Same insurance deductible retained for county employees

Staff reporter

It was important to the Marion County Commission to maintain the same health insurance benefits for county employees.

At Friday's meeting, the commission approved the same Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance plan as approved in 2007, despite a seven percent cost increase.

Single, employee insurance policies went from $394 in 2007 to $421 in 2008 with a $1,000 deductible.

Commission chairman Bob Hein said he didn't want to increase the deductibles for employees and wanted to stay with the current plan.

The commission had several options which included higher deductibles for employee and family policies at a cost savings.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said he wanted people to realize when writing to the Marion County Record's "Your Turn" column and complaining about no pay increases for county employees, to realize that there might not be one because of the insurance increase.

County clerk Carol Maggard pointed out that the commission had already approved a merit pay increase for 2008.

Keeping the same plan will cost the county $3,000 per month and $36,000 from May 1 to April 30, 2008.

The commission had allowed a 28 to 30 percent increase in this year's budget.

In other business:

— After much deliberation, the commission did not agree on the purchase of a new copier for the clerk's office.

Dallke was in favor of going with the top-of-the-line Xerox-brand copier for $11,169 from Office Plus of Kansas, making a motion that died for a lack of a second.

Hein and Holub wanted to go with the low bid of $7,265 for a Savin-brand copier from Century Business Systems, with Holub making the motion and Hein seconding. The motion carried 2-1, with Dallke voting against.

Other proposals were from Business Systems, Inc., for a Konica Minolta-brand for $8,482; Key Office, Canon, $9,794; Image Quest, Xerox, $8,900; and Dick's Business Machines, Copy Star, $8,884.

A total of $8,000 was encumbered for the purchase.

— The commission canvassed the results of the primary election for two Marion City Council seats. The official result totals were Gerald Henderson, 155; Steve Smith, 146; Katherine DeFilippis, 143; Bill Holdeman, 141; and Jerry Kline, 132.

One provisional ballot was opened and included in the final tally.

— Dallke asked for a five-minute executive session with the commission to discuss personnel. The meeting reconvened with no decisions.

— Sheriff Lee Becker asked for and received a five-minute executive session to discuss personnel.

When the meeting reconvened, the commission approved to extend a 12-week family leave for an employee.

The next commission meeting is Monday at the courthouse. The commission will meet at 8 a.m. to review job applications for the county department for elderly coordinator. The regular commission meeting will convene at 9 a.m.