Serving as a town board member or some other local official is often a thankless job. You spend lots of time trying to address quality of life issues for residents and more often than not serve as the punching bag for their frustrations. With this in mind, I have no problem that local officials receive some compensation for their public service. But when their service ends, so should their compensation.
The Buffalo News article on Tim Demler battling with the Wheatfield Town Board really struck a nerve with me and not because Demler is being his usual jackass self. The article stated the town pays 50 percent of the health insurance premium for those who served at least 10 years in office, 75 percent for those who served 15 years, and 100 percent for those who served 20 years or more. Lifetime health care for part-time local elected officials? Really?
The Niagara County Legislature eliminated lifetime health care years ago because they recognized it simply an unfair burden to place on taxpayers. I had no idea that towns were offering this same kind of outrageous perk. Local tea party activists (and the rest of us too) should be focused on ending things like this that are directly tied to our high property taxes. I have no idea how many other towns and cities in Niagara County provide this but it's a practice that should end immediately.