Before some would jump to poor loser, please indulge a minute or two to read this letter. I was troubled by the order of the last Town Council meeting (05/22/14). It was clear to me that Mayor Mim Mack had ordered the agenda to push for a Permissive Levy to pay for eligible Town employees’ health insurance increases.
I believe Mayor Mim Mack wanted Town Council to approve a Permissive Levy before it considered if they would be willing to pay any portion of the dental or optical plans available to employees. I believe Mayor Mim Mack wanted Town Council to pay for some or all of dental and optical as part of the permissive levy that would have been approved in the agenda item prior. All this decided before Town Council even knew what the budget balance, projected revenues for this coming fiscal year would be or if the Town would be willing to grant salary increases.
I believe this systematic approach to higher spending by the Mayor does not serve Town Council well. I believe a better approach would have been for the Mayor to wait until Town Council was a little farther into the budget process and provide Town Council with all the information they needed to make far reaching decisions with their eyes wide open. This levy, if approved, would be a permanent ongoing tax increase to pay specifically for these health program increases. The levy is likely to increase in every future year. The justification offered by the Mayor for the levy was that Ravalli County was already doing the same thing, like somehow that made it alright.
It is important as an employer to provide the best salary and benefits you can afford to attract and keep good employees. That said, there seems to be no end to spending by this current administration. There seems to be no end to new fees or regulations, all in the guise of “tidying things up.” The Mayor, as a result of Town Council action in its December 2013 meeting, receives $1,200 in Supplemental Salary above and beyond the $400 a month honorarium (normal salary). I think it is fair to ask why this $14,400 ($1,200 x 12) should not be applied to these budget items of health program costs? Especially in light of the fact the currently requested increase is less than $5,900 annually.
I would encourage town residents to contact their Town Council representatives and let them know how you feel.
Clayton D. Floyd Jr.