When I read the articles about Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and pensions ("Judge orders Kamenetz to appear," April 23), I always refer back to a copy of a Baltimore Sun editorial from February 29, 2012 that I keep stapled to my office wall for all to see ("Pension double-standard").

In that editorial, The Sun states that after serving two terms, Mr. Kamenetz will depart with a $101,000 a year annual pension plus a $328,000 lump sum cash payout. Below that article on my wall, I have attached a January 23, 2014 Baltimore Sun article ("Balto. Co. Council OKs raises for executive, itself") that states that the Baltimore County Council approved a $25,000 per year raise for the county executive and $6,500 raises for council members beginning next year.

The argument is always the same. "We need competitive salaries to attract good people." As far as I'm concerned, exorbitant salaries and benefits for elected offices only attract people who cannot or are afraid to make it in the private sector. Mr. Kamenetz is just one more elected official with a law degree who legislates his own retirement knowing that a lobbyist's salary awaits to supplement his six figure pension, which, as we are beginning to learn, creates a huge drain on future budgets, no matter the size of the municipality. I'm sure Mr. Kamenetz would like to thank all of the hard working private sector people who get up and go to work every day to generate revenue to finance his lucrative retirement!

Todd Smith, Chestertown

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