2017-09-12 / Sound Off

Sound Off, Sept. 12, 2017

Budget woes

No one enjoys paying taxes, but they are the way we pay for services which we feel are necessary. Raiding special funds set aside for needed projects in order to make up last year’s budget shortfall is like smashing your child’s piggy bank to get the money to pay the rent. A short term fix with no plan for the future.

Winds of climate change

Global warming does not cause hurricanes. But the ever increasing ocean temperatures DO make existing hurricanes more powerful. Their power increases over warmer water and the oceans are getting warmer every year. We will see more and more powerful hurricanes as long as the oceans are getting warmer.

RE: ‘Don’t bother coming’

If these are your grandchildren, love them with or without their cellphones. If you engage them, they will engage you. No lectures, just good old fashioned fun, and wisdom that can be expressed without words and with a bit of patience. Grandchildren are a gift from God. Appreciate them. Children need the wisdom of the older generations. It’s where they learn to respect and act with integrity. Guide them and they will be a blessing to you.

Obama’s gift to Trump

Please don’t give Trump credit for what was likely the work of our previous president, Barack Obama. Trump likely benefited from Obama. Obama left the economy in a much better state than when it was handed to him in 2008. It’s too soon to definitively account for Trump’s true effect on our economy. Note, this statement is not motivated by partisan politics. I’ve been on both sides of the aisle and don’t care for either.

REDy for retirement

I’m a retired state employee. My pension is based on the number of years I worked and my three highest salary years. But, the state pension fund is billions of dollars in the red. I don’t ever expect an increase, and don’t believe I’d get one if the fund was adequate to meet future obligations. I’m hoping we don’t see a cut. The commissioners may be facing a similar scenario. And they can’t use taxpayer money to give pensioners an increase.


There has been a guy in a white car around the Rome area. He pulls in the driveway sits there, doesn’t get out or introduce himself, leaves, goes to another house, does the same thing. My husband followed him and asked what he was doing. He said he was a tax accessor and did show a badge, and said he was assessing the homes in the area. With all the thieving going on in this area, why wouldn’t he introduce himself? I do not think this is a good way to do this.

Clarifying county retirement

I (Margaret Dell) want to express my appreciation as I am sure Lois Brutzman does for the responses in Sound Off to our letters to the editor regarding County Employees Costs of Living raises. I want everyone to be aware of how the county retirement fund works. Each county employee, whether hired or elected, is required to pay a mandatory percentage of each pay check into the County Employees Retirement Fund. No money is paid into the fund by the county except they return the interest paid by its investments to the Fund. So if any costs of living raise is given to the employees it comes from this fund and is not paid for by the taxpayers of the county, unlike the costs of living raises given employees and elected officials each year. That is paid for by the taxpayers. I, as well as I am sure most county retirees, are very grateful for our retirement plan. It is well managed and invested and as I understand is probably the best county plan in Pennsylvania. While it would be nice if gas money could be used for the purpose of raises for retirees, I am sure that no retiree expects the county to do this. I hope this clarifies how we get our retirement.


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