On July 23, 2015, four members the Board of Supervisors of the Gateway Services Community Development District refused to even discuss Rod Senior’s plan to have district staff contribute $40 per month each toward their $870 per month health insurance premiums.

On August 20, 2015 the same four Board members finally discussed and then formally rejected Supervisor Senior’s cost-sharing plan.

As Senior made his case to the residents and the rest of the Board, three of the other Supervisors were ignoring what Senior was saying. During the first half of Senior outlining his plan, two of the Supervisors were even chattingĀ amongst themselves rather than listening.

In the end, Chariman William Guy, Vice Chairman Margaret Fineberg, Supervisor Gary Neubauer and Supervisor Pam Gill all voted against a plan that would see GSCDD staff pay approximately 5% of their own health insurance premiums, while Gateway residents would pay the remaining 95%.

Senior noted that his plan was a lot like the plans used by Lee County for its employees and would not take effect until May 2016. Senior also said that his plan was similar to Severn Trent’s plan for its employees.

Fineberg pointed out that the residents of the City of Fort Myers pay all premiums for city employee’s health insurance, just as the GSCDD does.

The Vice Chairman also gave an ominous warning that the district could face some tax or legal issues if the employees had to pay premiums that were greater that 9.5% of their take-home pay.

A puzzled Senior countered that his proposal only called for 1% of take-home pay. He had actually already mentioned that fact while he was sharing his proposal, but Fineberg was too busy talkingĀ to someone else at the time to hear what Senior had said.

Assuming there are no other changes, beginning next May the cost the GSCDD employee’s health insurance premiums are expected to be $10,441 per year for each employee, making it a total cost of $125,292.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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