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Letters: Public employees are New York's downfall?

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference on a legislative ethics reform agreement as Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, left, listens in the Red Room at the Capitol on March 18, 2015, in Albany. Credit: AP

I am very disappointed in Newsday's decision to insinuate that public employees are the cause of this state's economic difficulties ["Top pensions in NY State," News, March 11].

Since Newsday is the only Long Island-wide newspaper, your "reporting" makes it appear as if all public employees somehow have done something wrong or harmful to the public. The reality is that they have probably mostly paid their dues to earn these pensions through many years of service and investment in their educations. They chose to join a system that offered a pension, and they are now enjoying it. It is not as if they held up a gas station.

I encourage all individuals to take civil service tests, to give themselves opportunities to improve their lives and the lives of those they love.

Mike Kardasz, Coram

Editor's note: The writer is a state employee at the Long Island Developmental Disabilities Service Office.

As I'm sure my fellow Long Island taxpayers did, I read with great angst your article about the high pensions of former public employees. However, I thought a better front-page headline would have been, "Why people are fleeing New York State."

Former school superintendents with $300,000-plus annual pensions? When will a politician have the courage to admit that astronomical pension costs are killing the future of New York, and particularly Long Island, where runaway property taxes pay these costs?

Yes, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has helped to pass legislation amending pension tiers that will lower costs 20 years from now -- but by then, who will be left? I understand that the state constitution guarantees no reduction of pensions, but I wonder whether New York could change the retirement plans to 401k plans and give credit for any accumulated benefit.

The governor continues to refuse to let the Triborough Amendment lapse -- the amendment keeps in place automatic step pay raises when a contract expires. Neither he nor any other politician has the courage to deal with this problem in the way it needs to be dealt with.

Daniel Beisner, Peconic