6 City Council members collect health benefits

November 18, 2018

Mayor-elect Cal Sheehy is the only member of the Lake Havasu City Council who does not use some form of city health benefits.

Six members of the seven-member council have opted in to the city’s medical, dental and vision plans provided to employees, costing the city at least $46,800 each year.

The issue of council compensation was raised last week when council members were asked to consider doubling their own salaries from $650 to $1211 a month. Councilman Gordon Groat made a motion at Tuesday’s council meeting to approve the proposal, but it died when no other councilmember seconded it.

City employees can pay between $16 and $229 a month for plans, depending on the benefits they choose. Options include health, dental and vision insurance. They can also elect to sign up their immediate family members. The city pays between $560 and $1,440 per month per employee depending on the plan they choose.

Mayor Mark Nexsen and his wife have been on the health plan for about five years, he said. He now uses Medicare, and his city benefits will expire when he leaves office next month. His coverage plan, which includes medical, vision and dental insurance, costs $142.50 for Nexsen and his wife. The city pays $1,058 per month.

Mayor-elect Cal Sheehy said he doesn’t use the city’s medical benefits. Sheehy said he receives benefits through his employment as general manager of London Bridge Resort.

Councilmember David Lane pays for only medical coverage for him and his wife. Lane pays $134 a month, with the city paying $978.

Councilwoman Donna McCoy said she doesn’t use the city’s medical benefits, but she does pay into the vision and dental insurance through the city. For medical coverage, she uses Medicare and her husband’s insurance, she said. An individual employee does not pay for dental- and vision-only insurance. The city pays $46 a month for those benefits.

Jeni Coke, Michele Lin and Gordon Groat did not respond to requests by the News-Herald for comment by Friday night. An email provided by Jess Knudson, city manager, indicated that Lin, Groat and Coke all pay into the same plan as Nexsen. The email did not specify whether the three council members also have a spouse or children in their plan.

Council members also have the option of using a city-issued cell phone, though none of them use it. They receive iPads that use internet plans paid for by the city so they can check their email remotely.

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