Concord Citizen Speaks Out: 'Can We End Concord City Council Excessive Benefits?'

File photo.
File photo.

Written and submitted by Terry Kremin:

Help wanted: Part time, flexible hours, lifetime healthcare after 5 years of employment! 

Sound too good to be true? It SHOULD, but this is exactly what the members of the Concord City Council award the members of the Concord City Council. 

That’s right – they negotiate that benefit with the city manager, and then get to approve their own benefit negotiation with a person they chose and hired, and who they get to set salary and benefits for. Wondered about run away city manager salaries? 

Now you can stop wondering.

This sounds appropriate for dignitaries with entitlement issues, but it sure doesn’t sound right for public servants, especially ones constantly talking about how we have to reduce the city’s unfunded liabilities. 

Simple – start with your own benefits – that is something you can very easily renegotiate and have full control over! 

I keep hearing “it’s complicated.” Not really. No more than any other contract negotiation – it is only as complicated as the people involved make it. 

If Concord Police officers came forward and offered to cut their long term benefits in half, I guarantee you it would happen fast, and would not be “complicated”. 

This has been an issue in the last two elections. But then somehow seems to disappear after the election.  

Two incumbents will be getting their five years in if re-elected – maybe after they get theirs they will talk about ending it? It is time it ends now. We have waited long enough, and it seems clear that individual comments are falling on deaf ears. 

Regretfully, we the voters have no direct say in the city council’s benefits and compensation (something that needs to change), and our only option right now is to ask them nicely to remove this ridiculous perk. 

Even a question on the ballot would only be a suggestion and nonbinding (but cost the city to put on the ballot). That is why I am circulating these petitions (http://www.kremin.us/petition.pdf). 

Please download a copy and distribute widely. There are directions on the form on getting them back to me. 

Maybe if we can get enough signatures asking nicely they will reconsider and alter their benefit package.  Hey, I am an optimist. If not, we have only one other option come November.  

Once I hit a critical mass of signature, I will announce when they will be presented to the City Council.  

Current plan is first council meeting of August, Once it is set, I hope you will join me in presenting them to the council.  

Signed by Terry Kremin


Terry Kremin, PhD




El Comentarista June 10, 2014 at 12:56 PM
Why don't you just run for council? It doesnt sound like the benefits are that great, they make what like 2000 a month?
Terry Kremin June 12, 2014 at 01:20 PM
See reply below - I consider lifetime healthcare a huge benefit. It is currently a part time job - why should they get more benefits than the other part time workers (and increasing number) that make our city function? Less entitlement and dignitary mentality, more public servant.
Terry Kremin June 12, 2014 at 01:02 PM
I will be running for Council! Problem is that we have 5 Council members - its takes a yes vote by three members. Two yes votes on the issue will not be enough (Edi Birsan has also been a long term critic of this perk). They just formed a special committee to "research" the issue (Hoffmesiter and Helix). My expectation is that they will make the change for all newly elected moving forward, but that currently serving will retain the benefit.


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