Comments

  • bighorn: I suggest you attempt to contact the individual Precincts and see who is on duty.

    As I understand your statement, you would prefer the Commissioner's stay in their offices at the Precincts during duty hours to be available for contact. Most working crews I see along our roads and highways are not sitting in offices; they are working on the projects. The assumption you are making is because they are not in the precinct office they are not working.

    I would request more and better proof than an unanswered phone prior to agreeing with you. Do you have more or better proof?

    August 19, 2010 at 10:58 a.m.
  • I suggest you attempt to contact the individual Precincts and see who is on duty.

    August 19, 2010 at 6:09 a.m.
  • Kind of makes you think that someone might want to look a little more closely into the city and see how things are going? Wonder how close they are to laying people off. Of course, higher ups will surely say they are doing a great job financially and money is fine.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:20 p.m.
  • holly1 The hospital is a COUNTY hospital and they do have the same insurance as the other county employees. BOONE_CHAPMAM is the carrier.

    The County and CMC do not have the same benefits in their insurance plan. Boon Chapman is the Third Party Administrator. They pay the bills of the plans. They do not design the benefits and they do not determine how much the employees pay or how much the County pays for their portion of the plan. As a self-insured plan, the Commissioners’ Court determines benefits and how much everyone pays. Yes, those benefits have changed over the years. There are no longer co-pays except for generic prescriptions. The plan is now an 80/20 plan after a deductible with a free clinic, which includes, primary care, physicals, lab work, diabetes supplies, and a $25 dollar co-pay for prescription drugs.

    Unfortunately, serious illness cannot be treated through a clinic. In some cases you are facing chemo, radiation or dialysis. These treatments mean the maximum someone will pay is $5000 per year. With the cost of these treatments I don’t believe $5000 is criminal, it can be overwhelming and frightening. Thankfully, hospitals will work with individuals to pay these bills over time. They worked with my spouse and me when faced with surgery.

    holly1employee contributions to retirement plans droped from 7 to 5% saving them 2%. He makes that seem like a big stroke but it will not even come close to covering the increase in insurance costs so the employee's get screwed again by losing retirement income.

    No for some the 2% will not cover the increase in insurance costs. It probably will if you are just covering yourself. If you have dependents you correct it may not cover all of the cost. But it will cover some of it. What recommendations or solutions do you have to try and offset some of the costs for the employees?

    bighorn I know of at least three commissioners that work largely in their own business and regard this as a part time profession.

    Can you provide facts or in any way support this statement?

    August 18, 2010 at 9:03 a.m.
  • How about a full time County Court? They get full time pay, why not work at least 40 hours a week. I know of at least three commissioners that work largely in their own business and regard this as a part time profession. You can't ever reach them and their "foremen" will readily let you know they are never around.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:45 a.m.
  • employee contributions to retirement plans droped from 7 to 5% saving them 2%. He makes that seem like a big stroke but it will not even come close to covering the increase in insurance costs so the employee's get screwed again by losing retirement income when they retire while MR POZZI makes it seem like they are getting a 2% increase in takehome pay. Does anyone else see how stupid that remark was. How can they just change retirement plans at a whim costing the WORKERS both ways. (lower retirement benefits and Higher insurance costs so effectively losing a fair amount in income now and later. A double hit to their income that has been already slashed by furloughs and forced time off with-out pay. I know times are tough but the upper level folks need to feel the pain as well as the little guy.

    August 17, 2010 at 11 p.m.
  • VTXProud

    When I do seek care I PAY my bills so how do you have to pay for me???? I just don't seek that care for every little sniffle like some who are on welfare do!!!

    August 17, 2010 at 10:44 p.m.
  • So the county has money to buy and bulldoze several buildings downtown, which now looks like a third world country by the way. Then build an unnecessary and expensive parking garage at the hospital and suddenly they are out of money and need to eliminate working folks jobs??? Something stinks here! They should cut Dave Brown's salary by enough to keep some of these folks working.

    August 17, 2010 at 10:39 p.m.
  • illuminatus
    The hospital is a COUNTY hospital and they do have the same insurance as the other county employees. BOONE_CHAPMAM is the carrier. From 70% to 60% is what it pays to out of network providers so it costs employee 40% (if they went to detar instead of cmc) My better half has had to take 2 weeks off unpaid in the last 2 months to save the hospital/county money why should she lose another weeks pay???? not to mention being called off at least 1 day a week for a long time. I bet Mr Brown did not lose any money during that same period from his SALARY. He did get another week off with pay then though and said he also had to take that time off as well, except he gets a SALARY not hourly wage so he did not lose anything.

    I also challenged my appraisals as well and they were lowered by a large amount proving my point of OVER ASSESSED VALUES. When I filed my appeals many others were there doing the same thing. The county got caught in a crack and had to lower a large number of assessments that's the reason for the 19 jobs being lost not the increase in costs. They just got caught being greedy.

    With the constant cutting of hours and forced furloughs we will not be able to afford the extra 100 a month for her coverage. Every department has been cutting hours and services this year to save money and I'll bet not a one of the higher paid have suffered like loss of income. The ones spending massive amounts of money on pork projects are not the ones taking the hit it's the little guy who is hurting.

