Commissioners’ health insurance
At the outset of discussion at the Oct. 7 Deerfield city commission meeting about the ordinance regarding health insurance, the city attorney, at the request of the District 1 commissioner, gave a brief but clear summary of the proposed alteration of the 2002 ordinance. For clarity, here it is.
City Attorney: “This is an ordinance to amend the existing ordinance to limit insurance benefits to future commissioners (those who are not vested, having served in consecutive years.). They will still have the right to that health insurance benefit, but they will have to pay for it on the same basis as other retired employees.”
Characteristically, the mayor interjected. “I’m not happy with that!”
Following this, the public spoke.
Despite the city attorney’s clear and careful review, virtually all of the speakers addressed the original ordinance of a dozen years ago with no mention of the proposed changes by an entirely different commission.
There was some discussion by the commissioners, all of whom seemed to agree with making the changes, but they also took issue with trivializing the quality of their service and the amount of time they spent serving the city that they had heard from some of the public. Their speaking out about that has been grossly misinterpreted.
The mayor declared, “Now it’s my turn,” and went on to disparage the quantity and quality of service performed by the commissioners by relating it to her comparatively superficial ceremonial duties. Then she told of her experience with a health insurance issue.
“I retired in 1993. At that time, the very persons who voted for this thing were on the commission at that time. When I asked if I could stay on the city’s health insurance — my husband had died and I was no longer covered on his policy — I offered to pay the premiums myself. They said ‘no.’ They refused, and pushed me over to COBRA.”
The District 4 commissioner responded by pointing out that there was no such insurance plan available for ANY ELECTEE in 1993 and for clarification, asked the mayor if she meant that she applied to be included in the city’s health insurance plan nine years after having left office in 2002.
“No. no,” she said, I said that when I was out of office in 1993.”
You can see and hear the entire dialogue on the city’s website/commission/video. In any case, the mindset of the commission who passed ordinance.
2002/004 was very different from the current one — men who enjoy serving. They serve long hours without complaint — until their integrity is impugned.