Advertisement

Mailbag: Police officers’ pensions, rent issues raise concerns for readers

It is very unfortunate that people attack our police officers, council members or city staff regarding their retirement or pension plans, while not mentioning the fact that our civil servants contribute to their own pensions from their paychecks.

Every paycheck our police officers receive has a good sum taken from it and injected into the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS).

Advertisement

Why are members of the Glendale City Council being blamed for the CalPERS system? They are not the ones responsible for creating it. It was established in 1932, and it is the largest public employee retirement system in the nation, with 1.9 million members.

According to the CalPERS website, data studied from over the past two decades shows that “for every dollar CalPERS pays in pensions: 59 cents comes from (CalPERS) investment earnings, 28 cents from employer contributions and 13 cents from employee contributions.”

Advertisement

Our City Council members were elected to make decisions according to the challenges and conditions that are presented in the real world, not for things based on unrealistic and hypothetical wishful thinking.

They also need to honor agreements and contracts that previous city councils have made, while working with city management to offer competitive employment contracts within the industry to be able to recruit and retain qualified individuals who are willing to put their lives on the line. Our police officers daily see things and deal with situations that no person should ever have to experience. What price can we put on that?

I understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion, and I respect that, but please let’s not use the courageous men and women of the Glendale Police Department for political games to push for unrealistic “solutions.”

Sam S. Manoukian

Glendale

***

Last month Glendale voters approved Measure S, an increase in the local sales tax put on the ballot by the City Council. The “pro” arguments said the annual $30-million increase in revenue to the city’s General Fund “would be used to preserve and enhance our neighborhoods … and the services we all rely on each day.”

Today, we learn the City Council approved a contract to outsource the city’s parking enforcement program at a cost of $25 million over 10 years. How does such an expenditure, which wipes out almost one year’s tax increase, add to the quality of life and services provided to residents of our fair city?

Noel Johnson

Glendale

***

I have a close senior friend who lives in south Glendale, one who simply cannot afford another multipercent annual rent raise for an apartment therein.

My friend might well get such a large annual rent increase right about the same time the “rent freeze” ends, and the so-called “right to lease” ordinance would subsequently be voted into existence by the Glendale City Council. Enough said?

Well then, how about the City Council taking Mike Mohill’s well-intended advice and putting it to a vote of the residents of Glendale (especially south Glendale) themselves?

Harvey Pearson

Los Feliz

***

I am the owner of a Glendale duplex. I live in one unit and rent the other unit, where my current tenants have been living for the last seven years. I maintain the property directly to assure it stays a safe and comfortable residence. I ask for moderate rent, which I increased incrementally during their seven-year period of residence by a total sum no greater than 9% of the original amount of rent I requested in 2011.

For landlords like me, the issue is not gouging tenants for lots of money, but sustaining a residential income property where good tenants are an asset because they pay rent regularly, and they are careful and attentive as to how they use the residence in which they live.

Small landlords hope to attract and keep reliable tenants who treat the property with respect. Small landlords try to establish stability in the rent we ask for because it encourages good tenants to remain in the residence and rent increases generally apply to property maintenance, not profiteering.

I am not familiar with the notion that anybody who wants to live in my duplex has a right to lease my property regardless of whether they are new applicants or tenants in the residence. Rental agreements which clearly describe the terms of the residence should not need to be presented over and over again.

In what ways are landlords protected with the so-called “right to lease” provision from having to continue to house squatters or destructive tenants?

I don’t know how big-building landlords and investors do business. Are they the targets of the freezes and rent-control legislation? If so, applicability of this legislation should be determined by the number of units it may affect.

Susan N. Stephenson

Glendale

Advertisement
Advertisement