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Back You are here: Home Opinion Opinion Section Letters to the Editor Ludicrous, Lucrative Benefit...

Ludicrous, Lucrative Benefit...

Mayor Council, Residents
A request had been submitted to the Town of C.B. by me to have a motion placed on the regular scheduled Council meeting agenda of May 14, 2013.
That motion has been denied by Council and you will understand why they would not want this hot item on their agenda.
The motion was: "For All Town Budget funding to be stopped for funding Health and Dental Insurance for all elected officials". If Council were to vote to not uphold this motion, or votes to take no action, they once again would be the winners and our taxpayers the losers. Back to square one and taxpayers would continue to pay (this isn't voluntary) for this ludicrous lucrative benefit that has been in effect for more than 30 years according to past long time employees of the Town. My only option now is to attend this meeting and speak.
Council would prefer taxpayers continue to pay this unnecessary, unneeded expense which has involuntarily been placed on their pocketbooks and is presently costing C.B. taxpayers for all who take from the Town both Health and Dental Insurance, $430.37 per month each for Health and $26.90 for Dental per month for each participating member or $22,271.76 per year created by them for themselves from budget to budget by not removing this expense from our budget.
Why are C.B. taxpayers paying for elected officials Health and Dental insurance when we are having trouble paying for our own?
The answer to that question is long ago (30 years or more) a C.B. Council voted to give themselves this benefit that has been continued Council after Council, budget after budget to this day costing taxpayers thousands upon thousands of dollars over the years.
It is a shame for Council members - past and present - to continue to force tax paying senior citizens, retirees, and others to pay $457.27 per month per participating elected official for their health and dental insurance. If you think this practice by Council to give themselves their own compensation year after year has gone on long enough and is way beyond insanity then send them a message in person, by email, or use any other legal means possible to end this funding.
Your Mayor has denied a citizen request twice to have this issue placed on a Council agenda. Any taxpayer can request to have motions placed on the Council's agenda for action that may or may not be heard subject to Council whims that may yield for or against or no action on a motion. Some times when Councils use no action as a means of wiggling out of voting on an issue this speaks louder as to intent.
Your Mayor and Council are in all probability peeved that anyone would do anything that would try to take their lollypop (Health and Dental Insurance) from them. Maybe it’s their reason for not wanting this item on their agenda.
Your Mayor has expressed he believes this Council and himself work hard for the Town and are deserving of this benefit. I beg to differ. The folks that we employ full time  - our dedicated Staff and Employees - are the ones working hard for our Town and deserving of pay raises and benefits, not part time elected officials whose job does not consist of any hard work at all but consists of looking at and making decisions concerning issues of the Town.
Another point to ponder on this subject, C.B. does not have any other part time employees receiving free Town paid Health and Dental Insurance. Why is this when elected officials who are also classified as part-time give themselves free health and dental insurance?
Another point needing attention is C.B. elected officials do not have bosses beyond the ballot box. These folks are able to set their own compensation such as giving themselves raises and benefits at their whim, contingent only upon a majority of 3 out of 5 voting to do so and them implementing a budget amendment to supply the funding only needing approval only by themselves. Way too much power for part time employees. You betcha. 
Now to continue on a shorter subject. I requested and received a reply from the Aquatic Center committee that came up with the figure of 55% support for this deal. I was given a formula that no less than a Rhodes Scholar would understand that they say yielded 55%. I replied back and gave this more sensible way to achieve accurate results on the same information that yielded me 25% +/- support if all survey forms were marked yes. You be de judge.
Please understand this crowd sent out Council sanctioned 4,100+/- survey forms in water bills and to the C.B. School and received back 1,056+/-. That tells me that this is closer to 25% if everybody voted yes (which did not happen) than 55% support and their way of figuring is wrong. Should half responding marked no the percentage would now be 12.5% yet this Council is still plunging ahead on this deal.
Where in the world are the 3,000 other survey forms and what were their results? 
Also, it is unknown whether they used more than one survey source, if they did the survey results would be very inaccurate and should not count in the mix. To arrive at simple accuracy one sends out a stated number of survey forms with a stated return date, waits until a reasonable time has elapsed and add a few days to the mix to be sure every one concerned had a chance to state their preference, close the survey, count the results of the survey forms received back and you have your very accurate results. Thus all that are concerned had a chance to vote one way or the other. Any other fancy formula or jibber jabber is not required.
Now what we have here is we do not know what we have in the form of accuracy and the Town and this Committee is proposing to still build us a deal that shows nearer 25% than 55% support and will cost us 1.5 million tax payer dollars on very little proven support. The irony of this deal, Council is not questioning the means of this committees figuring. Why not? Have a nice day.
D.A. Lewis,
Carolina Beach, NC