    Our/her insurance has been gutted. Loss of covered items and a raise in price every year for the last few years. The hospital had Blue cross/blue shield before the junk they have now which is the same as the rest of the county employees. The better insurance was part of the pay rate and when it was lost it effectively amounted to a pay cut.

    My comment about welfare was to point out the unfairness of govt run health care to those who work who have to pay for their insurance plus pay for those on welfare too. Those just making ends meet will pay more for less while those who don't/won't work get free health care at our expense.

    It is criminal in the inequality of the current system that punishes those who work to support those who won't. I do not have insurance so I do not seek health care unless I have no choice. Then I pay a higher amount than those with insurance for the same care. How is that fair or not criminal. Why should the uninsured get billed the full 100% when the hospital charges 20-30% to workers as a co pay and then right off huge amounts that would have been payed by the insurance company because they are a network provider. Every one should be billed the same amount for the same care, and taxed at the same REAL MARKET VALUE as everyone else not inflated amounts in some areas and lower values in others.

    August 17, 2010 at 10:37 p.m.
  • Balancing the budget on the backs of the county employees...shame on everyone who voted to do this.

    newearth...you crack me up! Using the term cash cow and government job in the same sentence in the context that you did. LOL!! It is obvious you have never worked for a city or county government and struggled to make it from paycheck to paycheck.

    August 17, 2010 at 2 p.m.
  • I do not understand everything, 19 people will loose there job. That is wrong 19 people with families. Raise taxes a dollar or two and save these people their jobs. Why don't they cut the commissors pay in half and see how they feel. It always the little guy who comes up short. I have to bet these 19 people also pay taxes who will make up that money lost there.

    August 17, 2010 at 12:26 p.m.
  • . . . "did we need such as elaborate parking garage at CMC with all the lights on now at night?????"

    I'd guess they did that because that's when they work the best.

    August 17, 2010 at 11:28 a.m.
  • dragenrider: However, you make it sound like anyone who does substancial responsible research and makes the effort to present a case to the board gets their appraisal lowered.

    Please forgive my statement if I implied everyone who protests gets their taxes lowered. I meant to say that I was fortunate my case had merit. And because I was willing to make an effort it turned out I had my appraisal lowered. I would just like to encourage people to give the system a chance. It may work out for you.

    dragenrider: There are other homes of comparable age and size, with the same amenities as ours with much lower taxes.

    Yes I was very curious about this as well. What I learned was that there are some whose taxes are frozen, for example over 65 or a vet. So while I may pay more for a comparable home, I have not reached a certain age neither am I a vet. I can't begrudge those folks their exemption. I can only hope and pray and (yes I pray for those in authority) are in tune with our local situation. And they will make the best decisions.

    August 17, 2010 at 11:06 a.m.
  • Great, they are cutting cost, hate to see people lose jobs. But we all are cutting cost to survive. Sonner or later our taxes will go up.

    August 17, 2010 at 10:59 a.m.
  • I would like to see the higher ups take a % pay cut. Show us you are really here for the people. Prove it to the county for once. They make more than the average for a county of this size.

    August 17, 2010 at 10:58 a.m.
  • I work hard (self-employed) and yes my insurance has doubled over the past 2 years. I cut other places so I can have insurance, because I know the importance. Personally, I don't want to have to pay for Holly's medical care. I worked in healthcare for years, and when you don't have health insurance, I pay for your care too Holly, and not just those on welfare.

    August 17, 2010 at 9:43 a.m.
  • Illuminatus, "The Victoria County Appraisal District is responsible for appraisals. I challenged my appraisal and it was lowered. I took the responsibility of researching and providing additional information to the VCAD. It is not a difficult process for someone who is willing to take action."

    You were very fortunate that you were able to get your appraisal lowered. However, you make it sound like anyone who does substancial responsible research and makes the effort to present a case to the board gets their appraisal lowered. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Last year we went to the board with other appraisals, comps from realtors, lots of data showing how our appraisal was too high, and our request was denyed. Not only that, this year, it went up even more, while some of our examples from last year were given lower appraisals. We felt as though we were punished for trying to fight it the previous year. There are other homes of comparable age and size, with the same amenities as ours with much lower taxes. The system in Victoria is very unfair. It's not based on substance and facts, but who you are or who you know.

    August 17, 2010 at 9:18 a.m.
  • This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

    August 17, 2010 at 8:43 a.m.
  • I completely understand that costs are increasing for everyone. I just wish the County would take a good hard look at the insurance coverage that they carry on their workers.

    I will guarantee that the folks that are making the decisions are not being hit as hard as those that they employ. It's very very easy to say that insurance will go up $100 for individuals or families per month when your pay is WAY above those that are employed by you. $100 may not seem like much to them, but to most families, it's a hard hit.

    The County knows what they are doing, take the money out of the workers pockets, keep the money in theirs, and OMG whatever you do, DO NOT RAISE TAXES FOR FEAR OF PISSING OFF THE VOTERS.....after all, no votes, no big pay check for them...

    Or maybe it's just me....

