New Shelby County Commissioners Are Already Facing Controversy

Local News

Newly sworn-in Shelby County Commissioners are already facing controversy Thursday night and they have outgoing commissioners to thank for it.

They passed a last-minute change to health care benefits that re-defines who is a “retiree.”

The move benefits themselves and 25-hundred county employees and could cost taxpayers up to 10 million dollars a year.

That resolution would go into effect in 2020, but newly sworn in commissioners say it’s one of the things they’ll certainly be taking a look into.

“I know there’s definitely been a lot of response to that and it’s something we’ll definitely be looking at,” said new Commissioner Tami Sawyer.

Moments after taking the oath Sawyer is already considering the work that lies before the nearly all new commission.

In its final meeting this week, the outgoing commissioners voted 7 to 2 in favor of a resolution that would lower the eligibility for health insurance after retirement.

Until now 15 years of service was required for county employees before they could get the benefit.

The newly approved resolution lowers that to 8 years.  

“It is interesting that was done in the last meeting,” said newly sworn-in Commissioner Mickell Lowery. “It gives us some work to do.

Lowery says he thinks the matter needs to be revisited.

“I don’t think they took into account the implications it could have on the new administration and we don’t want to saddle the new mayor with 6 to 10 million dollars in new debt,” said Lowery.

Just how much this could cost Shelby County residents nobody knows right now because there were no studies done before the resolution was approved.

Based upon reaction from new Shelby County Commissioners there’s more to discuss on the matter.

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