To the editor: As a rule, I don't expend the effort required to respond to a Sound Off call, but the personal attack directed at me by a cowardly individual who accused me of "collecting a pension" and "taking a job from someone else who needs one" makes this an exception.

First, my gutless friend, my police pension is not funded by the taxpayers. If you would spend the same amount of time doing research that you evidently spend running your mouth, you would know that.

Second, you accused me of "currently having a job in the township," and thus, "taking away a job from someone else who could use the money." Please be advised that my wages, as well as those of the other employees of the recycling center, cost our taxpayers nothing, since our income covers the wages. And while I certainly have no intention of discussing intimate details of my financial situation with you, what makes you think I can't, as you so eloquently stated, "use the money?" Realistically, who can't use a little extra cash these days?

Personally, I know of quite a few people who supplement their retirement income by working part time. In the present economic climate, it is a necessity for many. Also, there are those who have worked their entire adult lives and find it unfulfilling, even depressing, to simply "sit around" all day. I have far more admiration for these individuals than I ever would for those lazy louts who are perfectly capable of working, but refuse to do so. Is it possible you are one of them?

The impetus for this anonymous attack seems to be derived from the misinterpretation of a comment I made at a board meeting, in which I voted against giving a retired employee an additional 30 hours of work as a consultant. I opposed this action because we had already paid this person for 100 hours at $500 per hour to train his replacement. In my opinion, 100 hours was sufficient, and it appeared that the "consultant" was perhaps "milking" the district.

If the caller possessed adequate reading comprehension skills, he would have discerned that I was referring, not so much to the fact that this was a retired employee, but that the employee received a very generous incentive package upon his retirement. That package, coupled with the fact that the district's taxpayers had already shelled out $50 per hour for 100 hours to this retiree led me conclude that enough was enough.

I can accept legitimate criticism for any action I take as a member of the Shamokin Area School Board, and am willing to discuss any issue with residents. Vicious personal attacks levied by spineless cutthroats with a hidden personal agenda, however, are another matter.

Charles H. Shuey

Shamokin Area School Board