Janesville72°

Will extending domestic partner benefits attract top-notch city employees?

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Steve Knox
November 13, 2012

I'll admit it - I had and still have heartburn over the domestic partner health benefit piece that was added to the city council agenda last night by Russ Steeber and Sam Leibert. I have heartburn because they are going through the budget with a fine-tooth comb to cut. Meanwhile, the council voted to extend benefits last night with a yet to be determined cost to the taxpayers.

I once worked for a company that offered domestic partner health benefits. The rules and stipulations were in place and it made sense to me for one reason - it was a global company and those benefits could sway an employee that the company was recruiting. My question to the council is - By adding this benefit will you be able to attract top-notch employees? Does adding this benefit give you the inside track on hiring the best of the best as you look to your current employees to reduce costs?

I support city department heads and staff. They've been creative and have worked hard to find cuts and generate revenue over the last few years as Janesville finds its way through the recession. Some of those revenue ideas have been denied by the council. Police and fire are pleading their case for needed equipment. We need a fire department to replace the one on Milton Avenue (tour it...it's a need). The council has also asked more 'friends groups' to step forward to help with our parks to cut costs. Meanwhile, the vote to add to the overhead of the taxpayers with this benefit without much public debate has me scratching my head.

What are your thoughts? Do you think the council made the right decision by voting 'yes' to adding domestic partner benefits?



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