A sitting Councilwoman for the City of Reidsville made it known Monday night that she would like the city to look into offering the city health plan for city council members.
Councilwoman Lindsay Bennett, who represents Ward 2 – Post 1, told Mayor Sydney Clifton and members of council she would like for elected officials to have the opportunity to buy in to the city health insurance pool.
“I would like the option for us. We are full-time employees. That way we pay our half. But it’s something I want to discuss,” Bennett said.
Mayor Clifton told Bennett the city has never paid for anyone other than employees and said, “I don’t think we’re considered full-time employees.” Bennett said she would call the insurance companies herself.
“Let’s look at it realistically. If it costs $700 per employee, and you look at adding six more people, that’s $4,200 a month,” Clifton said.
Dan Bennett, who is the husband of Lindsay Bennett, spoke from the crowd to say she wasn’t asking for the city to pay for everything. Clifton then asked Bennett not to speak out of turn. “I would pay my part,” Lindsay Bennett said.
Councilman Curtis Colewell said, “The whole time I’ve been up here, we’ve never been considered full-time employees,” remarking about only meeting two meetings a month. Bennett said, “We work. We’re on call 24 hours a day. If someone needs us, we’re on call.”
Clifton told council members he was worried about using the term “full-time employee” because of the Department of Labor. “I don’t want the Department of Labor on us for not paying full-time pay for us,” referring to council members earning just $200 a month but using the term ‘full-time.’
Bennett said again, “I want to discuss this and if I need to make phone calls myself, I will. I constantly doing stuff for the city all the time. I’m constantly getting called. I’m a full-time employee. You can think we are or not, that’s beside the point.”
Bennett’s point was that city options for rates are much less expensive than in the marketplace where the general public shops. She confirmed to AllOnGeorgia on Wednesday that she just wants the option to buy at the rate offered to city employees, not for city taxpayers to fund her portion.
Councilwoman Carolyn Blackshear said the costs can still drive up even if someone is paying their share. “They may do it in larger municipalities like Atlanta or Savannah.”
Other Tattnall municipalities like Manassas, Collins, and Cobbtown do not offer insurance for their employees or elected officials, but the City of Glennville confirmed Wednesday that their elected officials do not buy into the city health insurance plan, which is through the Georgia Municipal Association.
Claxton, which is comparable in size by population, does not allow city elected officials to buy in to the employee health plan either.
In neighboring Evans County, Commissioners just Tuesday night made the decision to move forward to continue providing insurance benefits for the elected and part-time employees, including the county attorney, the State Court Solicitor, a county juvenile judge, and the State Court judge. Some of the benefits for county-wide positions are mandated by state law, however.
The Reidsville City Council will meeting again on Monday, March 12 at 5:00 P.M. at City Hall.
Reidsville City Council Meeting – Planning Session – begins at 5PM
Posted by All On Georgia – Tattnall on Monday, March 5, 2018
The discussion from the Reidsville Planning Session Meeting begins at the 12:00 minute mark.