Posts Tagged ‘Joshua Garry’

ID-100253379

Photo courtesy of winnond / FreeDigitalPhotos.net http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1970

Clay County employees are fearful this week because Presiding Commissioner Pam Mason is terrorizing them with lies and misinformation yet again. This week she is scaring them about their health insurance.

 

In an effort to manipulate employees into pressuring Commissioner Luann Ridgeway to approve the contract for an employee benefit consultant quickly and without question, Mason has told her staff to scare County employees into believing their health insurance benefits will be cancelled if Ridgeway doesn’t approve the contract immediately.

 

This is not true. The County has separate, stand alone contracts with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Delta Dental and EyeMed Vision that are not at all affected by whether or not the county has a contract with Garry & Associates.

 

A benefit consultant is used to evaluate insurance plans offered by insurance companies and negotiate rates with them for the benefit of the company buying its employees health insurance.  They are frequently used by local governments to help ensure that citizen resources are used in the most cost effective way possible.

 

For several meetings now, the County Commission has had Resolution 2014-137, a contract for employee benefit consulting with Garry & Associates, on its agenda for approval. http://webdocs.claycogov.com/resord/docserv.php?id=2014-137 Commissioner Ridgeway has asked for more information before renewing the contract with Garry & Associates.  Ridgeway’s request is that a contract amendment be made that will allow more transparency in this agreement – and all future contracts the Presiding Commissioner signs on behalf of Clay County taxpayers.

 

Before Garry & Associates, the County had a contract with CBiz for employee benefit consulting. The County’s $38,500 contract with CBiz was replaced last year after a meeting that occurred behind closed doors on June 3, 2013. The replacement contract was a $90,000 contract awarded to Garry & Associates. Yes, $51,500 more than what the County was paying to CBiz for the exact same services. This year the contract with Garry & Associates is proposed to be renewed for $91,890.

 

This means Clay County taxpayers are paying an additional $51,500 each year for the benefit consultant alone. If citizens were saving that much or more on the amount the County pays for employee benefits, that would justify the County Commission’s decision last year to spend the extra money with Garry & Associates. However, citizens actually are paying 6% more for County employees’ health insurance this year.  This is approximately $260,000 in added costs to taxpayers on top of the $51,500. http://webdocs.claycogov.com/resord/docserv.php?id=2013-349

 

Joshua Garry, the owner of Garry & Associates, contributed $1,000 on 9/14/12 to Gene Owen’s campaign for Commissioner and $650 on 4/9/2008.

 

It has cost Clay County taxpayers more than $310,000 this year to pay back yet another friend of this County Commission.

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