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New city council in Warren rescinds lifetime health insurance for former city council

City of Warren

Two months after Warren's outgoing city council members quietly voted to give themselves and their spouses lifetime health insurance, members of the new city council voted to take it back.

Six of the seven current members of the Warren City Council are new to the job.

City Council President Pat Green says the costly benefit would be unfair to city taxpayers. He calls the unanimous vote a no brainer. 

Green says the former city council didn't even ask what the impact on Warren's budget would be.

"What's that, $12,000 a year for another 50 years? That's just for one person," says Green. "They didn't even do the actuarial. It could have been in the millions, easily."

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said he learned about the vote too late to veto it.

Green says there were other problems with the former council's action. He says the wording of the amendment to an employee health insurance measure was so vague, it could have potentially retroactively applied to any employee who worked for the city for eight years.

Other city of Warren employees do get retiree health insurance, but only after serving 25 years or longer.

The city's council members can only serve 12 years.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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