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posted: 9/4/2012 4:40 AM

Legislators could have taken first cut

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Dear state legislators:

The other week you voted against the pension reform bill targeted to modify legislators' pensions. Your colleagues described the bill as "a complete joke" (Tim Schmitz) and "a political vote" (Tom Cross). Did your rationale to vote against it have any substance? Or are you content to rely on your colleagues' media sound bites?

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Yes, the bill would have a small impact on the overall pension liability. However, just because it was a small step doesn't mean it wasn't a good place to start. There are tons of examples of small steps leading to bigger outcomes, so this rationale doesn't hold up. Perhaps you haven't heard the following: "That's one small step for man, a giant leap for mankind," by Neil Armstrong, when he stepped onto the surface of the moon in 1969. Maybe you've haven't heard of the common leadership principles such as lead from the front or lead by being a role model. And lastly, here's a concept I use while leading my employees every day at work -- solving a big problem is like eating an elephant. How do you do it? You take one bite at a time.

Your vote against the bill to modify legislators' pensions demonstrated your lack of conviction to make a hard decision, and especially your lack of courage to lead from the front. I can only conclude you are more comfort having the teachers, university professors and state workers make the sacrifices on pension reform before you do.

Kevin O'Neill

North Aurora

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