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MEDICAL BENEFITS TO PART-TIMER LAUREEN TURNER?

The public has grown increasingly dissatisfied with the idea of elected officials -- particularly PART--TIMERS-- earning FULL--TIME benefits while city services are slashed...

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.

PART TIME elected officials and part time employees have NO business collecting medical benefits, especially "full-time" benefits like TURNER is doing.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

George S October 13, 2012 at 02:22 PM
We are being asked left and right to approve more taxes and levies to support out schools, governement and yet Ms Turner seems to think that she is entitled to these benefits. The city council must abolish these benefits. The newspaper is correct in that part-time employees and part-time elected officials should never receive such exhorbitant and yes, outrageous benefits.
Kirk Snyder October 13, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Intersting, Will Turner even respond to this? sounds like she has backed herself into a corner with the rest of the council on this one. I would not have belived this unless the link to the actual benefits summary was there too.
Laureen Turner October 14, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Hello George I agree fully and recommended at the previous council meeting that a provision be made so that council members have access to purchase benefits thus they will be available to them at no cost to the tax payer. Change takes time but we are working on fixing the system.
Laureen Turner October 14, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Kirk I have responded many times on this topic. I do not read patch every day (sorry Kris) Thus, I do not see every question posted to me on the Patch. However, I do respond to all emails sent to me. I have posted a blog on this topic. If you have any further questions, please email me directly. Leturner@cityoflivermore.net
Ryan Sherman October 14, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Author, you lost credibility the moment you used "fiends". I don't have a dog in this fight but you're little opinion piece here would be perfect for the trash heap. I'm sorry I even took the time to read it.
Christine October 16, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Normally, I line my bird cage with the Independent. This week I have a choice. I can either print out your "article" or use the Independent. Normally I am not faced with such decisions. Thank you for giving my canaries more reading material. The "Fiends" are no "Friends" to me.
Maureen November 12, 2012 at 08:04 PM
I do not know Ms. Turner, but I do believe this article is unfair. In all honesty, this sounds like a public City Council fight. The rest of the Council VS Ms. Turner. My "guess" is the other Council members have full medical benefits from their other jobs, so they do not need the public benefits the City has to offer. I hardly believe Ms. Turner knew the direct costs involved of her benefits. How many of us actually do? Maurice Duenas- To be fair, why don't you write an article about how medical benefits can cost more than a person's actual salary or write about the "Double-Dippers" involved in the City Council? Why not base your criticisms on the City Council member's performance, rather than making somebody look like they are receiving something they don't deserve?
Christine April 16, 2013 at 12:18 AM
@George - You and Maurice sound liken broken records. Have you not read what Councilmember Turner has written? She writes she no longer takes the benefits. What else do you want from her? You and Maurice keep posting the same old references to Councilmember Turner. Have you not noticed that she voted against giving the Bankhhead Theater, while the rest of the council voted to fund the loan? She listens to the people. It is unfortunate that you have such a dim view about Councilmember Turner. She listens to the people, and she no longer accepts benefits ... the same benefits that were voted in a long time ago. I am sure that Mayor Marchand and company really like your comments, as Councilmember Turner is probably the only person who currently could beat Marchand for the mayor seat.
Smitty March 28, 2014 at 08:31 PM
Anyone familiar with Maurice's extensive comments and Speak Out posts lately should recognize that this is not Maurice's writing: distinct lack of "s" on the ends of words, sophisticated sentence structure, complex ideas. Either someone else is ghost writing for Maurice, someone has hijacked his name, or this is plagiarized with no proper acclamation. Which is it Maurice?
Smitty March 29, 2014 at 12:43 AM
So, "yes" to plagiarized.
Joe Fox March 31, 2014 at 07:21 PM
The Mayor and Council Members Woerner, Gary and Horner all have medical and retirement benefits from their prior employment and don`t need benefits. All their talk about saving tax payer`s money falls mute when they continue to funnel tax payer money to the Bankhead Theatre. The Mayor and male Council members are doing nothing more than ganging up on the lone female City Council woman and giving themselves a 5% cash/cost of Living increase while they are at it. Shameful.

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