Officials should serve for the sake of serving

May 28, 2004

Dear Editor:

I recently attended the last Danville City Commission meeting and found it very interesting that citizens of Danville pay for health insurance for our mayor and elected commissioners.

According to the information received, the premium for our mayor and his wife is more than $6,700 per year. Commissioners Gay and Crowley have the family plan, which costs a little more than $10,400 per year, whereas Commissioner Owens has the single plan at a cost of $3,241 per year, and Commissioner Kavanaugh at just under $6,800. These total $37,618.72 per year. With the exception of Ryan Owens, all have access to insurance through their employment or spouse's employment.

I do not know of any positions where part-time employees are given such generous packages. Also, even most full-time employees share some of the burden in the cost of this expense.


The commission is talking about making cuts across the board. I know where more than $37,000 can be cut and given back to some of the local agencies. A previous commission had the power to give these benefits, but the present one also has the power to take them away. I wonder if the mayor makes this kind of benefit available to his employees at his fast-food restaurants.

I did not get to attend the Boyle Fiscal Court meeting but have learned that not only do we pay over $28,000 per year for health, life, and dental insurance for the magistrates, but we also put into a state retirement for them as well. What happened to serving the public for the sake of serving?

I know the compensation they receive for their time is probably less than minimum wage for all the hours they put in studying issues and attending meetings. But do you think they didn't know this before seeking office? I am thankful for each of these who are willing to make the sacrifice to serve, but please, serve for the sake of serving.

Jimmy Lehman


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