It took them a while to get to the point, but the Great Bend City Council kept at it Monday night — despite the impending severe weather threat — to accomplish what was in the best interest of city employees.
They did what makes America great.
The great Civil War historian Shelby Foote once said that the reason we got into that horrible conflict that cost more than a half million American lives was because we failed to do what has always made us great. We failed to compromise.
Sure, he pointed out, we would like to believe that it is the American strength that we are uncompromising, that we stand for what is right and go straight ahead. But that’s not really what has worked at all.
We hope that we move in the right direction, of course, but it is only through compromise that we are able to address the needs of the people.
We, the People, in order to form a more perfect Union, need to take into account the needs of a lot of differing people, and that means that sometimes we have to be willing and able to back up and head in a different direction.
And that brings us back to Monday night.
After extensive discussion it became clear that a decision needed to be made on city employee health insurance and that there were still lots and lots of questions to be answered, and that dumping the whole thing in the lap of the city staff just was not a good answer.
Move ahead with the current insurance and make arrangements to hire a professional consultant who has nothing to gain and nothing to lose and then to get that expert to consider the options for health insurance and report back to the council, which can then make an informed decision — and to do that before the last minute next year.
Doubtless, this decision did not make everyone happy.
A compromise rarely does.
But it should serve the community well, and that is what the council is bound to do.
Well, they did it.
— Chuck Smith