Mailbag: Public safety mailer is 'propaganda'

I have to imagine there are a number of public safety employees in Newport Beach, both police and fire, who are embarrassed by the ridiculous mass mailer recently sent to residents by the Newport Beach police and firefighter associations. The mass mailer completely ignores the issue before the City Council, whether or not to increase the percentage public safety employees contribute to their retirement programs.

Never mind that there are no proposed layoffs and no programmatic budget changes proposed. It is sensationally poor judgment for these unions to circulate such a poorly crafted mass mailer. Just how are the residents made less safe by having each public safety employee contribute more of his or her salary to his or her own retirement?

There will be no fewer police or firefighters on hand if the City Council takes the proposed action, and there will be no less funding for these vital public safety organizations. Public safety will not be compromised unless police and fire personnel take it upon themselves to simply avoid doing their jobs because they are required to contribute more of their earnings to their generous retirement program — a tactic difficult for this resident to accept.

You would think the union leaders could come up with something on point to stir meaningful public debate rather than pull a "politics of fear" mass mailer off the shelf and circulate it to the very people they serve. It is misleading propaganda such as this that undermines the credibility of these public unions and the very necessary and important service these public safety employees perform for us.

Don't believe for a second that the committed police and fire personnel serving our city will compromise their response times, arrests, patrols, first aid or any element of their public safety responsibilities simply because they will be paying more of their salaries into their retirement accounts. If they do, they should be replaced.

Michael Toerge

Corona del Mar


After being away for about a month, it was so nice to be welcomed home to the signs posted on the streets in flashing lights. "Happy Holidays - Be safe, lock your car," they read.

What a happy message to make one feel home and safe. Fifty years ago, no one locked their cars or their doors.

Guess that sorta dates me, doesn't it?

Allen Maxfield

Balboa Peninsula

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