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PSPRS: Worth Focusing On

01 July 2017   Councilman Jim Lamerson

PSPRS is not an exclusive predicament for Prescott.

Factually, as acknowledged by our local state legislators it’s a complex statewide issue. Prescott is one of the first municipal entities to attempt a remedy for its individual predicament. From my understanding, there are 256 individual public safety entities in the state public safety pension system of which most have problems while only a few have none.

I am very pleased to hear and read all of the mayoral and some of the Council candidates listing this as the prime focus of their platform. As voters in the city, we have to elect whom “we” by majority deem the most capable of working with the entire Council and legislature to remedy the problem. It is factual the statewide pension problem will not be fixed with Proposition 443. It’s also factual that Prescott has to bring its PSPRS liability into manageable form before it’s beyond our capability.

The “antagonists” to the proposed sales tax solution have not offered any agreeable alternative solutions to pay the mandated assessment to my knowledge. Differing opinions are not wrong, nor does the slathering vitriol of those not in agreement with the proposal confirm those slathering are right. From the Bible, inscribed on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ca. 500 B.C., “Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” My freedom is substantive to me. As repeatedly stated, many in my family as in others have fought, flown, and sailed all over the world to protect it never once expecting a thank you. It was and still is for some their responsibility as dealing with this is mine.

Ideals directing the American Revolution are continually fought worldwide. That’s because the evil of tyranny still exists. Millions of patriots have paid the ultimate to assure our ability to disagree. How hateful I find it for those calling themselves conservative, liberal, libertarian, independent or something else to deny someone the right to disagree. I would suggest that disagreement is, however, more palatable with a plausible solution to a problem.

Benjamin Franklin wrote in the New England Courant on July 9, 1722, “Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech.” Simply because someone may differ in thought is not a good reason for name calling and vitriol, especially amongst family, friends, and neighbors. The winning candidates will need the help and support of the entire Council and community moving forward regardless whether the initiative passes or fails.

Jim Lamerson, Mayor Pro Tem