Mayor’s Letter to the Citizens of Harahan

On August 20, 2015, the city council voted to grant city provided health insurance to the city council.  This benefit pays 100% of the employee’s premium and 30% of the family members’ premiums.  Baudier, Huete, and Wheeler voted in favor, Johnston voted against, and Benton was absent.  The ordinance passed 3-1.  If all 5 councilmen take full advantage of the benefit it would cost the city $60,000 annually. 

The issue of the city providing the council health insurance has been difficult in part because the city was improperly providing the council paid health insurance since 2013.  The benefit was improper because all compensation, including benefits, must be set by ordinance.  When this administration took office it was discovered than no such ordinance existed.  After seeking expert advice, it was deemed that the city could no longer provide the benefit to the council. 

Another pressing issue pertaining to the health insurance was simply the cost.  During the past administration the city moved from an almost million dollar surplus to a 1.2 million dollar deficit on budget just under 6 million.  Simply put, this administration must do more with less to provide services to our residents. 

On August 28th, I vetoed the passed insurance ordinance that would have nearly doubled City Council compensation. The decision to veto was not made lightly.   It was based on the city’s budgetary constraints and the overwhelming disapproval expressed by residents in letters, emails, phone calls, and personal conversations. 

On September 17, 2015 at 7:30 pm, at the next regularly scheduled city council meeting, the ordinance will be placed back on the agenda as mandated by law to give the council an opportunity to override the veto. In order to override a veto the council will need 4 votes out of 5.

I look forward to working with the City Council on decreasing the deficit and bringing a balanced budget to fruition in Harahan. I invite you to contact me and the council to express your concerns.  Your participation in city government is an essential to Harahan’s success.

Respectfully yours,

Tina Miceli

 

 

 

 
 
Harahan Mayor