happy that they recognize this. I also understand and sympathize with the retirees who may have a lot to do a lot of adjustment to cope with the cutback. But the ones who would feel the cut are also the retirees who benefited from the generous enhancement to benefits in 2002.

For background, read my aging, but potentially still valuable, feature on the state of the county’s pension system here.

SCOTT LEWIS

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