In regard to those complaining of their heat being controlled, may I suggest they wear warm clothing. We should not expect to sit around in short-sleeve shirts in January. Sweaters and even long johns would be more appropriate. And I am not advising anything I'm unwilling to do. Our thermostat is set at 68 when we're heating, 76 when cooling.
JANE RICCI, Winchester, Tenn.
The city pension task force and the city proposal to reduce the cost-of-living adjustment and increase by 40 percent the contribution requirement for police and firefighter pensions is unfair and would probably swamp the city in costly litigation. To increase those burdens on retirees and the rank-and-file current workers violates the Pension Board and city promises of the past, violates their solemn fiduciary duties as managers of the funds paid into the pension plan over the years, and violates the arrangement they made that retirees relied upon. Police and fire retirees are not able to collect full Social Security benefits, even those fully earned at other work, so they do not have even that protection from increases in the cost of living. If in fact there is a funding crisis for the pension, the city should demonstrate that and weigh options other than increasing the burdens on rank-and-file employees and retirees. When the city undertook its current retirement arrangement, which it now proposes to undercut, it was able to shift millions of dollars from the city budget to the pension fund. In return, there is a solemn obligation to maintain those funds. One option in dealing with a demonstrated funding problem would be to target the larger amounts going to high-ranking retirees under the top-heavy original arrangement. Instead, those more generous benefits are being left in place under the city pension task force proposal. The burden of this change is on the ordinary members and retirees.
R. KIRK SALTER Signal Mountain
Who would have thought that we would ever have a president so arrogant to go around Congress and appoint far-left liberals while Congress was in recess, talk on both sides of his mouth, be a master of contradiction, be a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize without doing a thing, spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on lavish vacations for him and his wife, expensive golf trips and campaigning, promising so much he would have the most transparent administration in history while fueling a failed economy, and constantly telling untruths. But wait, what could be just as bad, a Congress that doesn't have the guts to say Mr. President, enough is enough.