Retired Battalion Chief Martin Eells retired after 35 years of amazing service to the City of Myrtle Beach.
Today, Eells addressed Mayor Brenda Bethune and Myrtle Beach City Council about their decision to terminate all retired and soon to retire city employee health benefits.
City Manager Fox Simons said that the city was looking at options, but would not be able to make any decisions for at least seven to 10 days.
Mayor Brenda Bethune, Councilman Mike Lowder, Councilman Gregg Smith and Councilwoman Jackie Hatley are up for reelection next Tuesday, November 2nd.
This timeline allows incumbents to leave this issue in limbo as they seek reelection. All have remained silent on what the city fully intends to do.
Eells also spoke with MyrtleBeachSC News after the city council session. Said Eells, “We had a meeting and we were notified that we were going to lose our healthcare insurance and be forced into the [Obamacare] marketplace. So they were going to cancel our insurance January 2022.”
Added Eells, “We lose our healthcare insurance. We lose our dental, our vision. We lose our MRI discount capabilities. We lose the city clinic where we are known by the doctors there.”
“We have a benefit that we have earned through public service and now that earned benefit is being taken away from us,” said Eells.
All of these retired and soon to be retired employees put in life long service to the city.
“I don’t know what they want,” said Eells. “Do they want to look at the new numbers coming out in November? Well, apparently those numbers are going to be a lot higher in the marketplace. Anything less than restoring our benefits completely, would be unsatisfactory. There’s no compromise here.“
While City Council and Mayor Brenda Bethune continue in their attempts to skirt the issue, former and current city employee frustrations only grow.