Spring. How we love sneezing from all the fresh pollen and holding our breath to prevent the obnoxious smell of Bradford Pear trees from entering our noses. At least the blooming trees are pretty and spring is the best shade of green. And the rainbows aren’t half bad, either.
While we run through meadows of yellow and purple flowers, our elected officials and department directors are struggling to define the most urgent projects that need to be addressed in the 2012-13 budgets. According to the city web page, two workshop meetings are scheduled in the coming weeks. On Thursday, March 22nd and Wednesday, March 28th at 1:00 p.m. both days, the board is gathering to talk about budget items.
Personally I do not envy them the decisions they must make. Yes weather sirens were all the talk last year. Although I heartily agree that the city needs a warning system, now that the disrepair of the CAD system has come to light it is an enormous relief that money prioritized for the system is now available for a working 911 system. Meanwhile, kudos to the board for agreeing to install CodeRED – a phone alert callback system that can notify households in a specific path of an oncoming storm or area in danger. This is LaVergne will publish all information as it becomes available about how to sign up your cell number for calls, texts, and other available notifications.
There has been much discussion about health care costs being paid by the city for employees. It’s important to bring to light one aspect that everyone tends to forget. It is not free for employees. You read that right. While the initial insurance premium is paid by the city, employees do pay plenty out of pocket. First there is an annual deductible of $300 for employees, and
$1,000 $600 for families. After that deductible is met, the employee pays 10% of expenses and the city pays 90% – and that’s IN-network. If an employee goes out of the network, those expenses go up significantly. Also noteworthy is that the insurance amounts paid are topped out at a certain point, so once the set-amount is reached, the employee pays everything out-of-pocket. I will ask my sources what those amounts are next week, but one *police officer told me that he and his family paid well over $3,000 (maybe even $5,000) last year. And remember, where the pay of city employees is low – below the living wage level for anyone with more than one person in the home – that the city does offer to pay the initial insurance premium for workers really helps to attract qualified employees.
Speaking of police officers, the Fraternal Order of Police now has a fundraiser going on for Club Knockout.
Club Knockout sponsored by our very own F.O.P. has started a Pizza fundraiser!! For anyone interested in purchasing a Little Ceasar’s Pizza Kit just stop by the gym (on Buchanan Street next to Old Waldron Rd.) or talk to your favorite Club Knockout boxer! We will be selling them through April 2. Delivery of the kits will be April 12 @6 at the gym. So stop by and purchase your pizza kit anytime between now and April 2 from 5-7pm Mon-Fri.
If you’re interested in supporting this great cause that helps give teens something to do besides going all gangsta, comment on the FB page link and someone will get in touch with you.
My sources tell me that the FOP may be having a bucket fundraiser in late April where they’ll be accepting donations at the intersection of Murfreesboro Rd. and Stones River Rd. one afternoon. Watch for more information here!
Meanwhile if you like bowling and you like helping people in need, there is a great event planned next weekend where you can do both! Candice Stacy is raising money for “Team in Training” to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. “Bowling for a Cure” will be held at the Smyrna Bowling Center at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 25th. The cost is $12 for two games and shoes. You can rsvp to candi @ inbox . com or call 507-4916. Also you can donate online here.
Has anyone noticed that the Daily News Journal no longer covers LaVergne at all? Well, unless it’s unavoidable like the lunatic man that stabbed his wife’s girlfriend. Personally, I don’t miss their slanted editorials.
What’s on YOUR mind this weekend?
*Said officer did not know he was talking to the mysterious enigma that is Lola D.