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Yorkville council keeps health insurance for current members

Yorkville Mayor  Gary Golinski

Yorkville Mayor Gary Golinski

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Updated: December 20, 2012 6:10AM

YORKVILLE – Going forward, the mayor and aldermen elected to the Yorkville City Council will be ineligible to receive taxpayer-funded health insurance.

But those who currently serve on the council will be able to receive the benefit for as long as they stay on the elected board.

The City Council approved the arrangement in a 6-2 vote this week.

Mayor Gary Golinski termed it a compromise between those aldermen who receive the insurance, and those who don’t.

“This is a benefit that has been offered, and it’s not fair to just cut it off,” Golinski said. “I think the fairest way is to eliminate it is through attrition.”

The next city election is in April 2013, and any current aldermen re-elected to a four- or two-year term can continue to receive insurance. But if any challengers to those incumbents should be elected, they would not be eligible.

Golinski, who does not take the insurance, has made previous comments that he would like to it eliminated for the council.

Aldermen were split. Jackie Milshewski, 2nd Ward, and Diane Teeling, 4th Ward, both said the city should eliminate the insurance for all members of the council after the 2013 election.

“I feel we should make a clean break of it,” Milshewski said.

They were only two aldermen to vote against the mayor’s proposal.

Alderman Larry Kot, 2nd Ward, who has received the benefit but no longer does, suggested that insurance for aldermen be discontinued after the April 2017 election.

“I would like to see a sunset at some point,” he said.

His suggestion failed after a tie vote, which Golinski broke.

Aldermen who take the insurance and have defended the practice in the past, such as Carlo Colosimo, 1st Ward, and Rose Spears, 4th Ward, who said the mayor’s proposal was the best.

“If it doesn’t continue, or does continue, residents will vote what they think,” Spears said. “My people have elected me so far, and they knew (insurance) was included.”

Colosimo said since his stance has been public, he has gotten feedback both ways from residents in his ward.

“I have no trouble phasing it out,” he said.

The insurance costs the city about $100,000 a year out of its general fund, although it has gone as high as $150,000 in the past.

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