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Commissioner benefits reaching an end

County commissioners repeated during their Nov. 24 meeting that the proposed changes in benefits apply to board members only.
“What we heard from constituents (during the campaign) is they are tired of subsidizing insurance for commissioners,” said Commissioner Joe Wise. “I want to be clear that none who have accepted it did anything untoward.”
Commissioner Danny Edens said he doesn’t understand the urgency in making a change when money has already been saved by only two commissioners requesting health coverage for the new term. “The rush to generate a campaign promise has created a buzz among employees,” he said.
“I think we can be satisfactory to everybody if we wait.”
Commissioner Matthew Morris made a motion to approve the recommendation from the Employee Compensation and Benefits Committee to end health insurance benefits for commissioners as of March 31, 2015. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Tom Krieger.
At this point, Commissioner Steve Light made a motion to defer the decision for four years until the next county commission is elected. “That way all of you who promised to end benefits can keep your promise,” Light said. “I tried this in committee.”
Commission Chair Greg Matherly said a motion was already on the floor, and a second one could not be made at that time.
Allowing benefits to be retained through June 30, 2015, the end of the fiscal year, was also suggested, but Commissioner Gary McAllister said he thought the March 31 deadline was a good compromise.
The motion was approved in a roll call vote with Commissioners Sam Humphreys, Mike Ford, Light and Edens opposed. Commissioner Katie Baker was absent.
Commissioner David Tomita then made a motion to approve the recommendation to end life insurance benefits for commissioners as of March 31, 2015.
The motion was seconded by Commissioner Tom Foster and passed with Humphreys and Light opposed.