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Squeezing out pensions

Noelle Brennan is court-appointed monitor City Chicago hiring.

Noelle Brennan is the court-appointed monitor of City of Chicago hiring.

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Updated: July 28, 2012 6:22AM

I find it astounding that it was necessary to hire a court-appointed monitor, Noelle Brennan to investigate fraudulent patronage hiring in City Hall. Even more astounding was the revelation that the monitor was paid $5.8 million for her investigative work, $587,000 of that since Mayor Emanuel took office.

But the most amazing thing of all is that her recommendations were not only rejected, but also countered with yet another investigation by the mayor’s lawyers, which cost the taxpayers an additional $148,000!

Yet, on the next page of the paper, the mayor is asking city employees who have paid faithfully into their city pension fund to accept a 10-year freeze in cost-of-living increases for retirees; a five-year increase in the retirement age; a 5 percent increase in employee contributions, and a two-tiered pension system for new and old employees. Who’s defrauding whom, Mr. Mayor?

Lena Condic, Oak Forest

Visions of WWII-era Europe

Thinking about Monday’s Supreme Court ruling regarding Arizona’s immigration law, I conjured up visions of Europe during World War II, where citizens of Germany and other European countries were required to “show papers.”

This vision has always stirred within me a feeling of mistrust for authorities, and supports the notion of a “police state.”

I suspect Arizona and other states wanted to take a torrid example from history and apply it to 2012. How sad.

Terrance O’Dowd, Naperville

A laser focus on health-care costs

Is our health insurance system perfect? Absolutely not. Dismantling a capitalist system, however, in favor of single-payer, government-run system would only make matters worse.

Instead, we need a consumer-centered competitive health-care system that’s affordable and that implements sound policies to avert the crisis facing our existing entitlements. Take, for example, Lasik eye surgery. People pay for it out of pocket, and providers compete directly for business. While health-care costs overall have risen dramatically, prices for Lasik have fallen.

James Sakola, Uptown

Huntley’s view is naive

In Tuesday’s remarkable column, Steve Huntley denies the effectiveness of advertising, as in electioneering “free speech.”

Because many smart people and corporations spend big bucks to influence their audiences, Steve’s statement does seem to be stunningly naive.

Ken Anderson, Portage Park

We expect more from Berrios

Regarding the family members that Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios has working for him, he has said, “I expect more out of them than anybody who works for me.”

Well, Mr. Berrios, we expect more out of you. Tell your children and sister that you expect them to find different jobs.

Lee J. Regner, Park Ridge

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