Letters to the Editor

Double dipping

In the coming election, voters in Benton and Franklin counties seem to be presented with an unusually high percentage of candidates with a law enforcement background.

In political persuasion, they range from middle-of-the-road to hard-core conservative, although many of them apparently have never held a significant job not funded by public money.

However, they do share one thing in common. The pension plans of law enforcement and elected officials have a somewhat symbiotic relationship in that law enforcement officers typically enjoy a higher annual salary than most people in elected positions, but elected officials accrue pension credit at a higher annual rate than those in law enforcement.

To be both can have a significant effect on the final public pension drawn. If one's career is then capped by election or selection to a high-paid job within the state pension system, the final effect can be truly remarkable.

For pension remuneration in this state, it is advantageous to have a career in law enforcement or, indeed in any profession covered by the state pension system, and be a successful politician. Voters might wish to ponder this in making choices. It is probable that many of these candidates are primarily motivated by considerations other than pension benefits. It is just that locally we seem to have been blessed with so many.

WM. C. WOLKENHAUER, West Richland

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