Some question whether city officials should receive benefits - Sentinel & Enterprise

Full story: Sentinel & Enterprise

When City Council President Wayne Nickel presented his health insurance card at a visit to the eye doctor a few years ago, the office manager raised an eyebrow in surprise at the co-pay. "She said, 'Your co-pay is only $5?' I told her it's terrible, I think it ought to be more'," Nickel said.
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1 - 20 of 61 Comments Last updated Dec 3, 2010
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need cutbacks in Mass

Leominster, MA

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#1
Nov 28, 2010
 
My employer pays 60% of my plan I need to pay for a spouse or children. Now this maybe a little on the cheap side why does Leominster offer more than 1 plan. A stated a basic family plan starts at $500 while the more exotic plans cost much more. Well why isn't there a scale for these extra plans now they pay 25% for all plans if they opt into a mire expensive plan them why don’t they pay a higher % of the costs or don't offer it at all, offer one good plan and that's it take it or leave it and raise the deductibles to $20-$30 like most plans offers in the private sector. has this will lower costs too And vested for life after just 10 years on the job are you kidding me someone can get insurance for life at age 28 what a bunch of crap this is. It should be available to people who serve the city for at least 20 years and then only kick back in at retirement age so if they move on at 38 after 20 years there new job would need to include these benefits. This is the stuff that gets the people paying taxes furious and we are going to see a revolution sooner than later trust me on this one. When will property taxes go down or stabilize? Never with these free wheeling benefits given to just about anyone one the city even part time employees.

Since: Apr 09

Leominster, MA

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#2
Nov 28, 2010
 
Must be nice to have 2 insurance coverage policies in place. A rule should be in place, if you have a job already and get coverage, the city should NOT pay for an additional policy. And the comment "we work hard....". BS, it's a part time job if even that.

Since: Apr 09

Leominster, MA

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#3
Nov 28, 2010
 
What other "benefits" do the City Councilors get for the work they do? Pension?
piet

Leominster, MA

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#4
Nov 28, 2010
 
the lawyer and the hospital workers are freeloading off of the taxpayer. They are not full time employees and are in a position to have their own health care through their job.

No wonder Nickel and Dombrowski like to talk about the Mayor and his girlfriend. Keeps the spotlight off of their nefarious actions

Will we be hearing from the Oz guys who worry so much about the Mayor?
Blueboy

Fitchburg, MA

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#5
Nov 28, 2010
 
A part time job does not rate free insurance benifits.Most businesses strive to keep employees on a part time basis for that exact reason so they are not compelled to give them insurance.I guess working for a city,state or government,THE RULES CHANGE.WHY? Because it't paid for with 'tax payers'money. OUR MONEY---
Dano

West Boylston, MA

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#6
Nov 28, 2010
 
Well folks instead of bitching about it run for office, beat him out, get the position and put up with all the bullshit that he has to right now from people like you. Put up or shut up!!

Since: Nov 10

Leominster, MA

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#7
Nov 28, 2010
 
Sorry Councilors, this is not acceptable. You are not employees of the city. You chose to serve the city on this board. It's one thing to take a small salary (which is questionable as well) but to think that you deserve health benefits is just wrong. At this point why not offer insurance to the Planning Board, School Committee, Conservation Commission, etc...Another example of wasteful spending and big government at work.
enough already

Fitchburg, MA

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#8
Nov 28, 2010
 
Yup. they get health insurance, and also are in the pension system. putz around on the council for a while, then finish off with a real job, and get a full pension based on the salary of the real job with all the years of city council counted. a real hackarama. in towns, selectmen get something like $500 stipend a year, and they actually have to run the town! City Council is basically a showpiece with no real power, and they get to dip their snouts in the trough like this? when are the people going to stand up and put an end to this?

Since: Apr 09

Leominster, MA

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#9
Nov 28, 2010
 
Arrogant or what:

Nickel's co-pay on his HMO Blue health insurance plan has risen to $10 since, but he admits it's still a great plan he's able to take advantage of as a city councilor. An employee of HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster, Nickel said the city plan offers better coverage to that of his employer.

"In a way, I like it for myself, but at the same time, it's a better deal than some people get," Nickel said.

Time to step down come election time...
I dont know

Leominster, MA

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#10
Nov 28, 2010
 
Techniclly aren't we all on the city council? These people simply represent all of us so we should all get the same deal. I'm all for the city paying for my insurance and givivng me a pension. I watched a meeting on LTV once and there was this guy sitting there eating a sandwich! What a joke.
JIm

Fitchburg, MA

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#11
Nov 28, 2010
 
Many part time elected officials in Towns and Cities are reaping benefits that are costing the taxpayers a fortune.

