PVRC Meeting Recap: Pensions & Prosperity
November 14, 2009 1 Comment
I made it! Finally, I was able to go to a PVRC meeting, and I’m glad I did. Now, before I get to the meat of this post, it’s time for a little bit of scolding. Listen, whether or not your a member, you should be attending. For one thing, they work hard to bring in well versed speakers that are able to clearly communicate up to date information on issues pertinent to the world around us. I have to tell you, I was invigorated by what I heard. Seriously, you should go. Sure you can read the recap here the next day, but it’s not the same as hearing it first hand, mingling and networking with like minded individuals, and joining forces to make a difference in our community. It’s now my mission to use the blog, Facebook, and other vehicles in order to increase attendance. So, watch out. Here I come. Now on to what you missed (if you weren’t there).
Joe Seehusen, American’s For Prosperity, got us started by speaking to what is currently affecting us in Baltimore County. The biggest issue, pension plans. If you don’t know, back in the 50’s, the County Council voted on a pension plan no one thought would amount to what it has today. Basically, a council member earns 20% of their salary for each term they serve. You don’t have to be a math expert to realize that after 5 terms, they end up with a 100% pension plus benefits for life. So let’s put this in perspective, by using Councilman Gardina, currently in his fifth term. Gardina, in his 50’s, will be retiring at the end of this cycle. Why is he retiring? Why not? What’s the point in serving in another cycle? He’s already set for life. When he walks off the council in 2011, he will be earning $54,000 a year for the rest of his life, 100% off his current salary. Well, Hillary, he has “served” on the council for 20 years, isn’t that worth a decent pension? Sure, but this is not what I call decent. It’s up-surd. Let’s take a look at a fireman who puts his life at risk every day saving others. At the end of 20 years, that same fireman only earns 50% of his salary, which is much lower than that of a councilman. What about a soldier? A man can go off to war and defend our country for 20 years and still only walk away with 50% of an even lower salary. Do you see a pattern here? Now, let’s add in the fact that councilmen work part time for that cushy salary. Seriously, who determines what these people make anyway? Oh wait, that would be them. However, we don’t just have to sit back and do nothing. This coming Monday, the County Council will be holding their normal legislative meeting up in Towson. The AFP is asking anyone with an opinion on this topic to show up at said meeting and speak your mind. Stay tuned for more information (in a new post).
Next up was Andrew Langer, Institute For Liberty, drove all the way from Queen Annes’s county to speak to us. IFP focuses it’s efforts on the small business community and has been instrumental in harnessing the energy and passion exhuming from the Tea Parties and moving the conservative agenda forward. Andrew spoke on how we, as a club, as a people, could capitalize on all those pissed off people out there. It’s not enough to get them all riled up. We have to mobilize them, activate them. It was interesting that while I was listening to him speak, the wheels were churning in my head. My mind was racing and my pen couldn’t keep up. My notes are ridiculous, and a wee bit too scattered for my normal taste. Where do we go from here? How do we keep this movement, well, moving and still be fresh? If we let is dwindle out now, then we lose this capital in 2010. I’m telling you, if there is ever going to be an “oops” moment, it’s now. What do I mean by “oops?” Oops, did Al and Dave just take your seats, Deboy & Malone? Oops, did we just take by the governorship? Oops, was that your County Council, Mr. Smith? Oops, Is that Charles Lollar moving into Steny’s office? Wouldn’t it just be fantabulous to wake up one day post election and see a redder Maryland. It doesn’t have to be by much, but I’d settle for just one person from the bottom to the very top of the political hierarchy that actually represents my beliefs. We have the power. We have the voice. It’s time to act.
Mr. Langer urged us to identify key leaders emerging from this organic movement, and invite them to run for office. And he encouraged us to focus our campaigns on economic issues, specifically small business, jobs, and the overall health of our pocketbooks. I happen to be big on this. We need to focus on local, hit-home issues that our neighbors can relate to. And you don’t have to look far to see these particular topics pop up. Take small business for instance. Small shop owners all across the country are literally trembling in their boots, assuming they can afford them. They are scared of socialism, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out Obama’s endgame. Don’t get me wrong, let’s not go the route of hell-fire and brimstone, but we’ll start the conversations. Let’s talk to them about what they need to regain confidence in the American Dream (or what’s left of it), to step out and take risks by investing and hiring. Let’s talk about spending in government, especially locally. Let’s put the pressure on our leaders and hold them accountable for the debt we are currently drowning in.
It was a great meeting, and honestly, you should have been there. Sorry, should stop scolding now.
In other news,
Operation Welcome Home is currently in need of Granola Bars. Do not deprive our troops of their granola bars. They’re healthy, right? We’ll be accepting any donations for this worthy and much needed organization up until the Christmas Party. And they will take more than just granola bars. Check the website for details.
Third Friday Happy Hour – November 20, 5-8 pm. We’re back at Dewey Lowman this month. They have stellar prices (refraining from using my usual terminology) on alcohol and appetizers. Come out and mingle with us. I promise, we don’t bite (at least not hard), and I keep hearing about some legendary karaoke. I might just have to stick around this time.
Holiday Party – December 10th at Leon’s Triple L Restaurant. It’s $28 a person and includes a full dinner. Please RSVP to Leslie, firstname.lastname@example.org, by December 3rd (I think)
Oh and to bid to you a good night, I’ll leave you with Rick Santelli’s rant that began this organic movement of tea parties.