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Grr, Pensions 

Editor:

Reading of the local judge retiring ("Vacancy on the Bench," May 28), I would encourage a change when writing about any government employee retiring, to put the amount they will get when leaving the job in the article. Realize that the public servants' unions have done their best to shield this actual info from the public, but even including the salary range will give an idea of the size of the pension the employee will receive.

Public employee pensions are the elephant in the room, whenever speaking of government budgets, as the pensions are draining our social network of resources. Pension reform is coming, whether the unions want it or not, as it is a necessity. This coming reform likely had something to do with Judge Watson's decision to take the money and run. A recent election saw a Democrat break with the party control and public union control (same thing actually), and agree to explore reform. This would never have occurred if public pressure had not broken the Democratic control over elections.

My guess, is that the judge, should he live to a decent old age, will receive in the neighborhood of $2 million in cash and benefits for his retirement. This sum is significant, and would wake up the public to the seriousness of this issue more than mere talk of reform would.

Joshua Kinch, Eureka

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