A source associated with City Of Myrtle Beach government reached out to us stating that the promised $100,000.00 in per employee health insurance benefits were likely spent and misappropriated by the city on other budget items.
City Source, “_[name redacted]__ in finance says the city does not have the $100,000 put aside for this…that’s why they are doing this. Some of these workers were forced out by the city …. not on their own time to go. So very sad.”
“The city needs to be audited to see were all the insurance money went. Was not suppose to be touched per the state retirement!!“
As InsuranceNewsNet.com reports: Roger Odachowski, president of the Professional FireFighters Association of South Carolina, said the city changing their healthcare coverage for all its employees, is an issue of morality.
“For [the] men and women who have dedicated their lives and careers to the city, whether it was in a contract, we know what’s right and what’s wrong.“
Odachowski spoke during the public comment portion of the council meeting after participating in a news conference held by the Myrtle Beach Professional FireFighters before the meeting. He has been retired for 15 years from another department.
The local firefighter union held a rally outside of the council meeting to protest the changes in their healthcare coverage.
We “have not forgotten the physical and emotional sacrifices of the retired men and women of the Myrtle Beach Fire Department,” the union said in a press release posted to Facebook. “[But] the Myrtle Beach city government has sadly forgotten.”
Marty Eells, who worked for the fire department for 35 years, said the council’s move is no different than defunding the police. He added that healthcare coverage is needed more in the retirement years due to the physical and mental stresses that come from police officers and firefighters’ line of work.
The work we do can “cause injuries and illnesses that go far beyond and shorten our careers,” he said. “So that’s why we need it.”
FORMER FIREFIGHTER MARTY EELLS PLEADS WITH CITY IN VIDEO HERE.
City Spokesperson Mark Kruea said the city currently has 101 retirees under the age of 65. Should any employee die before age 65, unused portions of the entire $100,000 in benefits previously promised are fully turned over to the City of Myrtle Beach.
Using Kruea’s own numbers, MyrtleBeachSC News calculates this equals just over a $10 million windfall for the city.
MyrtleBeachSC News does take into account that many current city workers are disgruntled. We covered this topic last March, noting that the city has a turnover rate 3 times the national average. Leaks like these are now common and the nature of the city’s current toxic work environment has to be taken into account.
NOT THE FIRST TIME CITY MONIES WENT MISSING
In a legal settlement now agreed to by the City of Myrtle Beach, Horry County Schools sued the city for a missing $20 million collected by the city for a school in Market Common.
Although the $20 million was fully collected by the City of Myrtle Beach through Tax Increment Financing for over 20 years, the monies were missing.
As part of the settlement, the city required Horry County Schools to sign a non disclosure agreement so that the terms of the settlement could not be known by the public at large.