Council to discuss domestic partnership benefits Feb. 9

Asheville City Council member Gordon Smith will make a presentation at a Tuesday, Feb. 9, meeting asking Council to support benefits for same-sex domestic partners of city employees.

Smith told Xpress he is fine-tuning the language in his proposal over weekend, but that he plans to focus on hiring and retention of quality employees at a time when pay raises have been suspended.

“To remain competitive, especially in budgetary years when we’re not seeing salaries rise it’s going to be really important that we offer equal benefits for equal work,” Smith said. “Secondly, it’s simple fairness. We have an opportunity to make sure all of our employees are treated equally.”

Smith plans to ask Council to support the move “in concept” and to direct city staff to draft an ordinance to return to Council in March for a formal implementation.

— Brian Postelle, staff writer


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7 thoughts on “Council to discuss domestic partnership benefits Feb. 9

  1. Jake

    Thank you, Councilman Smith, for this commonsense proposal. Jobs are a top priority, and this change is a must for Asheville to position itself competitively as a 21st-century city-of-choice for prospective employers and employees. Honest cost-benefit analysis will support this initiative, as the economic rewards to be reaped far exceed the costs that would be incurred. This is a smart proposition that deserves broad support.

  2. artart

    Jake, there are many arguable points to this proposal, both for and against, however your contention that a cost-benefit analysis would return “economic rewards” that “far exceed the costs that would be incurred” really require some supporting information. My graduate degree, heavy in economics, might be blinding me to the specifics in this case. Please provide a bit of detail of your thinking.

  3. UNaffiliated Voter

    healthcare benefits are NOT a FUNCTION of OUR government!

    it is an outrage for the city to furnish that which others must scrape to pay for themselves

    enough of this heinous bullcrap. domestic partner health benefits is a taxpayer fleece.
    all healthcare benefits are.

    Ill bet Gordon Smith pays for HIS own health insurance, right?

  4. Piffy!

    [b]healthcare benefits are NOT a FUNCTION of OUR government! [/b]

    Says who and why not?

  5. lindsey

    Keep in mind that health insurance is not the only benefit in question. Bereavement and family and medical leave are also currently denied to our city employees who happen to be gay.

  6. Kim

    Are these city employees people?

    if yes then they deserve exactly the same benefits as the other people who work there.

    simple no?

    Why’s it gotta be so hard?

  7. Pitchforks & Torches

    Sorry People, Gordy, But since the state of NC does not currently recognize same sex marriage, stop wasting the tax payers time and money. And Jake, PLEASE” Honest cost-benefit analysis will support this initiative, as the economic rewards to be reaped far exceed the costs that would be incurred”.

    Are you kidding? Why WASTE the time on a farce of a fudging the numbers to make it look rosey. Just like the energy independence JOKE NUMBERS. Fuzzy math.

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