To the editor: I read your first article on Los Angeles' DROP program (the Deferred Retirement Option Plan) with disgust and perhaps even a sense of wonder that people can find it in themselves to have taxpayers finance their vacation condos.
Years ago, I compared a California teacher's pension to those of "safety officers." I laughed at the time that these bureaucrats, some of whom injured themselves in office chairs, had a "more dangerous profession" than a teacher who might someday be called upon to use her body to shield her students from a rain of bullets.
I taught high school for 25 years, retired, and am now back to work because the pension doesn't pay for the travel I crave. Fair enough.
But now, to discover that Mayor Eric Garcetti and select City Council members were told about the problems with the DROP program, and then castigated the report instead of warmly thanking the author for protecting taxpayer sanctity — well, that spurred me to write this letter calling for them to step down.
Ineffectiveness is a serious enough defect in itself; outright neglect is unforgivable.
Kathy Fleming, Stockton
To the editor: I can't help but be amazed at the contrast between the articles and opinion pieces on L.A.'s homeless population and the stories about the DROP program.
While I certainly appreciate the work that police and firefighters do on our behalf, the DROP program seems to have been poorly conceived, at least for its stated purpose. I don't recall seeing a total bill for it over the last years, let alone a benefit assessment, but imagine if that money, precious public dollars, had been applied to the problem of homelessness in L.A.
That would not have solved the problem, but it would have helped. Of course, homeless people generally don't make campaign contributions.
Mike Liewald, Los Alamitos