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updated: 8/19/2013 1:44 PM

Blame woes on voters, self-serving officials

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The Illinois pension problem is the worst of the worst, going further into debt -- over $12 million a day. Many leaders in Springfield today are the same ones and from the same party who allowed this problem to accumulate for over 20 years? By allowing this to happen they receive votes, money and very few labor problems in return. Officials should be held accountable for their choices when voting. Self-service rather than public service seems to be the norm.

Becoming a political leader does not require moral, educational or business experience. It takes only money (usually with party backing) and ability to obtain enough votes. We need statesmen who can negotiate and lead. Shame on Michael Madigan, John Cullerton and others who did not act, compromise or resolve this critical problem for so many years.

A recent Des Plaines official earning $120,000 a year left with a pension for life of over $100,000. A report a while back listed over 130 pensioners (not teachers) receiving over $150,000 a year. Why do administrators receive much higher wages than do good teachers? Why do board members who meet one or two times a month receive pensions? Why should anyone be allowed to double dip into two or more pension funds with no ability to pay them? Don't blame the payee, blame lax laws and sleeping lawmakers.

Corruption comes about only because of lazy voters and those who fail to vote. Nonvoters, by staying away, allow the lobby groups and friends of the politician to override the number of the voting public. People deserve what they vote (or don't) vote for. One can only hope that the Detroit bankruptcy is not a warning of what may be happening. Illinois seems to be high on the list.

William McNutt

Des Plaines

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