City Council Told Cost Of Adding Domestic Partner Benefits Would Be $168,000 Or Less

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The cost of extending benefits to city employees with domestic partners is estimated to be in the range of $168,000 per year, City Council members were told Tuesday afternoon.

Todd Dockery, city human resources director, said some private businesses and cities that have added the adding the policy have seen no cost increase. He said it would help the city in recruiting workers.

He said the city of Louisville, Ky, estimated 400 persons would be added for health coverage, but has only 39.

An overflow crowd was at the meeting to give their opinions on the subject. Those opposed got red tickets and those for green tickets. Those whose names were drawn from the pile of tickets got to speak. The two sides took turns in making presentations.

The council plans to vote on first reading next Tuesday and on second reading the following Tuesday.

Mr. Dockery said the proposed ordinance includes both same-sex and opposite sex unmarried partners. It extends to children of the employee's spouse.

Mr. Dockery said his research shows that the cost of providing health coverage to a domestic partner  is not higher than to other employees.

Wade Hinton, city attorney, said there would be an enrollment period next spring and it would go into effect July 1 if it passes. 

Councilman Larry Grohn, noting that the state Constitution and state policy do not recognize domestic partnerships, said the policy gives "tactic approval" to partnerships outside of marriage. Attorney Hinton said the city was not enlarging the definition of marriage. 

Keith Cochran, with a red ticket, read the 10 Commandments to the council and said passing the ordinance amounts to helping achieve the goal of the Communists to break down morality in the U.S.

Pam Rumancik of the Unitarian Universalist Church said those opposing the measure were taking the position that their neighbors should have fewer benefits than themselves.

Anthony Crisp wanted to know why the policy cannot apply to brothers living together or brother and sister. Attorney Hinton said it applies to "non-platonic" relationships. Mr. Crisp said, "I see our City Council trying to implement same-sex marriages in violation of our Constitution." He said the next step would be to recognize multiple partners by Mormons or Muslims.

Michael Gilliland said if the policy is voted down that some city employees would choose to leave and others would be demoralized.

The next speaker said it was the work of the devil and morally wrong.

Jane Edgy spoke of liberty and justice for all. 

Attorney Scott Bergthold said sections of the ordinance, including a section affecting speech in the anti-harassment part, violate the First Amendment. He said if a male city employee who considers himself a female goes into the women's restroom, then a female inside would not be allowed to object. Attorney Hinton said the ordinance covers those who are transgender.

Ann Weeks said, "This is about social justice. Social justice is what love looks like in public."

Tommy Crangle told the council the measure is anti-family and would weaken the family.

Leroy Griffith said the Bible stresses justice, while Robert Boykin referred to the Bible's censure of those "with a reprobate mind."

Perrin Lance called the ordinance "a good thing. This is going to support families and support unity. Spiritually, it is a a very good thing for the city to do."

Sgt. Craig Joel of the city police department said he opposes it "based on a business decision." He said the city was adding an expense, while still not fully funding police officers.

Bryce Current of the Metro Community Church said, "This ordinance is good for Chattanooga" and would help retain good employees.

Click here for the Domestic Partners FAQs, and here for the Domestic Partnership Overview.


Judge Breen Dismisses Case Against Chattanooga Police Detective And City

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Georgia Coronavirus Deaths Go To 65; Cases Jump To 2,130


Attorneys Bryan Hoss and Janie Varnell with Davis & Hoss, P.C. representing a Chattanooga Police detective won a victory before the United States District Court Judge Daniel Breen in a civil ... (click for more)

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: BEDWELL, TONI LYNN 101 STEPHENSON DR FORT OGLETHORPE, 30742 Age at Arrest: 31 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County THEFT OF ... (click for more)

Georgia state health officials said Friday that 65 people in the state have died of the coronavirus. That total is up from 38 on Tuesday. The cases have spiraled to 2,130 - up from 1,387 on ... (click for more)




Breaking News

Judge Breen Dismisses Case Against Chattanooga Police Detective And City

Attorneys Bryan Hoss and Janie Varnell with Davis & Hoss, P.C. representing a Chattanooga Police detective won a victory before the United States District Court Judge Daniel Breen in a civil rights lawsuit involving a suspect’s claims against the detective and the Chattanooga Police Department. Nearly three years ago, August 2017, Detective Mike Early saw a suspect with an ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: BEDWELL, TONI LYNN 101 STEPHENSON DR FORT OGLETHORPE, 30742 Age at Arrest: 31 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County THEFT OF PROPERTY UNDER $1,000 --- BICKERSTAFF, XAVIER KANE 2300 WILSON ST CHATTANOOGA, 37406 Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting Agency: Collegedale Police DOMESTIC ASSAULT VIOLATION ... (click for more)

Opinion

Focus On Treating COVID-19, Not The Blame

Our novice senator needs a lesson in first responder process. The house is on fire and she has run off to find who brought the matches. There will be plenty of time to do this hunt of witches. Now is the time to focus on what the whole of Tennessee needs from the good senator. That being hospitals, care facilities and health departments having the tools and supplies they need ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: And Now Horror Begins

CNN’s famed newsman Wolf Blitzer repeatedly hammered New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell in a live interview on Thursday for not cancelling this year’s Marti Gras carnival. It is widely believed that Mardi Gras, which brings an estimated 1.4 million revelers into the city, will be the reason that Louisiana will soon become the new epicenter for the deadly and very swift coronavirus. ... (click for more)

Sports

Dalton State's Randy Bell And Kevon Tucker Named NAIA All-Americans

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Dalton State senior guards Randy Bell and Kevon Tucker were named to the NAIA All-American team on Wednesday. Bell garnered first team honors, while Tucker was named honorable mention. Since the Roadrunners became eligible for awards and postseason play in 2014, at least one men's basketball player has made the All-American list. Bell led the Roadrunners ... (click for more)

3 UTC Amigos: Ryan, Vila, Jean-Baptiste Completed Rare Feat

The Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball 2020 edition did a few special things throughout the season. The squad made its mark in the history books while going 20-13, 10-8 in the Southern Conference, and finishing a whisker away from their 24th SoCon Tournament Championship game appearance. GoMocs.com takes a look at this crew’s historical touches. Today’s installment focuses on ... (click for more)