The problem with politics never seems to end. Recently we have seen a neighborhood in the 1400 block of Broadway forced to have a commercial daycare center in a non commercial residential area because wealthy supporters of the mayor and council members owned the home and wanted the commercial daycare located there. This proves that money talks and that the average Great Bend citizen will always take a back seat to the influential unless and until they decide to make changes with their votes. The vast majority of the residents were in opposition and the rule is that if over 20% of the affected people don’t want something then we shouldn’t do it. It didn’t matter there and to me this makes the planning committee and the entire process a joke. I hope the people in the 4th ward remember who their council members were in the next election. And incidentally the property owned by a city councilman on 2nd street is still in violation of the city ordinance requiring ground cover.
Then we have three members of the council trying to get the buddy system back in play by causing turmoil and stress to the city employee’s by taking bids on the city health insurance when the real agenda was to get their buddy awarded the contract at all costs. They played lip service to trying to save the city money and actually caring about the employee’s and that was all it was, lip service. The council decided to appoint a committee which I was on to decide if we really wanted to hire an outside consultant to look at the city health insurance and Dana Dawson and I voted to stay with our current provider and not pay $12,000.00 to the consultant. Dale Westhoff was involved in the buddy system and the council overrode us. Dale Westhoff, Mitch Haney and Nels Kindberg wanted to get the city health insurance given to the local insurance broker because they are buddies with the owner and Mitch works with him. The city has had Blue Cross/Blue Shield for years and has done well with that arrangement. Sometimes the old saying “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” holds true. The consultant told us that due to cost the local bidders had not yet provided and the lasering effect which could make individual employee’s uninsurable he saw no reason for us to change insurance carriers and that we needed to develop a relationship with our health insurance carrier for two to five years. The three friends of the local broker still tried to get their buddy system pushed through led by Nels Lindberg even though the city employee’s and the city itself wanted to retain the current carrier and we paid the consultant $12,000.00 to tell us to stay with the current carrier. I personally have had bad experiences with the local broker and I know several other people who have had bad experiences as well. Some of those people were forced to drop the company insurance and pay for BC/BS themselves. If you look at the complaints filed against the insurance companies there is a large disparity there also. I thank the rest of the council for siding with the city employee’s on this. I hope the city employee’s remember who backed them in the next elections.