By S. Robert Perry
July 21, 2011 (Otay) -- This is a letter sent to Director Robak relating to his vote against the "blank check" benefit adopted by the Otay Water District's Board. It points out some of the objections to this open-ended forever benefit adopted by the Otay Water District's Board. Hopefully there will be enough public reaction to cause the four who approved this multi-million dollar gift of public funds to look at what they've done and reverse the decision.
Director Mark Robak
Otay Water District
2554 Sweetwater Springs Blvd.
Spring Valley, CA 91978-2004
You are to commended on your recent vote against granting lifetime health benefits to district employees. Your vote reflects the feelings of your district's residents who do not have such generous and unearned benefits.
Without a clear idea of the ultimate cost to the district, adoption of this benefit, a gift of public funds, is reckless and arrogant. With the yearly increases in health insurance outpacing inflation the cost of this benefit could exceed half a million dollars per employee and even as much a one million or more per employee over a lifetime. In fact there is no defined limit as to how high it could go. A blank check!! That's a dangerous and risky way to run any business and particularly a public agency.
By contrast the City of El Cajon has adopted a very reasonable health benefit for all of its employees including it's safety personnel. Each employee is given $8,300 per year to spend as they see fit on health, medical, dental and vision benefits. Any amount not spent on health benefits can be used by the employee as taxable income. Unlike benefits tied to what health insurers charge each year, which increase year after year, El Cajon's contribution remains the same unless the city council chooses to increase it. They have total control over their health benefit costs. That could be a model for your district.
Thank you for being a voice of reason and representing you districts rate payers instead of your district's employees who are already well compensated.
S. ROBERT PERRY
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