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Should City Amend Requirements to Receive Health Benefits?

Long Beach City Hall. (Credit: Joseph Kellard)
Long Beach City Hall. (Credit: Joseph Kellard)

The Long Beach City Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that in part would extend lifetime health care benefits to city exempt employees with fewer years of municipal service and without the need to retire.

The resolution proposes to amend the city’s code of ordinances to allow exempt employees to accrue 10 years of municipal service — with a minimum of five years of service with the City of Long Beach — in order for them to collect lifetime health care benefits, including for their family. City code presently requires exempt employees, who are not covered under a collective bargaining agreement, to accrue a minimum of 15 years of service with the city and to retire in order to receive lifetime health benefits.

In effect, the Dec. 17 resolution would require exempt employees to accrue just five years of service with the city, after which they could leave the city without retiring and still receive lifetime health benefits, while they could accept employment anywhere else.

The resolution calls to amend the amount of benefits afforded to management employees, including reducing allowable accrued sick and vacation time.

What are your thoughts on the resolution’s proposals, especially the amended requirements for lifetime health benefits? Let us know in the comments below.

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cosmo donato December 17, 2013 at 02:28 PM
They should have at least 20 years of service, and it should be for husband and wife
paul.d.spellman December 17, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Mr Kellard, An update is required. In addition to the 15 years current employees must have attained the age of 55 or have 30 years of service at any age.
Laura December 17, 2013 at 02:58 PM
This is a scam so that the City pays for the City Council's families' benefits for the rest of their lives, even though their job consists of three hours monthly. A disgrace in these times.
Laura December 17, 2013 at 03:02 PM
This will be the most liberal public health benefit in the State, costing Long Beach taxpayers more than $200,000 for every hack scumbag that the Democrats appoint. AND YOU VOTED FOR THESE THIEVES.
Eddie December 17, 2013 at 03:07 PM
Joe, in fairness, you should tell us about the "givebacks" that are in the legislation. Figuring that the Democrats appointed over 32 new do-nothing management hacks to the administration and each one will cost some $250K in lifetime benefits, how many vacation days are they taking away to finance the new $8,000,000 in proposed benefits?
Me December 17, 2013 at 05:07 PM
Ridiculous! This will cost millions over the years. There aren't many jobs where you get benefits for life after 5 years. Funny how another one of these items like another 6.5 Mill in debt shows up right after Election Day. They knew they wanted to do this and would never have been elected or re-elected if people knew they planned this. What will be the next gift they give themselves while dropping bombs of higher debt that translates to higher taxes on the people of this city
oceanview December 17, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Wow, really?
Penny December 17, 2013 at 07:37 PM
It seems that government just can't stop spending other people's (taxpayers) money. They are like spending junkies! If we ran our financial lives the way the government does, we would lose everything! I don't understand how these types of policies are not put up for a public vote. Everyone was so mad at the Republicans (because they were in office at the time) for what the severance pay packages were, which included unused sick pay for police and fire personnel. In the end it put the city into financial downfall. How is the current administration any better? Haven't they learned anything from the past? Oh, right; history is not something you want to learn from, because it affords you the same opportunity to make the same mistakes again and maybe worse! Ugh! Why can't we as Long Beach citizens demand more transparency and have a "real" voice? Why aren't the elected government personnel reaching out to us and finding out what we want? Do the elected officials feel that the citizens are not capable of making fair choices for government staff and taxpayer at the same time; because the elected certainly are not being fair to the taxpayer. Most of the taxpayers in Long Beach do not have the same benefit privileges of governmental employees. You can only take so many golden eggs before the goose expires.
Lamice Denton December 17, 2013 at 08:20 PM
Joseph ...please give the right information ...thanks!
joe December 17, 2013 at 08:47 PM
While you are at it joe, let us know what's going on at Magnolia Child Care. State investigators were crawling all over the place interviewing staff. Child care staff ordered not to talk to parents. Heard there was a medication overdose of an infant in care.
eileen104516 December 17, 2013 at 08:48 PM
Tonight this was tabled until the January meeting. EVERYONE should make their feelings known before the meting and then ATTEND!. Paying lifetime health benefits to the worker and FAMILY will cost a lot of money over many many long years. They said tonight that Nassau does this. (Look how Nassau's doing!)
larry teague December 17, 2013 at 11:15 PM
NASSAU DOES NOT DO THIS!!!!! this is what these morons do. they make statements and never back them up. Nassau requires much more time at work and they do not allow medical before retirement. this is as blatant a scam as you will ever see, even for LB. this is what happens when the residents don't care. you get adelson, torres and mandel holding hands with goggles and sen schmuck and they smile, and tell us how great things are and then they borrow more money. this does not get better. it ALWAYS catches up with towns and cities. yeah, they will be gone, but rest assured, while they are at the doctor (paid by us), we will be financially screwed.
