Home » Opinion » Editorials
City board benefits: Giving goes the other way
The taxpayers pay roughly $200,000 a year in premium payments for board-member insurance coverage. That does not include payments for covered medical services. The Union Leader has tried to learn what the total costs are, but our right-to-know request was denied on medical privacy grounds.
This week city charter commission member Rich Girard proposed eliminating the insurance coverage for aldermen and school board members. His proposal was rejected on a 5-4 vote. Instead, commission members voted for a plan that would remove the insurance but compensate board members by raising their stipends from $4,000 a year to $15,000.
Under that plan, the taxpayers would increase their board-member stipend payments by $308,000 a year (from $112,000 to $420,000). We are paying roughly $100,000 a year per board for the insurance coverage now. That plan would raise the taxpayers' minimum yearly costs by about $100,000 a year.
Of course the total costs vary from year to year depending on how many medical bills aldermen and school board members rack up. The total might exceed $308,000 a year. But there is no way of knowing.
The idea that the people should compensate elected public servants for losing a benefit they never should have been given in the first place is ridiculous. Elected board members serve the taxpayers. An elementary part of that service is to refrain from being a financial burden on the people one is elected to serve.
Stipends are not meant to profit board members. They are meant to provide a small, partial compensation for services rendered. The giving still is supposed to go primarily from the board members to the public. Health benefits and big stipends reverse that equation. They should be rejected out of hand.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Pinkerton prepares for headmaster to live on campus - 0
- Three named to Manchester school posts - 0
- Derry Early Education Program to relocate - 0
- Manchester panel OKs new academic standards, despite Common Core criticism - 2
- Nashua school staff see tests as key to tracking student growth - 0
- Two Manchester schools off 'priority' list - 0
- Nashua officials seek advice on issue of student cellphone searches vs. privacy - 9
- Manchester school district makes bid to run Job Corps center - 2
- NEASC votes to reaccredit Central High - 1
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Patriots Notebook: Physical Browner brings it - 0
- Heroes all? A word cheapened by overuse - 2
- City Matters: Market Basket workers' outlook challenges the skeptics among us - 1
- Punch line: The NFL blows it - 1
- George Will: A conservative internationalism - 0
- Sox Beat: Red Sox haven't made a deal for Lester — yet - 0
- Jonah Goldberg: The Democrats' cynical impeachment play - 0
- Drew Cline: Home is where the really competent governing is done - 1
- Two GOP heavyweights try to get NH fired up about 2014 elections - 0
Canobie Lake Park shuts down popular ride
Supporters are now 'Abby Strong'
Dover man sought in Rochester shooting
Heroes all? A word cheapened by overuse
Mark Hayward's City Matters: Market Basket workers' outlook challenges the skeptics among us
Punch line: The NFL blows it
Havenstein says he has always opposed Obamacare, though company he led was paid to implement parts of it
George Will: A conservative internationalism