UPDATE: According to interim city manager Steve Hill, Blue Cross has approved insurance for both positions to be added to the group health plan and the insurance will be effective January 2017.
The only city council action from the December regular meeting that was not a unanimous vote was the proposal to provide health insurance benefits to city judge Ivy Gardner and city attorney Will Ridley.
The matter was brought to the council by member Danny Wyatt who moved that the resolution be adopted to request that the city's health insurance provider consider the city judge and city attorney as a special category for health insurance coverage. Wyatt said that if the motion passes, the city won't know if they are accepted until the company gets back to the city.
Wyatt's motion received a second from council member Pamala Harris.
Council member Scot Shanks asked for clarification about the action saying that currently only employees who worked over 30 hours a week were eligible for health insurance. Mayor James Mayberry said that the decision to cover or not would be up to Blue Cross.
Crossville city attorney Will Ridley
City attorney Will Ridley said that the resolution classifies the two positions differently then any other contract appointed employee or board member. Ridley stressed that the action would affect him but he was not lobbying one way or the other on the council's vote.
Mayor Mayberry said, “I've seen the attorney's bills and I think he is doing fine and can afford his own insurance.” Mayberry continued that there were several who applied for the judge position and a pay scale was posted at the time. He also pointed out that the pay had been increased with the new new term appointment from $15,000 a year to $20,000 a year.
Crossville city judge Ivy Gardner
“I think the compensation is satisfactory,” added Mayberry, “and I'm not supporting this.”
A roll call vote was called with Mayberry and Shanks voting opposed to the measure. Council members Wyatt, Harris and Graham voted in favor and the motion passed.
Video of health insurance discussion