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News Story
Updated: 01/20/2013 07:59:50AM

Pensions, politics and good schools

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Supremes says join

the club to government workers

The Florida Supreme Court ruled as constitutional a 2011 law that requiring a 3 percent payroll contribution by state workers into their own pension fund.

It’s about time government workers join the rest of us out here who have to pay for (or at least part) our own retirement.

There was a time not too long when government workers accepted lower salaries than their counterparts in the private sector but they usually had better benefits, including retirement plans.

Somehow we have evolved into a situation where government employees now enjoy above-average salaries and above average benefits. Making matters even more strange is the fact that the people with retirement plans that are not as good as the government’s (that’s us the taxpayer) are footing the bill for the government workers’ retirement.

Paying 3 percent into their retirement plan is a reasonable thing to ask of government workers and we are glad the state Supreme Court agreed.

The rise (again) of Charlie Crist

We welcome the news that former Gov. Charlie Crist is considering running for his old job, this time as a Democrat.

The shape-shifting , always smiling politician is sure to shake up the race for governor this year.

Recent polls show Crist with a wide lead over current Gov. Rick Scott.

Just for the record, Crist had a wide lead over all of his opponents in his bid for the U.S. Senate in 2010 but saw that lead evaporate with the rise of the Tea Party and Marco Rubio.

We welcome the news that the Republican-turned-Democrat seems to be on a course to run again not because we are endorsing his candidacy but because it holds the promise of putting some excitement in the race.

It should also force Gov. Scott to talk about and defend some of his actions as governor.

Having a former governor challenge a sitting governor should be very, very, exciting.

Charter school system is ‘showing off’

The Lake Wales Charter school system is hosting an expo today to highlight how far the system has come in its first 10 years.

The expo is being held at Lake Wales High School between noon and 4 p.m.

The story of the school system is certainly a success story.

Because the small Lake Wales community was able to essentially take over the public school system from Polk County it now is something that is unique and should be studied and copied by school systems everywhere.

We congratulate the charter school system on keeping its head above water and the dream alive.

The small size of the system, which allows students to travel from elementary school through high school in the charter system, produced a system that enjoys widespread support in the community.

We hope folks throughout the county show up today to learn something from the charter school system.