Johnson City Press Sunday, December 21, 2014
Opinion

County needs money for services, not perks

March 14th, 2014 8:39 am by Johnson City Press

County needs money for services, not perks

It’s time to end the taxpayer-subsidized health insurance coverage for Washington County commissioners. As Press staff writer Gary B. Gray reported in Thursday’s paper, the cost of this perk is estimated to be $122,508 for this year alone.
On Wednesday, County Commissioner Ethan Flynn made a motion in the County-Owned Property Committee to end those insurance benefits for commissioners and instead spend that money to complete long- overdue renovations on the second floor of the Washington County Courthouse. The amendment is expected to be debated when the full commission meets on March 24.
This is an issue that every taxpayer in Washington County should care about. More than half of the 25 members of the elected board receive taxpayer-funded health or dental insurance at a cost of more than $407,376 since September 2011.
How many school roofs could have been replaced with those tax dollars? How many new sheriff’s patrol cars, or school buses might have been purchased with those funds? We strongly urge voters to pay attention to how their commissioners vote on this issue and to remember their actions when they go to the polls this year. Serving on the County Commission should be about public service, not perks.

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