Send in the Clowns - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Send in the Clowns

Speaker dons clown nose to protest retirement benefits cut in Collin Co.



    County worker Jerry Higgins expressed his frustration with the new county budget that includes a reduction in retirement benefits for county employees. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010)

    A decision by Collin County commissioners to reduce county expenses and settle on a $272 million budget might have pleased some county residents. Then again, maybe not.

    Some county employees, though, took budget cuts on the nose because commissioners voted to reduce the county matching funds to retirement benefits. According to an NBC DFW report, the county now will match only $2 for every $1 contributed by an individual up to 7 percent, equaling a cut of 50 cents.

    That probably makes sense to somebody. It didn’t to one person who addressed the commissioners during a public hearing.
    “Let me get on the same level as y’all,” said Jerry Higgins, a Collin County employee, while donning a clown’s nose to make a point. “There we go. Now maybe we can communicate a little better.”

    Nothing like ingratiating yourself to the people who, at one level, control your retirement fund, huh? Besides, everybody knows that if you want to win the argument you need a bottle of seltzer.

    And calling politicians clowns is just redundant.

    Bruce Felps owns and operatesEast Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. He rarely gets called a clown. It’s usually way worse.