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Readers sound off on public employee pensions, congestion pricing halt and Mexico’s election

Avoid being shorted by arbitrary pension rules

Bellmore, L.I.: If you are a public employee in New York and you haven’t read about firefighter Derek Floyd, it behooves you to do so.

Floyd, a veteran who wanted to serve his city after he served his country in the U.S. Marines Corps, entered the FDNY Fire Cadet Academy in 2019. While there, he suffered a heart attack. The fire department then assigned Floyd to its ceremonial unit, giving him the ability to keep his job, paycheck, health benefits and to continue making pension contributions while recovering and trying to gain medical clearance to re-enter the academy. By 2023, Floyd was unable to get medical clearance and was terminated with four and a half years of service. Tragically, he passed away on April 15.

Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh highlighted the need for new legislation needed for the department to retain somebody in Floyd’s predicament. As Mayor Adams explained, allowing Floyd to continue working would mean allowing him to become vested with the NYC Fire Pension Fund if he reached five years of credited service. One would imagine that when a new employee is appointed by an agency, their original date of appointment would automatically be the membership date for their pension. Not always. Imagine being a few weeks, days or one day short of hundreds of thousands of dollars for your spouse, children or other dependents were something to happen to you.

If you are a public employee contributing to a pension and your original date of appointment with your agency pre-dates your pension membership date, you should contact your pension fund and buy back your time. Benjamin Lerich

Personal refuse

Brooklyn: To Voicer Dorothy Krasiker: The parks wouldn’t be so bad if people weren’t slobs and cleaned up after themselves like decent human beings. Josie Oliveri

Cool it

Middle Village: Now that the bus fare has been raised, can the air-conditioning be cranked up!? Just saying. Robert Chirieleison

Executive action

Manhattan: Yeah Kathy! The governor’s reasoning for stopping congestion pricing is what I have been saying since the idea surfaced — it’s not fair to individuals, businesses or entertainment venues. She is telling it like it is for the average New Yorker. There have to be better ways to fix the problem than by taxing those of us who live or work in a particular part of the city. Minette Gorelik

Late interference

Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.: After all this time, Gov. Hochul wakes up on June 5 and has an epiphany. She realizes that congestion pricing may be a bad idea. Boy, nothing gets past this girl. Nobody is buying it, Gov. Peter McKenna

No deterrence

Ozone Park: How in the world can these politicians not solve this immigrant and criminal behavior problem? They could absolutely solve the crime by simply changing new laws that are simply a slap on the wrist for all who get arrested. Bring back the pain for criminals, especially repeat offenders. How can our police officers act as a deterrent when they arrest someone and by nightfall, that person is right back in the streets. But God forbid a law-abiding citizen defends themselves or jumps in to save someone and gets arrested — they suffer severe penalties and are locked up with high bail. Make it make sense, please! M. Ortiz

Facility needs

Staten Island: Our city is planning on spending $6.8 billion on two new jails. How about building a hospital for the mentally ill people who need help? Stop blaming the pandemic for their problems and do something to help them. Worse yet, the city intends to issue design-build contracts. This will cause the contracts to exceed the projected $6.8 billion and the project will not be completed by 2027, which is the date to close the prison on Rikers Island. Taxpayers’ money will be wasted again. Thomas Bell

That’s the type

Manhattan: To all who have never seen a butt-kissing MAGA fool, the knucklehead sitting behind Dr. Anthony Fauci making faces (“Marjorie Greene batty in hearing with Fauci,” June 4) is how they all look and act. Raymond McEaddy


Forest Hills: In response to the verdict in the Trump trial, those who complain that it is “the death knell of the Constitution” have probably never read it. Stew Frimer


Bronx: Prediction: Convicted felon Donald J. Trump will choose himself as his running mate. Republicans will cheer the genius of this move at their July convention. Should Trump go to jail and be elected president (47) in November, he should relinquish the Oval Office for the good of the country, so there can be a smooth transition of power, as he succeeds himself. The Supreme Court will immediately rule that Trump can leave jail in January 2025 pending resolution of the matter. Thus, his vice president can serve as 48. In the face of protests and appeals challenging the process, the court will wait four years to decide its legitimacy. Fred Smith

Nightmare candidate

San Francisco: Voicer Bob Pascarella is right. We must “be careful, sometimes a dream can turn into a nightmare.” The dream is indeed the fever dream of Pascarella and those like him who refuse to see the truth. That is, the nightmare that is Donald J. Trump. Jimmy Layton


Hackensack, N.J.: To Voicer Bill Barrett: The statement Trump made calling fallen vets “suckers” and “losers” was made to Gen. John Kelly, who himself lost his son in combat. Kelly confirmed this. Unlike Trump, a man like Kelly doesn’t fabricate nonsensical tales from whole cloth. So, I will take him at his word when he commented last year that “Donald Trump is the dumbest and laziest man I have ever met in my life. God help us if he gets reelected.” As to your question about what branch of the military Hillary Clinton served in — seriously? Because your cowardly cult leader ducked the draft, you somehow attempt a moral equivalency to Clinton not serving? Embarrassing. Ken Byrnes


Howard Beach: Detavio Samuels, CEO of Sean Combs’s company Revolt, received numerous offers to buy the company but refused them all, saying “there’s no structure that we would have accepted that was not Black-owned.” Sounds like “whites need not apply.” You can not refuse to sell your house to Blacks, but you can refuse to sell your company to whites. Do I have that right? George Martin

High stakes

Brooklyn: In the past few months, the three major sports — baseball, football and basketball — have been involved in either banning for life or suspending a few of their athletes for gambling on their respective sports. All three have been promoting gambling through commercials on TV and radio while broadcasting their events, billboards in their stadiums and other means. What did they expect, that their athletes wouldn’t get involved in the gambling? They’re only human, and the pull of making money is right in front of them. You reap what you sow. William Blitzer

Boss lady

Swarthmore, Pa.: Mexico, putatively a country steeped in a culture of machismo, just elected its first woman president, and a Jewish woman at that, in a country with a predominantly Catholic population. The ultimate political glass ceiling is being shattered worldwide, but not yet here in the United States. What do Mexico and many other forward-thinking countries know that we in this country have yet to realize? They know that women not only make acceptable leaders, but they are also often superior leaders. Historically, this is borne out by great leaders such as Germany’s Angela Merkel, the U.K.’s Margaret Thatcher and Israel’s Golda Meir, to mention just a few. There will not be a woman elected in our upcoming presidential election in November, but it is an idea whose time has come. In the U.S., men have been the supreme leader forever, but now it’s time — no, past time — to give a woman the opportunity to lead. Ken Derow


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