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BETTER CHOICE 2011 Tax Collector candidate David Miller: "The problems I'm seeing in Killingworth"

BETTER CHOICE 2011 Tax Collector candidate David Miller discusses his experiences from going door to door, and presents a request for Republican First Selectman candidate William Romero

 

Since my victory at the Republican primary, I have been spending considerable time going door to door.  I find that residents continue to be outraged on the tax increase and the medical insurance buy-out, which I promise I will refuse.  I have not heard from my opponent with a similar pledge.

Residents are hurting financially.  On my school bus route, parent after parent approach me with the statement “Mr. Miller, I’m afraid I may have to move because the taxes are killing us”.  

The most recent outrage of residents is the new Town Hall program.  This really sends them off.  A new $2.5 million dollar town Hall is hard to swallow, and they cannot understand why Mr. McMahon or the Board of Selectman have not put this on hold.

I also find residents approve of my planned closing of the tax collector’s office every Monday, closing later on Thursday evenings and opening a few scheduled hours on specific Saturdays.  Residents appreciate this attention to their needs, and I am confident the town hall team will eventually agree.

Mr. Romero, I need to ask for your help.  You have certainly read my opponent’s August 17th letter stating her dismissal of the idea of changing the tax collector’s office hours.  She clearly has no intention of going the extra mile in making town hall more helpful for the people of Killingworth, and in fact she has no intention of even going the extra yard.  Many people have personally told me this is what they wanted, and it is our obligation as elected officials to help the people however possible.

Mr. Romero, will you endorse my plan to change the tax collector’s office hours?  This is an issue that is larger than either of us.

Thank you.

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kathy October 21, 2011 at 11:37 PM
I think a lot of people do not understand what a "buy out" is, I being one. Could someone please briefly explain. Thank you, Kathy
carolyn October 22, 2011 at 01:20 AM
Kathy; a "buy-out" or benefit incentive, is offered in corporate and municipal settings each year when employees have open-enrollment for benefit selection. By law, a company does not have to offer some benefits to its employees. Once offered, they must be offered consistently to all employees by job-grade. Medical benefits is one of them. It is no secret that medical benefits are a hot subject. Due to the rising costs and realignment of insurance companies and federal legislation, small business and large corporations have been forced to find alternatives to shift this necessary burden on the operational budget. This measure saves a corporation thousands of dollars not just in premium, but in administration costs. In the end, they have provided the employee with a very important benefit and lowered their bottom line significantly. I have worked in Human Resources for more than 15 years, in two industries and this is a common practice in major corporations and small business across the country. The buy-out or incentive is taxed to the employee as income, it is not a bonus. Most corporations today are switching to high-deductible HSA programs where the family deductible is upwards of 7000.00 per year on top of the cost of the benefits to begin with. I hope this helps…
carolyn October 22, 2011 at 01:51 AM
Mr. Adametz: I have to respond to your comment that 'the buy-out is "under the table" income for greedy elected officials.' The benefit offered saves the town significant dollars and is taxable to the employee. In addition, if you do not accept the town's benefits, and do not take the buy-out and you do not have a spouse who has benefits, the cost and probability of having your individual application for medical benefits approved today is cost prohibitive. My opinion is that this piece of the election platform is going to cause you more trouble down the road as the landscape of medical benefits changes. I hope you have looked into the new legislation and medical reform. Some of what you are proposing will not fit under the new laws. If you do not offer the buy-out, and the insurance carrier issues a 50 percent increase the following year, how will the town respond and stay within budget, and still offer the benefits?
Sandra October 22, 2011 at 03:41 AM
- so, let me get this straight... none of you want benefits to go to the dr... and what if your spouse gets laid-off... will you give up your position to save the town, because you need benefits next year? I don't believe you...
Bill Romero October 22, 2011 at 12:01 PM
Carolyn, I have 30 years experience in business and risk management and 25 years in the insurance industry. I don't agree with Mr. Adametz's description of the "buy-out" described as "under the table" or un-ethical. However, the days of offering a "buy out" benefit are most likely behind us due to the financial climate and legislation that is geared toward forcing businesses to provide health insurance to employees. In today's economic climate, to offer a "buy-out" to an employee is not a good business practice, my opinion. We can debate numerous business models that show both sides. Sandra, if someone looses their job and their health benefits, that person would likely go on COBRA, and if a Town employee, would then sign on the Town insurance at the next open enrollment. The biggest point to make is we are talking about one of the philosophical differences between Republicans and Democrats. As a Republican, a fiscal conservative, I don't believe you need to spend money just because it is in "the budget". I am referring to the "50% increase in cost"... The increase or decrease would have been there regardless. If we saved money the previous year, I don't think we should have spent the money anyway to make sure we didn't have to show a potential increase in the next budget year, what Carolyn is referring to. My BOE friend and candidate Jim Lippert calls this "spending down the budget." We need fiscal conservatism now more than ever.

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