Forum: Political reform, not pension reform
December 11, 2012 10:36PM
Updated: January 13, 2013 11:18AM
The politicians are screaming for “pension reform.” Many of them will get a pension no matter what happens to the average city worker, even though they only served in office for a few years.
Do you hear about that? Are they screaming about (former Chicago Mayor Richard) Daley raising his pension? No!
We, the city workers, paid into our pension plan, but the politicians failed to equally pay into the plan as outlined in the contracts with the unions. The politicians could not stand all the pension money just sitting there during the pre-baby-boomer retirement rush, so they “borrowed” on it and now the funds are broke.
It is the fault, not of the city workers, but of the politicians who abuse the system and draw huge salaries and huge pensions. I agree we need reform, political reform, to remove the people who misused our pension and tax money.
Senior questions proposed senior center
Regarding the senior citizens center that has been proposed by Oak Lawn’s mayor and is under consideration by the village board, I hope before anyone rushes to approve it they consider several issues, some of which were briefly discussed at village meetings.
A senior center would not add anything to Oak Lawn’s tax base and might diminish revenue for the Oak Lawn Park District. Who is the target market for such a facility? It will be built in a prime Oak Lawn location, but owned by Advocate Health Care.
Does this mean that all seniors who use Advocate facilities will have access to the center? If so, that could mean traffic/parking problems and overcrowding at the center. If such a facility is really needed, I think Advocate should’ve included it in its expansion of Christ Medical Center so its security could be used.
The center’s proposed site area is in Oak Lawn’s “downtown,” which has undergone extensive modernization with condos, stores and restaurants. Other villages such as Orland Park and Tinley Park are similarly trying to draw people downtown, targeting professional, upwardly mobile groups to add a new dynamic to the population and the village treasury.
The proposed senior center would narrowly focus on only one group for such a potentially lucrative piece of property. I’m a senior myself, so I’m not prejudiced against them, but Oak Lawn has an older population and needs to appeal to younger age groups as well. It’s no secret that Oak Lawn is mostly landlocked with few sites left for development.
I think this property should be used for a project that could appeal to a broader population and be a revenue source to keep our property tax bills in check. I hope the mayor and trustees are not blind sided by political maneuvering and thoroughly think this through because it will have long-range consequences.
Kathleen M. Sawicki