City Referendum Causes Confusion
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.