By jeanne starmack
City council will vote on whether to abolish all health-care benefits for council members at its Wednesday meeting.
Lawmakers will consider legislation that cancels the full benefits its five members receive now, including vision and dental insurance, said council President George Levendis.
The legislation is sponsored by Levendis and council members Bryan Tedesco and Joseph Mazzocca, said Clerk of Council Dina Hamilton.
Council member Mike Tsikouris will not be a sponsor, she said.
Tskiouris and council member Robert Yankle take city benefits now.
Tskiouris takes employee- spouse coverage and Yankle takes single coverage, Levendis said.
The other three do not take the benefits.
Yankle said he does not know if he will sponsor the legislation.
“But I’ll go along with it,” he said. “I have no problem with that.”
Yankle, who used to work for Mahoning County, said he can get coverage under the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System.
OPERS requires obtaining coverage elsewhere if it’s offered, which is why he takes city benefits, Yankle said.
If council drops benefits, it would start with members who win seats in 2013, Levendis said.
The legislation would save up to $106,865 a year. The city’s coverage is divided into four categories: $21,373 a year for family; $6,904 for single; $15,218 for employee-spouse; and $10,514 for employee-child.
“You’re only required to attend two meetings a month,” Levendis said. “Does that justify full health care? We all have to cut back.”