When LAUREEN TURNER ran for Livermore City Council she pointed out the high cost of maintaining an employee: salary and benefits, and that she would 'have none of that'. The Fiends of Livermore backed her 100%. She seemed to be the new, fresh voice that Livermore needed. She appeared to be the Anti-Kamena. The Fiends of Livermore even created a special webpage to illustrate the evils of Kamena and other candidates, and to promote the breath of fresh air that Turner seemed to be providing.
But, the Fiends of Livermore came to find out (after the election) that when she was a part-time director for LARPD, she had by far the LARGEST compensation package of anyone of the other directors. In fact, for 2011, her medical compensation ($12,866) was almost FOUR TIMES her salary ($3,475). By comparison, Wilson's and Faltings med package was ~$6,600; Hutchinson $500 and Goodman had no reported medical compensation.
Now that Turner is on the city council, her medical compensation (Jan-June 2012) is over $13,400 - which is TWICE her actual pay. How is it that the lowest paid and newest member of the city council is getting a total compensation package almost TWICE that of the mayor? By comparison, councilman Horner and mayor Marchand have ZERO medical compensation and councilmembers Gary and Woerner approx $1,000 each so far this year.
Look to this URL for the entire list of pay and benefits of our city council: http://img224.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=95080_citycouncil_122_1054lo.jpg
So let me see if I have this right … Turner was working full-time in the private sector with employer/employee paid health insurance. She ran for City Council with the statement that she wouldn’t stand for inflated pensions, wasted tax money, exorbitant benefits, and certainly not benefits for part time workers. She knowingly decreased her work hours (thus losing the health coverage) and now the taxpayers are being forced to pay for this decision. If her medical insurance is so important to her, why did she run for office knowing that she already had the health coverage she so desperately need if she was going to reduce her hours and thus lose that coverage?
Even the rest of the Livermore City council has turned against Turner. In today’s Independent, it was noted that 4 of the 5 council members showed interest in eliminating medical benefits paid by the taxpayers, Turner being the only one against. Marchand said that the council should lead by example. Council member Horner said that he was 100% in agreement, that he NEVER took advantage of the medical benefits, and he would not feel comfortable doing so, as the benefits were too large for a PART TIME job.
Councilmember Gary said that all city paid benefits should be stopped. He added that for 42 years he has heard that people ONLY run for office for the benefits, and that was the wrong reason to sit up here and make decisions.
However, Laureen Turner objected, stating that “I am not in a position to serve without the benefits.”
Even though the other council members seem to agree that their positions are part-time, she somehow is the only one who went on record and argued that her position was a full time job. She must know something that the other council members do not.
Recently, the regional newspapers published information about some of the outrageous and outlandish benefits our part time elected officials receive “Officials rake in big time perks for part time work” at OUR expense..
The 4/26/11 issue of the Tri Valley Herald stated:
Members of local school boards, city councils, park districts, transit agencies and water and sewer districts need to decide whether they sought office to serve their communities or to drink at the public trough. These are supposed to be part-time positions, setting policy and overseeing the well-paid, professional managers of local government agencies. They are not supposed to be a primary means of support. That's why a token compensation, say a couple hundred dollars a month, might be appropriate to offset the actual expenses of a part-time elected official.
Laureen Turner appears to be one of them – and the ONLY one on the city council to DRINK FROM THE PUBLIC TROUGH
The Fiends of Livermore regret supporting Turner. She has jumped on the gravy train of taxpayer supported benefits. This is a message she should heed, and start to respect the wishes of the people.