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Opinion

LANSFORD: Focus on the real issue in Streator — pension costs

To the Editor:

For the past several months, there have been innuendos, half-truths, character attacks in the social media and several articles in The Times ranging from rescue equipment to the elimination of the city manager form of government that has been successful for 26 years. All of these tactics were intended to shift the focus from the real issue — pension costs.

The pension crisis effects the state of Illinois and Streator is not the only community dealing with this problem. The current city council believes property taxes are too high and has not raised the city real estate taxes for the past four years. Increasing taxes and eliminating the city manager are not solutions to the pension issue that costs three times more than other nonpublic safety pensions as a percentage of payroll.

The arrow-slinging has done nothing except raise emotional levels and nothing to address any possible pension changes. It is time to stop the old rhetoric, initiate meaningful dialogue between the affected parties, think of the greater good when making decisions and above all else keep the taxpayers' interests in mind.

JIMMIE D. LANSFORD

Streator mayor

 

 

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