Aldermen discuss insurance for future aldermen

By Amanda McBride
The Choctaw Plaindealer
Future new aldermen for the Town of Ackerman will not be offered health insurance after the August 7 Ackerman Board of Aldermen meeting. 
The board briefly discussed the option of not offering future new aldermen health insurance in their July meeting but took no action. 
In the August 7 meeting, Mayor Dick Cain brought it up for discussion stating it costs the Town of Ackerman $410 per month per employee with health insurance. 
Ward 4 Alderman Dale Reid said, “I don’t think we need do it right now.”
The board discussed Obama Care and how the new provisions could affect the town and costs of health insurance. 
Alderman at Large Carl “Barney” Phelps said it seems necessary to not offer health insurance to future new alderman because no one know what the government will do with health insurance. 
All full-time Town of Ackerman employees are offered health insurance, but not part-time employees. 
Ward 3 Alderman George Rooks asked Cain when the board needs to do it. Cain said they are looking into the future. 
This would only affect future new aldermen. For example, if a new alderman is elected in an upcoming election that person will not be offered health insurance. If a current alderman is re-elected for consecutive terms then they would have the option of health insurance. 
“Let’s face it; you’re here one hour a month outside of phone calls. To me that’s part-time. That’s a lot of money for part-time,” said Cain. 
A short discussion followed with Ward 2 Alderman Tommy Curtis making the motion to not offer future new aldermen health insurance with a second from Phelps. It was approved in a 4-1 vote with Reid voting against it. 
The Board of Aldermen also discussed the possibility of applying for a trash permit. They discussed the different types of permits possible to permit 40 acres of land to haul “yard waste” with Public Works Director Mike Brasher. Yard waste would include only leaves, limbs, and shrubbery. The permitted area would only be open to the town, not the public. 
The board approved to allow Stanley Spradling to proceed with yard waste permit.
The board also approved the following:
-Invoices from Golden Triangle for technical assistance and grant preparation $1,000 and home delivered meals funds $1,703. 
-Ackerman High School Booster Club $100 advertising fee.
-Resolution for 2012 CDBG proposed maintenance sewer plan grant with MDA.
-Expense (supper) for the Council of Government meeting at Pap’s. 
-Travel for Tonya Woods to the Municipal Court Clerk training in Jackson on Sept. 6-7.