City Repeals Health Benefits Decision
POSTED: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - 5:25pm
UPDATED: Monday, November 7, 2011 - 12:51pm
EL PASO - After hours of heated debate the city council and Mayor Cook have overturned a voter initiative from last November.
Last year, 55 percent of voters approved a measure to end health benefits for unmarried partners of city employees.
But, because of how that initial ballot was worded, some city council members thought it also took benefits away from retirees and foster children. Today’s vote restores everyone's health benefits to what they were before the November election, but not everybody agrees with the move.
"To me the most fundamental of all basic civil rights is a right to vote and have the vote counted and today the mayor and the city council stripped the voters of their rights to have their votes counted," says Pastor Tim Brown.
"It wasn't a matter of city council trying to egregiously not recognize the vote and the will of the people instead this was an issue about whether or not city council has a responsibility to enforce good legislation and to protect the interest of all of their employees," says Antonio Williams, El Paso voter.
The benefits of all of the people mentioned in the ordinance were never taken away. However, had this amendment not passed, they would have lost their benefits in August.