Monday, September 19, 2011

Carmel City Council Moving Forward With Plan To Give Part-Time Councilors Health Insurance Benefits

This is exactly the reason that so many of us within the Republican Party are disgusted by the people within are own party. When it comes down to it, many of our elected Republicans are no better than the Democrats when it comes to using public service as an excuse for self-enrichment. Carmel city councilors are already paid $16,000 a year for their part-time jobs, but that's not good enough. They think they are entitled to gold-plated health insurance benefits like a full-time employee would receive. They conveniently waited until after the May primary election, which is the general election in Carmel for all practical purposes since the entire council is made up of Republicans. The self-dealing councilors are moving forward with the plan despite opposition from the local Republican leader. The Star's Dan McFeely reports:

But Alan Potasnik, a former city councilman and current chairman of the local Republican Party, thinks this is a mistake and said there is a bigger issue at hand.
"My wife and I both (she has also served on the council) feel that if you sign up for one of these positions, for public service, then that is the name of the game," said Potasnik, who has rallied local taxpayers to speak out against the proposal.
"We believe you do not do this expecting to be paid big salaries and benefits. Spending thousands of extra dollars is not what conservative taxpayers would expect."
The council president uses the excuse of other council members in other cities receiving health insurance benefits as an excuse for Carmel's councilors receiving the same benefit:

Council President Eric Seidensticker sees both sides of the issue.
"If the people have permitted the (Hamilton) County Council and County Commissioners to have this benefit, and since they are elected to a similar position as the City Council (most still have full-time jobs as well), the benefits extended to each should be the same," he said. "I also understand that public service was not intended to provide the same luxuries as full-time employment."
The Indiana Association of Cities and Towns said its survey this year of 227 cities and towns showed that only 26 offered health benefits. Among those 26 are major cities such as Indianapolis, Anderson, Bloomington, Fort Wayne and South Bend. In Central Indiana, smaller locales such as Mooresville and Whitestown provide benefits, while the rest do not.
Plainfield council members can opt in to that city's plan but only if they pay the premiums themselves.
This is what disgusts me so much about the Republican Party. It constantly preaches fiscal conservatism and smaller government, but the only people getting ahead in the party these days are self-dealing pigs who want to squeeze as much out of their public service as possible. True fiscal conservatives are driven out of the party because they are principled people.

UPDATE: The proposal passed by a vote of 5-2. Only the two retiring council members voted against the proposal.


I know said...

Amen on the self dealing pigs! Please remember they are only following the manta of much larger swine at the top of the mud filled hog lot!

Give them credit they follow the big piggies lead very well!

oink, oink

Bob Cardwell said...

Thank you for this article.

Indy4u2c said...

Outrageous that the most affluent city in Indiana is voting to pay Health Insurance benefits to part-time councilors!

No sense of civic responsibility there!

What's next? -Perhaps a city-provided limo to pick up and tranport the councilors to their meetings?

"Democracy can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury"

dpoc said...

And the Mayor says "no big deal it is only $120,000 which really is not much for the taxpayers of a city this size to pay" Well Mayor if it is no big deal why don't you pay it yourself!