… Besides, PERS Benefits Our Economy

This letter is about Bob Keefer’s “PERS Death Squads” piece, which appears to have been meant as an April Fool’s satire but was tasteless and ill-timed. With all that is going on in the world right now, making a joke out of murder just isn’t funny. And is it really the message we want to send to our public servants, many of whom were front line workers?

Regardless of how you feel about PERS, an attempt at humor about the state’s retirement system by using the term “death squads,” infecting people with COVID-19 when so many of them have died from the disease, is bad form. You are better than this, and our public employees who served Oregonians for their career deserve better than this. 

PERS is a promise we keep for a lifetime of service. PERS recipients bring $470,515,191 into our local economy in Lane County. This supports nearly 3,639 jobs in our community. So even though this was a joke, PERS seriously benefits our economy. 

I want to personally thank the faculty and classified professionals who serve at our community college at LCC. They serve our students and community, during good times and bad times. You didn’t deserve this, and thank you for your service. 

Austin Folnagy