Atwater's pension debt clearly sums up the city's foolish approach to solving financial woes. City Manager Frank Pietro's proposal to kick the can down the road by mortgaging off city property to pay retirements costs is dangerous and irresponsible.

Maybe it was not a good idea to purchase that million-dollar firetruck or give three staffers $10,000 each raises. Whoever heard of a corporation granting employees retirement benefits for as little as five years of service, including full medical coverage?

To lend money for retirements costs, a bank would require the city use our parks and community center as collateral. Apparenty our credit is that bad.

Notice, city officials are not willing to put up their Imperial Palace, aka city hall, on the chopping block as part of the collateral - just the parks and community center that are used by Atwater families and children. I applaud the city council members who turned the irresponsible loan down. City officials always claim to do the right thing; this time they did.