    August 17, 2010 at 8:27 a.m.
  • Holly1 it is criminal because of the higher than average co-pays, high dedectables, lower than average coverage (70% not the standard 80%) like most insurances pay. limited number of providers, and no drug coverage at all.

    That's not correct. It is an 80/20 plan after deductible. Generics are available for $15 dollars or less if that is the actual cost. Through the clinic the co-pay for name brand is $25 dollars.

    holly 1 And to top it off if you have to see a non provider out of town or other reason the 70% drops to 60% of the total bill.

    Non-providers (out of network) do not offer a discounted price. In network providers offer a substantial discount. The plan allows employees to choose providers and to pay the higher cost. Their choice. I choose to stay in network on my plan for that reason.

    holly1 Those who worked at CMC in the past had good insurance and the hospital covered most of the bill if you were an employee. Then to save money the county switched to the worst insurance
    I've ever seen compared to most others for the cost to employees.

    The County and CMC have separate plans. The County has not switched insurance companies. The County is self insured. Recently when they went out for bid, including fully insured plans, no bids were received from fully insured companies, because of high claims by some facing serious illness. What is your recommendation on this issue?

    holly1 worst part is my tax dollars pay for the bums on welfare so they can have FREE HEALTHCARE and I can't afford to have it. So yes it is criminal.

    The Commissioners' Court is not responsible for healthcare for those on welfare. Again how is the County's insurance criminal?

    holly1 so with out raising the rate they still raised taxes by increasing the appraisals well beyond true market value.

    The Victoria County Appraisal District is responsible for appraisals. I challenged my appraisal and it was lowered. I took the responsibility of researching and providing additional information to the VCAD. It is not a difficult process for someone who is willing to take action.

    August 17, 2010 at 8:19 a.m.
  • did we need such as elaborate parking garage at CMC with all the lights on now at night????? More construction going on at HealthPlex for what???? What has Brown done for me lately...his salary is way to high.....

    Cut 10-20% across in each Department so that they all feel the effect. Do furloughs..again they all feel the effects. But previous poster had it correct----

    The hourly worker will get HIT and the one with the pala is first! Salary positions what happens with them? Just remember 19 positions is 19 VOTERS and their families.

    August 17, 2010 at 5:52 a.m.
  • they did not raise the tax rate just all the appraisals on our homes. Even though the property values are falling nation wide here they are going up. Some as much as 50% over the last 3 years. so with out raising the rate they still raised taxes by increasing the appraisals well beyond true market value.

    August 17, 2010 at 2:39 a.m.
  • worst part is my tax dollars pay for the bums on welfare so they can have FREE HEALTHCARE and I can't afford to have it. So yes it is criminal.

    August 17, 2010 at 2:28 a.m.
  • my better half works for the county and the insurance is terrible compared to the old coverage. less coverage for more money. Myself,being self-employed, will be one of the new criminals under OBAMACARE because I can't afford insurance now let alone when it goes way up in 2014 when it becomes mandatory to carry it or pay a fine. I'll be one of those who can afford neither so I guess I will have to sit my but in jail or go on welfare.

    August 17, 2010 at 2:26 a.m.
  • it is criminal because of the higher than average co-pays, high dedectables, lower than average coverage (70% not the standard 80%) like most insurances pay. limited number of providers, and no drug coverage at all. Even CMC employee's have to pay upfront to get services rendered. And to top it off if you have to see a non provider out of town or other reason the 70% drops to 60% of the total bill. for a pretty high price already. Those who worked at CMC in the past had good insurance and the hospital covered most of the bill if you were an employee. Then to save money the county switched to the worst insurance I've ever seen compared to most others for the cost to employees. Covered things went down costs went up and co-pays went up alot. thats why i say it's criminal.

    August 17, 2010 at 2:19 a.m.
  • The tide is turning, no longer are government jobs the cash cow they once were, you have to have people in the private sector getting paid and not getting laid off, I know of many people that have been laid off this past year, and they were the main money producers for their family, and layoffs are still happening, something has to give and we all need to keep our eyes wide open, I wished everyone had well paying jobs and health insurance, but that is not the way it is.

    August 16, 2010 at 9:49 p.m.
  • holly 1

    Does your insurance include a free clinic? Does your insurance cover a family of 4 or more for $457 dollars per month?

    According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average American worker contributes $779 for an individual health plan and $3515 for a family health plan. Since this is an average, some employees may be paying much more. http://healthinsurance.about.com/od/s...

    How is the insurance criminal? Please give facts.

    August 16, 2010 at 9:15 p.m.
  • When the going get tough, the tough pull out the pink slips.

    August 16, 2010 at 9:05 p.m.
  • the insurance the county provides is horrible. If they raise it that much and keep the same crappy coverage that is next to criminal.

    August 16, 2010 at 9:01 p.m.
  • are these positions at the top or the bottom of the food chain???
    we already have to many chiefs and not enough indians to do the work.. I'd bet the little guys are the ones losing their jobs not the upper level folks. Maybe Mr. Pozzi would like to elaborate a little more on this to the tax payers. Get rid of the ones who sit behind a desk instead of the ones doing the work is my thought.

    August 16, 2010 at 8:57 p.m.