Mailbag: Mensinger needs to check his facts

Re. "Commentary: Unions, not workers partly to blame," Sept. 6:

The appointed Costa Mesa city councilman's portrayal of firefighter Mike Ruhl's pay, pension, etc., is somewhat vague and perhaps misleading.

While Steve Mensinger is correct in his math that after 30 years of service, Ruhl will receive 90% of his salary, typically voluntary overtime — here about $40,000 — is not factored into determining one's pension. Thus, the overtime of about $154,612 Mensinger says Ruhl received is, as he stated, total compensation, which includes the cost of health and dental plans, etc., that good employers provide for their employees.

So it would follow that more than 50% of that total compensation does not count toward any pension. But Mensinger states in the sentence immediately following, "He is 26 years old and will be able to retire with 90% of his salary ... "

This unfortunately gives the appearance that Ruhl will receive 90% of the $154,612 figure. Not so.

Does the $65,000 Costa Mesa median annual household income figure include health, dental, etc.? If not, how can a comparison be drawn? Where does "the standard number of sick days is five ..." in the private sector come from? Was there any fact-checking done?

Joe Nedza

Newport Beach


A council candidate who shouted?

I can't believe an allegedly credible candidate for Costa Mesa City Council, Harold Weitzberg, is admitting publicly in your newspaper that he shouted down a speaker at a council meeting.

He apparently had no interest in listening to an opposing view or allowing anyone else to hear it, either. I was at that meeting and saw 150 leftists screaming, cursing and threatening, with spittle literally spraying from their mouths. It was right out of Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" playbook.

They all appeared to be reliving their 1960s college experiences as radical protesters, until the speaker openly defied them rather than surrendering like a typical University of California campus chancellor.

No wonder Weitzberg insinuates that some people shouldn't be speaking at Costa Mesa council meetings. At the next council candidates' forum, please ask if candidates Sandra Genis and John Stephens also shouted down the speaker and believe free speech only applies to their political faction and their union boss allies.

Eric Christen



Recognize the Azerbaijani Genocide

The Obama administration and Congress should take a courageous step in officially recognizing the Azerbaijani Genocide and the Khojaly Massacre — the biggest crime against humanity in the entire Caucasus in the second part of the 20th century. That would assure that U.S. foreign policy has not been hijacked by the Armenian special interests that are bankrolling such statements by the Obama administration and Congress in an election year.

Aydin Aksoy


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