Citizens must participate in county’s decision on defined benefits

Tue, 01/06/2009 - 4:26pm
By: Letters to the ...

We were pleased to hear at the last Fayette County Board of Commissioners meeting that the employee committee formed to study a defined benefit plan needed more time to do so.

This deliberate and prolonged approach shows that Mr. McCullough and the committee take their assignment seriously. We can only hope that they ultimately come back to the commission and recommend against adopting such a plan.

As we have stated many times, we believe that a defined benefit plan is not in the county employees’ long-term financial interest. Nor do we believe that it is in the interest of the citizens of Fayette County.

The continuing questions of the committee after so many months show how complicated this decision is and how difficult choices must be made between a self-directed defined contribution plan and an administered defined benefit plan.

We encourage the commission to take this delay and communicate to the citizens of this county, through public dialog, their reasoning behind the proposed plan. We call on the commission to set up a series of town hall meetings to discuss with the citizens the need for a defined benefit plan for county employees.

As first steps toward open government, we encourage each member of the county commission to publicly endorse the concept of open government. The commission should appoint a committee to develop a comprehensive county government communication plan and then fund and implement this plan.

A government committed to openness is not enough to have effective government. Every citizen should take an active role in shaping the policies and laws that impact their lives and the lives of their families. We encourage citizens to get involved in their county government.

With declining revenues and tight budgets, it will be essential for all citizens to have a voice in their government. To properly prioritize limited resources on the most important projects to the citizens of the county will be a daunting task for government. Without clear government communication and citizen input, it will be impossible.

James Wingo, cochairman

Fayette Citizens for Open Government (FAYcog)

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