Council’s pork ‘perk’

  • Friday, June 27, 2014

Wanted: Georgetown residents willing to work approximately five hours per week attending public meetings, making phone calls, listening to complaints by fellow Georgetown citizens, and making decisions.

Compensation: Base pay of $4,944 per year, but employer provides full package of health insurance benefits through Blue Cross Blue Shield for employee, spouse and dependents. Employer pays 85 percent of all premium costs.

Sound too good to be true? Not if youíre thinking about running for the Georgetown City Council next year. Maybe we all should. Where else are you going to find this Cadillac plan of health insurance for part-time work?

It turns out, only in one other city, Lexington, as the Georgetown Times found in a survey it conducted of similar-sized South Carolina municipalities.

The generous package of health insurance benefits for Georgetown City Council members didnít pass the smell test for Carol Jayroe and Ed Kimbrough, who were elected last fall as fiscal reformers who would protect the taxpayers.

They tried to pull this piece of city pork out of the fire, but their hands were slapped away by four other members of the council Ė all of whom have 85 percent of their health insurance paid for by the taxpayers.

Mayor Jack Scoville backed a move by Jayroe and Kimbrough to eliminate support for council membersí health insurance, but ultimately supported the overall budget keeping that benefit intact. (To be fair, he is not covered by the cityís health insurance plan.)

That, however, is not the point.

The point is that very few private employers offer health insurance to part-time employees, including the City of Georgetown (unless you are a council member).

The council majority seems blind to this fact. Nor does it seem to bother council members that many of these people who work part-time and donít have health insurance are specifically the ones paying for the councilís health insurance.

Just what were council members Rudolph Bradley, Peggy Wayne, Brendon Barber and Clarence Smalls thinking?

Certainly not about the election next year, when Bradley, Wayne and Smalls will be on the ballot.

Georgetown voters have long memories, and are not likely to forget the Blue Cross Blue Shield cards with the council membersí names on them.

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