Feeding at the publics trough on Insurance

By / Letters to the Editor / Wednesday, 29 October 2014 04:00

Editor, Residents
Very few Towns or Cities in N.C. will pay for elected officials Health and Dental Insurance. Carolina Beach is an exception by Council now forcing taxpayers to pay 80% of this benefit. Your Mayor in an email on 7/10/13 stated that he had spoken to two others that would have preferred that Council eliminate this coverage entirely, but they understood the so called "planned reduction". He goes on to say "You are the only person who remains completely unsatisfied" meaning me and this action. Mr. Mayor this statement was nonsense.
The planned strategy before our election was to eliminate this insurance and was a campaign issue your Mayor and two others ran on. "Your Mayor" emailed me again on Aug 15, 2013 Stating "he just wanted to tell me that he agreed with me on the health care issue, and should he be elected, he will vote to eliminate health care for elected officials.” There was never a vote from this Council to eliminate this insurance but a motion to see what percentage from 0 to 100% the Town would continue to pay out of our budget for this asinine benefit for elected officials. As you know the percent was 80%. That action set a compromise designed for your Council to keep insurance or cash in lieu of insurance in motion. Had the vote been 0% as it should, we would not be forking out $434.50 per month each for your Mayor and 4 elected officials insurance or if they prefer cash in the pocket in lieu of insurance for a total of $2,172.50 per month. Your Mayor goes on to say "we have listened to you, and others, most who didn't want us to reduce any health care benefits" and I think we found a fair approach to this issue. This statement coming from your Mayor is unreal, fair to who, only 5 on Council out of the 6,000 who reside at C.B.?  I would like your Mayor to tell us who- beside Council members (past and present), their families, those wanting to seek a future seat on Council at C.B. and Council cronies-those that support and may tell him such nonsense. Surely it was not low income C.B. senior citizens and others who are struggling to pay for their own insurance that would tell anybody to continue expensive benefits for themselves at somebody else expense.
You may or may not know that The Town of Wrightsville Beach is one of the Towns in N.C. that will not even allow elected officials to be on their Town Insurance policy much less pay for it.
By legislative action from Raleigh elected officials are allowed to set their own compensation but by some Wrightsville Beach policy or the good graces of Wrightsville Beach Council does not force insurance premiums on their taxpayers budget like past and present Carolina Beach Councils continue to do yearly.
As information 300 entities, including Towns & Housing Authorities and others in N.C. purchase Insurance through the league of municipalities and only 50 of 300 offer optional coverage for board members and none (0) pay for this insurance. This needs to and will be looked into to see if C.B. could use a like deal and stop their Councils high dollar feeding at the publics trough.
This issue will stay alive until it is changed by a majority Council willing to put a stop to greedy elected officials at Carolina Beach from feeding at the publics trough.
Should anyone reading this wish to have a continuation of feeding at the publics trough, next local election there will plenty of candidates to chose from that are willing to accommodate you and very few that will be willing to accommodate those that believe that Council seats are public service seats not self-serving seats.
Those running for seats on Council that want to do what's right because it is the right thing to do (morally) will run on a platform of eliminating this insurance and other perks for themselves and when/if elected vote to eliminating asinine expenses for taxpayers. Your Mayor will not be able to run on this issue and be believed ever again because he has failed to do what he said he and two others campaigned on and that was to eliminate this insurance.
There was an article in the Star News 10/23/14 with your Mayor quoting the CRC " We like the (boardwalk) project but there are some issues. (Your Mayor then stated in this article) "We are always extremely concerned about what any of our citizens think, but we are also charged with making the decisions that benefit the community as a whole. Surely this Mayor and Council does not think the decision to force C.B. taxpayers to pay anything for Councils insurance is a decision that benefits the whole community when this decision only benefits 5 people on Council. Seems to me we need to fire the whole bunch.
D.A. Lewis
Carolina Beach, NC


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