'Honor is a door that swings in both directions'
To the Editor:
The Thursday, Aug. 21 edition of the Beacon carried a lengthy article, "Citing Naylor, candidate scores vote on pensions," the gist of which was Ward 8 City Council candidate Lyn Jennings expressed her dismay that, thanks to a council vote in December 2011, persons who are convicted of or plead no contest to stealing from the city can still enjoy lifetime pension and health benefits at the expense of the taxpayer. She promised, if elected, to work to reverse this injustice against the taxpayer. The outrageous response from certain Democratic members of the council was to try to blow smoke to cover their trail. Several insulted Lyn by saying she did not know what she was talking about, that Naylor had nothing to do with the original vote. If they had bothered to stop and think, their comments had nothing to do with Lyn's stance. She was simply making the point that the Naylor case showed the need to reverse a very poor decision against the taxpayers made by the council. The Naylor case was not the driving force behind the original effort. It is the driving force behind Lyn's push to get council to reconsider. Two other council members chimed in that "honest employees could be stripped of their pensions" or that "mismanagement" could cause one to lose a pension, even though the ordinance is clear that a conviction or a plea of no contest is the trigger. Did these two have a clue what they were voting on? The worst offender was Ward 8's own Ray Gallucci, who simply sniffed that Lyn was "misinformed." About what, Ray? Please explain to the people of Ward 8 why you think that someone who violates the people's trust and is convicted of stealing from the city is entitled to lifetime pension and health benefits. I am sure you can come up with quite a story. The taxpayers of Warwick have long honored their commitment to their city employees as respects pensions and benefits, in the process taking on year after year of tax increases. But honor is a door that swings both ways - employees have to give honest service to the city. If one does not, if one steals from the city, we taxpayers must have the right to the recourse of denying that person lifelong pension and health benefits. Lyn Jennings is right. That's why she belongs on City Council.
Joseph H. Weaver
Ward 8 Republican Leader