Walton County BOC kills plans to extend health insurance coverage to former commissioners

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Walton County Commissioners vote unanimously to kill plans to extend insurance coverage to former commissioners

MONROE, Ga. — After hearing from citizens, both on social media and in person at the Monday night called meeting, Walton County Board of Commissioner voted 6 – 0 to kill any plans to extend health insurance to former commissioners. The firestorm of opposition ignited after a legal ad appeared in the Walton Tribune on Oct. 16 raising the possibility of commissioners considering a continuation of healthcare insurance to former commissioners once they have left office if they have served two or more terms.  According to officials, the issue was discussed at the Feb. 14 Planning Retreat with a decision to conduct additional research before doing anything more, It was only being put on the October Agenda for public discussion.

Walton County resident Herman McCart addresses the Walton County Board of Commissioners on Oct. 28, 2019. Photo credit: Melanie Ann Jackson

But the public would have none of it and the ad was quickly pulled and a special meeting called for Monday to explain what was said to be “misinformation” about the issue.

Walton County resident Herman McCart spoke at the meeting Monday, letting commissioners know that they may have the legal authority to extend the benefit, but not the moral right. “You didn’t get hired with benefits. What makes you think you should get them now,” he said, adding, “This is outrageous. The public struggles to pay their own insurance.”

Walton County Commissioners Lee Bradford and Jeremy Adams at a special called meeting on Oct. 28, 2019. Photo credit: Melanie Ann Jackson

Wendra Williams, director of the 911 center was concerned with how the County would get the funding to pay for the measure if it was ever adopted.

“Long-term employees have to pay for their own insurance,” she said.

Commissioners were reminded that they did not have to pick up a weapon like the police or go into a burning building as firefighters do.

It the end, the measure was killed by the unanimous vote and was summed up by Walton County Board of Commission Chairman Kevin Little. “It’s over,” he said.

 

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