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Letter: Writer says council benefit is too much

On June 7, 2017, the City Council passed Resolution 17-74 on the Consent Calendar of the publicly posted agenda (Resolution 17-74 is viewable on the City of Madera website under Council Agendas) granting themselves health insurance at the taxpayers’ expense.

I believe that this was placed on the Consent Calendar to partially conceal the matter from the public unless someone in the public read the accompanying staff report. This item was voted on with other items so that there would be no open public discussion unless one of the Council Members pulled the item from the Consent Calendar for discussion.

The vote was unanimous.

This resolution granted each Council Member varying degrees of money based on their perceived needs for health insurance. Those Council Members electing not to take the insurance would receive a $300.00 per month stipend.

Only two members of the Council elected to take the insurance for themselves and their family; Mayor Medellin and Council Member Rodriguez.

In 2017 the amount that Mayor Medellin received was approximately $25,000 (according to Transparent California) and Councilman Rodriguez received approximately $23,000 (Transparent California) while all the other council members received $3,600 each.

Extrapolating these numbers forward, the City has spent approximately $66,000 per year for insurance (for what is essentially part time help) which amounts to 6 percent of the projected $1 million budget deficit. Over the last two years this amounts to $132,000 of the taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars.

It is my opinion that if we as taxpayers are to offer anything at all to council members it should be no more than $300 per month, as these positions are not full time positions. Do the honorable thing for Madera, council members, and right this wrong for the benefit of the entire community.

— Michael Pistoresi,

DMP Development Corp.

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