Greed runs at all levels of Government, local, state and federal.

No one should wonder why the the middle class is being taxed to death
YUP

Fitchburg, MA

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#12
Nov 28, 2010
 
All of you that have come to the conclusion that elected officials get some benefits,,this has been going on for years....Why is the electorate looking at the city council...if you don't like whats going on...run for the job or better yet, file a petition to get rid of the benefits...while we are on this..check the benefits the Superintendent of Schools gets..lets go out of town..spend more money..why can't we get a educator within our own system and make the job more financially reasonable...lets continue..why do our legislators get travel money to do their job...again,, for those who don't like it..stand up and speak out, file the petition, file the bill...just don't talk..but i guess thats all most of you all do..is talk with no action....

Since: Apr 09

Leominster, MA

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#13
Nov 28, 2010
 
I dont know wrote:
Techniclly aren't we all on the city council? These people simply represent all of us so we should all get the same deal. I'm all for the city paying for my insurance and givivng me a pension. I watched a meeting on LTV once and there was this guy sitting there eating a sandwich! What a joke.
I've seen people at the meetings fall asleep at times....
Not Oz

Leominster, MA

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#14
Nov 28, 2010
 
piet wrote:
the lawyer and the hospital workers are freeloading off of the taxpayer. They are not full time employees and are in a position to have their own health care through their job.
No wonder Nickel and Dombrowski like to talk about the Mayor and his girlfriend. Keeps the spotlight off of their nefarious actions
Will we be hearing from the Oz guys who worry so much about the Mayor?
If Deans such a great manager and leader then why hasn't he taken the past 18 years to correct this egregious "perk" and save the citizens of Leominster a pant load in the process. I think you give him more credit than he really deserves. Enjoy the parades, turf and in your case "ladies night out."
Fizbo

Leominster, MA

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#15
Nov 28, 2010
 
As a taxpayer, I'm a little peeved that we have officials who already get insurance from their PRIVATE employer, and also get coverage from the City. This "double bennies" practice has to stop.

How many other "double dipping" schemes are being
run in the City ?

FP
Daddy Peep

Leominster, MA

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#16
Nov 28, 2010
 
I assume that the city council will investigate this and other perks that it gives itself. The council meets twice a month and I don't remember them discussing this during budget times. The worst thing is that now the meetings are on TV and so for most of the meetings they bash the Mayor. Do they really think that we are that dumb. We are all supposed to think that they deserve health insurance for a two hour bi monthly tar and feather session of the mayor.

Like congress the council says one thing and then does another. Let the council sleep during the meetings. It is time for us to wake up and send these people packing. If not we have no one to blame but ourselves.
tjs

Worcester, MA

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#17
Nov 28, 2010
 
Didn't someone say the mayor can change this policy without consulting the council? That means he hasn't changed this since he's been in office (at least 16 years) even though he could have. So two councilors accept health insurance and you want to impeach them- but you don't care at all about $20,000 per week in fire department overtime? I must be missing something.
Daddy Peep wrote:
I assume that the city council will investigate this and other perks that it gives itself. The council meets twice a month and I don't remember them discussing this during budget times. The worst thing is that now the meetings are on TV and so for most of the meetings they bash the Mayor. Do they really think that we are that dumb. We are all supposed to think that they deserve health insurance for a two hour bi monthly tar and feather session of the mayor.
Like congress the council says one thing and then does another. Let the council sleep during the meetings. It is time for us to wake up and send these people packing. If not we have no one to blame but ourselves.
tjs

Worcester, MA

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#18
Nov 28, 2010
 
The mayor shouldn't date his employees. It creates an unpleasant workplace.
piet wrote:
the lawyer and the hospital workers are freeloading off of the taxpayer. They are not full time employees and are in a position to have their own health care through their job.
No wonder Nickel and Dombrowski like to talk about the Mayor and his girlfriend. Keeps the spotlight off of their nefarious actions
Will we be hearing from the Oz guys who worry so much about the Mayor?
Fitchburg Resident

Fitchburg, MA

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#19
Nov 29, 2010
 
Because there is no Fitchburg councilor currently receiving health benefits..........wouldn't this be the prime time to vote to end this practice??
Just Me

North Brookfield, MA

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#20
Nov 29, 2010
 
And people thought the lunch program at the public schools was a RIP OFF!!! Wake up and smell the coffee people these are your tax dollars at work! Like I have said in previous posts ~ look into ALL public departments for tax dollar waste!

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