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Back You are here: Home News Local and State News Local Carolina Beach Town Council To Discuss Benefits for Council Members At January 14th Meeting

Carolina Beach Town Council To Discuss Benefits for Council Members At January 14th Meeting

 

By: Willard H. Killough III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH – The Carolina Beach Town Council will discuss Benefits for Council Members at their upcoming January 14th, meeting at 6:30PM at Town Hall. According to the agenda released earlier this week the discussion was requested by Council Member Gary Doetsch, Mayor Dan Wilcox and Mayor Pro-tem Leann Pierce.

The agenda states, “Council would like to discuss the costs associated with council member benefits such as: Who currently participates in town health insurance? What would it cost the town to cover all council members annually? Could council members sign up for benefits and pay the premium themselves? If so, what would that cost?”

Annual Salary – The amount of annual salary to be paid to Elected Officials at the Town of Carolina Beach is not addressed in the Pay Plan Policy of the Town.  Historically, the Town Manager has included a salary line item when preparing the Legislative Body annual budget.  This salary line item may or may not include any type of COLA (Cost of living) or annual increase based on the budget in its entirety. This salary is approved when the entire town budget is adopted by Council.

The 2013/2014 Budget allows for the following salary structure:

Mayor $8,400/annual
Mayor Pro-Tem $7,800/annual
Council Member $7,200/annual

Auto Allowance - While not addressed in any Town Personnel Policy, Council Members are paid $115.38/per pay period or $3,000/annual for an Auto Allowance. The purpose of this Auto Allowance is to compensate Council for wear and tear on their personal automobile, oil changes, maintenance, gasoline to attend local meetings within the County, and the like. This Auto Allowance is separate from any expenses Council members may submit under the Travel line item on the Legislative Budget, which is addressed in the Town’s Travel Policy.

Cell Phone – The Town has a Cellular Telephone Reimbursement Policy which was adopted by Council on October 6, 2002.  This policy outlines what the Town will reimburse for cellular telephones. No current council member takes advantage of this policy.

IPad – Each Council member is issued an Apple IPad, which has been purchased out of the Legislative Department budget.  The IPad is owned by the Town and must be returned to the Town at the end of an elected official’s term. The Town has a Policy in place regarding Email Usage and a Technology Appropriate Use Policy, both of which have been approved by Council.

Health/Dental Insurance – “Elected Officials” are specifically included in the definitions of eligible individuals to be covered under the Town’s Group Health and Dental Insurance Plans and in the contract language with the applicable vendors.  Elected Officials are not included in the definition of “Eligible Employees” for the purpose of participation in the Group Insurance Plans. While not addressed in any current personnel policy, the Town has traditionally paid the full premium for participation at the Employee Only level of coverage. The current value of this premium annualized is $5,571 for the Medical Plan and $327 for the Dental. If the Council member chooses to cover additional family members on either plan, the council member pays approximately 75% of the premium and the Town pays approximately 25% of the premium.

For the purpose of comparison the following benchmarking data was obtained from similar sized communities who contributed information to the North Carolina League of Municipalities.

 

Town Name

Mayor - Annual

Mayor ProTem - Annual

Council Member Annual

Carolina Beach - Town issued Ipad, auto allowance, travel reimbursement, cell phone reimbursement, Town pays 100% of health/dental insurance on council member.

$8,400+$3,000(Auto) = $11,400

$7,800+$3,000(Auto) = $10,800

$7,200+$3,000 (Auto) = $10,200

Town of Highlands –Town issued Ipad and travel reimbursement only

$5,000

$3,600

$3,600

Town of Hope Mills - $100 travel allowance, $30 cell phone stipend. Council Member pays 100% of all medical/dental plan costs. Town issued computer

$4,875

$4,167

$3,902

Town of Boone – no benefits, travel reimbursement only

$9,659

$6,251

$6,251

Town of Zebulon – Town pays 100% of health/dental insurance on council member only. Travel reimbursement, Mayor gets $50 phone stipend

$9,912

$4,220

$4,220