This letter is in regard to the recent Mayoral debate article in the Reporter. Two items stuck me: (1) It was disheartening how little the challengers seemed to know of the City’s new Master plan which researched all the issues in question quite extensively. Whether they agree with the Plan’s recommendations or not, they would have sounded like they had a better grasp of the various issues with specific, viable solutions, instead of vagaries. (2) Perhaps more alarming was the Mayor’s reference to the City’s rising health costs which we have heard before. Despite referencing this problem, we hear absolutely nothing in the way of what steps (if any) the City has taken to control these costs. Rising health costs are a nation-wide issue, and we could take advantage of what others have done such as, my understanding is that City employees do not contribute to their health coverage, which is highly unusual nowadays. I also understand that most part-time workers (like City Council members, but not crossing guards) get free health insurance as well. Another possibility is to find similar coverage with higher deductibles (which lowers premiums).
When money grows scarce, these perks need to be scrutinized more closely before selling off valuable City assets. I would like to hear more about this from the Mayor.