Monday, September 25, 2006

Columbus County Commissioners Take a Collective Stupid Pill

Our grand bunch of commissioners got together the other day and in a closed meeting, unamimously voted themselves a very generous health insurance benefit. The plan was included in the county personnel manual by commissioners Godwin, McKenzie and Jacobs. The News Reporter stated that they requested a copy of the manual before the vote, but that county Manager Jim Varner wouldn't allow. After the benefit was made public, some of the commissioners said that they thought it was a grand idea, that their constituents would want them to have this token of appreciation, other counties have similar benefits, I didn't know it was in there and no comment. Board rebel James Prevatte, stated that he didn't read the manual word for word and must have overlooked that section. Everyone I've spoken with has said that that was no excuse and wondered what else he might have overlooked since taking office.

The benefit would pay 50% of the health insurance for a 1 term commissioner, 75% for a 2 term and 100% for a 3 term. They would recieve the benefit regardless of their antics while on the board. The News Reporter published the following chart showing what some of the surrounding counties have like this. Just to make it clear, the Columbus County plan is the best of the bunch, even better than counties that have 5 times the tax receipts as Columbus.

County Benefits after one term Benefits after two or more terms
Columbus County Pays 50% Two terms: county pays 75% Three terms: county pays 100%
New Hanover Commissioner pays 100% Two terms: county pays 25%
Duplin None After 10 years county pays 50%
Anson None None
Bertie None After 20 years county pays 100%
Richmond None None
Scotland None Life insurance at $14 per month
Pender None Two terms: commissioner pays 100%
Hoke None Two terms: county pays 100%
Bladen None None
Wake At age 62 county pays 50% At age 62 county pays 100%

What board members fell to realize is that they are public servants, not employees. They are there by our grace and deserve no benefits when their terms are over. The board said that they will meet Friday at 3pm to discuss this matter farther.

Updated 2006-09-29

posted by David at 10:13 PM :: Permalink ::

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