Republicans always win December 18, 2013 at 07:03 AM
Last night was so great!! You can tell the council and jack don't get along at all. Even though they gave the kit and caboodle to the police and csea, this embarrassingly pathetic council once again showed that they are afraid and powerless when faced with any Republican opposition. We have the guts, the dems are gutless and I love it. Millions and millions of dollars to good cops like jack radin and karl hayes. You guys deserve it. And when the time came to give a small bone to the "management" (robinson) who got them elected, they said no way because Eileen Hession spoke out. It was great!! Once again I'm proud to be a Republican. Even after losing a landslide, we still run this city!!!!!
Hamburger December 18, 2013 at 07:03 AM
Lifetime benefits - ridiculous
plainandsimple December 18, 2013 at 08:10 AM
how can you lump the CSEA with The Police- average less than half the pay and they Gave up half their contracted Raise for next year along with a whopping two and a half percent for three years- we will never be rich but provide the services necessary to run the city. Our pensions will never break the bank (except for some heads of departments) and that is what the CSEA is- a decent wage, benefits and a pension.
Just a Resident December 18, 2013 at 08:17 AM
Goodbye Long Beach. So glad we left this nonsense after Sandy. How long until the City goes bankrupt?
Fred Barnes December 18, 2013 at 08:25 AM
This is not a republican or democrat issue. There is no ideology involved here. This is about "who's in control". In local politics I vote for who I think is going to do the best for the City. I voted for many of these people. This is a shameful sham. All residents should blast the council on this.
Greg Z December 18, 2013 at 08:54 AM
OMG are they serious? What self serving moron proposed that resolution? Do they realize or even care how much that s going to cost taxpayers not just now, but in the future. Wondering how many " friends and family" of the council this will benefit. It's disgusting to think that this group runs our city.
leigh pollet December 18, 2013 at 11:03 AM
Well, I hate to say I told you so... but I - and the Boardwalk Party - TOLD YOU SO. So for those of you who voted for this, YOU GOT IT. And by the way... remember that the Republicans tried to do something similar, but required 15 years of service (not 5) to the City. They did it before the last election and these same Democrats blasted them for it. Got to hand it to the dems - they were smart enough to hide this from the taxpayers before the election and dump it on the taxpayers now - well afterwards! Smart move!
Kerri Gustavson December 18, 2013 at 12:08 PM
The residents must read the agendas and speak out. I felt the council was against this initiative and the city manager clearly said it was his resolution. He indicated he recommended this to help attract staff. This was a clear resolution to benefit very few in the inner circle. I will be watching closely. We can not afford to line anyone's pockets. Full Family medical for life at any age after 10 years NYS or municipality/Long Beach service? Absurd, outrageous. I will not tolerate anyone giving away such unsustainable benefits. To the best of my ability I will stay informed, and get the word out and stay involved. This was a very transparent attempt by the city manager to reward several people and I believe himself eventually. Was he hoping to have other positions filled shortly with workers from other municipalities? I am not a fan at this time. Must watch and ask the council to protect the residents.
Hamburger December 18, 2013 at 03:15 PM
How does the town, county, and state address this for their employees?
JP Ashcroft December 18, 2013 at 05:11 PM
I 've got one word for the people...."Detroit". Pensions are not guaranteed nor are health benefits when a entity goes bankrupt. It's a really disingenuous move by Jack and the gang. Some people are still out of their homes and barely have enough money for Christmas gifts but Jack and the gang want you to pay for lifetime health care. Every resident needs to call the Council members and complain bitterly at this latest sucker punch! 431-1000
Greg Z December 18, 2013 at 05:45 PM
totally agree JP I for one will be doing just that in the morning. hope others do the same. The resolution is totally self serving and a slap in the face to the hard working citizens of Long Beach. What BS. And if Jack S. made this proposal he needs to be replaced, since it points out how he really feels about the residents of this city. After all, do we really need a city manager, really, do we?
larry teague December 19, 2013 at 12:24 AM
"attract staff"? is this moron for real?? how much more staff do they need? with the city still paying off a huge deficit, half of Brookhaven working here, most of kohuts family is hired, enough young men for the city mgr's tastes, the entire Dem Club, who else do they need to attract? Schumer's housekeeper? this group will eventually go down as the bumbling idiot council that they are.
JP Ashcroft December 19, 2013 at 08:45 PM
One thing that Jack fails to mention while complaining that "its hard to attract and retain people" (LB Herald, Dec 19, 2013), is that once a ruling party is ousted, the new one comes in and simply cleans house. The turnover is therefore not attributable to "lack of perks", but rather it is caused by the phenomenon "new party rules and out go the old". So, Jack don't leave us holding the bag while you and your cohorts rack up free medical care for life. Call City Hall @431-1000 and complain. It's the only way to get the point across, make your voice be heard.

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