As it did a couple years ago when the Greenville City Council last voted on medical insurance for employees, my phone rang quite often this last week with folks who have a complaint about the council’s decision.
I believe those complaints are valid.
When a council is presented with a plan to save almost $500,000 in a year, it has to be strongly considered no matter what the plan is.
While I’m no expert on insurance, I do know how a spreadsheet works.
In this case, the numbers do not lie.
The plan presented by iOne not only saves the city much-needed cash, it incentivizes city employees to use our local hospital, Delta Regional Medical Center, and its network of doctors as their primary care providers.
While I understand council member Lurann Thomas-Kingdom’s sentiments regarding employee satisfaction with the current provider, the council has to know the employees could be just as happy with another provider – which offers the same services — for lower premiums.
Many businesses, when facing difficult times, have made the decision to change providers for any number of services for savings necessary to stay on the fiscally responsible path.
This path is not fiscally responsible.
In fact, it’s fiscally negligent.
If the city were in a better financial situation, choosing an insurance plan that offers better services for an increased cost might be on the table.
But Greenville is not in great shape fiscally.
Of the three insurance plans presented to council, the least expensive seems to offer the best benefits.
While I’m not sure if council can reconsider its decision from last week, I do know the citizens of Greenville deserve to know why the decision was made.
And, employee satisfaction with the current provider is not worth almost $500,000 of taxpayers’ money.
High School football happened last night and its importance to the people who participate can’t be understated.
Some may think those of us who worship at the altar of the sport of football for entertainment are simple people.
Maybe they are correct.
Maybe they are right to think grown adults who plan months of their lives around the activities of people at their alma maters, high school and college, aren’t the most complex people.
Maybe they are wrong to think children and young adults shouldn’t be playing football during this pandemic.
I know there are a couple hundred student-athletes in Washington County who should be on football fields this week and next.
They should be putting on pads and working on blocking schemes.
They should be learning how to work as a team.
Instead, they are at home, missing something many have built their entire lives around.
Though I know I am in the minority in Greenville, I’m a firm believer in the students returning to school and competing in sports.
While the return to the classroom is easier for private schools, they are generally smaller in population, there are ways to get students to the school house.
The private schools have now been back on campus for three weeks and things seem to be working as they should.
While Washington School children are attending campus classes on alternating days, the other private schools are attending on a full-time basis.
These schools are also participating in fall athletics thus giving their children as close to a normal experience during the pandemic as possible.
We all know how poorly the spring was educationally for our children — there’s not a single person who denies it.
This fall semester will be equally tough on those who do not attend school on campus.
And worse still for the student-athletes for whom athletics is a major source of their self-worth.
While many may decry athletics being a source of self-worth over or equal to academics, for some students that’s truly the case.
While I’m glad to see some students making the playing field, I’m also praying for their safety both from injury and infection.
Jon Alverson is proud to be publisher and editor of the Delta Democrat-Times. Write to him at email@example.com or call him at 335-1155.