City Referendum Causes Confusion

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POSTED: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 - 6:16pm

UPDATED: Thursday, November 11, 2010 - 8:02am

EL PASO- Voters decided not to give health benefits to same-sex and domestic partners in last night's election, reversing a decision by City Council last year.

A lot of El Pasoans are genuinely confused today after voting yesterday on this proposition.  They say it was the wording that threw them off, and it's caused some controversy the day after elections.

It was a clear vote and the proposition passed by a wide margin.  But clear results don't mean people were clear about what they voted for.

"I feel I'm an average citizen.  I think the way they word these propositions are tricky and confusing and very wrong," said Teresa Provencio.

She's a co-host of the KLAQ Morning Show, and said she chose the option she didn't want, because the wording was unclear.

Co-host Buzz Adams read us a listener e-mail, and said there were a lot just like it.

The proposition doesn't specifically mention city retirees, leading some to believe the now passed measure will bar them from coverage.

Ron Martin is the President of the El Paso Police Association.  He just wants to know one way or the other if retirees will get benefits.

"I want something in writing telling me yes or no, I don't like the 'maybes', 'what ifs', 'how comes', or 'if this does this than this will do that stuff'...I'm not comfortable with that," he told us.

Now we actually got a memo from the city late this afternoon after asking for clarification all day.

In it, the city specifically says it will stop providing benefits to retirees who are eligible for benefits under another employer, meaning if you are a city retiree and you get health insurance from another job, your benefits from the city will stop.

Retirees who don't have other benefits will continue to receive coverage.  It also says foster children will not continue to receive benefits.

One final note.  The memo specifically says the city is expecting legal challenges to these propositions, which means this issue doesn't look like it will end anytime soon, and of course, we will be following it every step of the way.

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Our City Council is suppose to....suppose to serve the will of the citizens of El Paso. They were not elected to act like Gestapo by imposing their personal agendas and opinions that go against El Pasoans. Now there is talk about changing the City Charter - by adding an amendment that support their personal views on how people should do things...all against the will of the citizens of El Paso who have already addressed the subject of Benefits. City Council needs to be removed from office.

If the so-called progressives on city council hadn't started this mess in the first place, there wouldn't be any confusion at all, because the ballot initiative would not have been necessary. The peoples' vote is clear; they don't want to support the perverse lifestyle of gays and lesbians with taxpayer money. Now just watch: the same slimy politicians and their stooges will now try to circumvent the public vote by court action via some church/state separation issue.

City retirees will still have to pay their own insurance premiums, regardless of whether it's offered or not. I don't get why city officials would even consider not offering them the option of continuing coverage.

As far as family values go, I find it sad that the very people who are quick to pass judgment on the gay population are the same "traditional people" who have the biggest skeletons in their own closet. Spare me.

I am shocked! I had no idea Joe Blow off the street could word sensitive, official items like propositions!

The bias expressed was horrendous. I was embarrassed when I read this proposition. Luckily I knew how to vote on this one.

This confusion should attest to the fact that "powers that be" must be more considerate of its citizenry in choosing who words any proposition!

RIGHTEOUS Joe Blow off the street has negatively affected many couples' live

It was more than likely done on purpose to confuse voters. Get it back on the ballot for a vote! EVERYONE needs to be treated equally in every aspect of our society. SO GET YOUR ASS IN GEAR AND MAKE CHANGES!

I agree with the confusion. I had to re-read three times before making my decision. The key word was (Traditional). Traditional in my mind meant standard. Adam and Eve are standard. Adam and Steve are not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Always read propositions carefully. The use of "family values" caused a clamoring to anti-gay sentiment. That kind of verbage is typical for right winged agendas. Well, there goes the neighborhood. Lol.

I agree the wording made one second guess ones own better judgement.. I also voted but not the way I intended.

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