Outgoing Warren City Council Voted To Give Itself Free Health Care For Life

Blindsided Mayor Jim Fouts is 'outraged'

WWJ News
November 18, 2019 - 4:29 pm
warren city sign

(photo: WWJ/Mike Campbell)

WARREN (WWJ) - A battle is brewing in Warren after outgoing city council members voted to give themselves free health care coverage for life. 

Mayor Jim Fouts says the council failed to inform him and others of resolution, which passed unanimously in September, because they know he would have put a stop to it. 

"I’m outraged and angry about this unbelievable action by the city council to vote unanimously for a golden parachute benefit package without proper notification to the Mayor, City Attorney, Human Resources Director or any person of responsibility in city hall. This was purposely not communicated with my administration and myself personally until after the 72-hour period for the Mayor’s veto," Fouts said in a statement shared on social media. 

"This is an unconscionable action beyond my wildest imagination. Instead of voting on the administration's recommendation for the employees’ health care, they sweetened it with lifetime health care benefits at an exorbitant potential cost to the city financial future."

Founts said such a far-reaching amendment required his recommendation, and council members "were negligent."

Talking to WWJ Newsradio 950's Rob St. Mary, Fouts said he believes the action was, in fact, illegal.

"The state requires the city to have an actuarial to look at the potential effect of anything of this nature...so we would be violating state law."

While Fouts said the outgoing council "tried to make this veto-proof," it will never be enacted. "If they want, they can sue, and I'm willing to stand up and be sued," the mayor told St. Mary. 

A statement by the current City Council President Patrick Green says the mayor was "asleep at the switch," and the issue will be resolved at the next meeting on Nov. 26. 

Meanwhile, Fouts said he's investigating who wrote the resolution. He said if it's found to have been a Warren city employee, he or she could be fired.