Gaston Co. Commissioners Approve Health Benefits, Taxpayers Outraged

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GASTON COUNTY, NC — Some taxpayers in Gaston County are outraged that County Commissioners voted to give themselves extended health benefits on the taxpayers dime.

Commissioners passed the measure unanimously Tuesday night.  It allows any elected commissioner who serves an entire four-year term the option to keep their health benefits until they are old enough for Medicare.  The added perk comes at a time when the county is facing increased health care costs.


“If corporate America does not extend these benefits to part-time employees after only four years of service, why should our county government do the same for elected officials?” said Gaston County Democratic Party Chair Robert Kellogg.


“We receive, if we broke it down hourly, I’d be surprised, after taxes, if it was much more than $5 or $6 an hour.  We don’t get the kind of remuneration that counties around us and nationally get,” said Gaston County Commissioner Tom Keigher (R).


Another concern voiced by some is that the same benefits are not available to any other part-time employees in the county.