Your support over the years has meant a lot to me. I’m proud to have earned your trust and grateful to you for giving me the opportunity to serve on our City Council. It’s been exciting to be a part of Culver City’s accomplishments over the past five and a half years, and it’s been fulfilling working alongside you on so many efforts that have made our community better.
With this in mind, I’m writing to let you know about a difficult decision
my family is facing.
The City of Culver City, like many employers, offers employee benefits like pensions and medical insurance. Councilmembers are, of course, employees of the city; while we receive only a small stipend for our service, we are provided with medical insurance. Having that medical coverage for my family has made it possible for me, as a husband and father, to reduce my regular work hours so I could dedicate the time and energy it takes to serve our community to the best of my ability.
Earlier this year the City Council approved changes to the City’s retiree medical benefit program. Having recused myself from the part of the discussions that directly impacted me, I wrote three articles that appeared in our local papers and are available at CulverCity2020.org expressing my concerns about their impact on City operations and the ethical considerations they raise. If they were implemented as adopted, many valuable employees would be driven to retire prior to the cutoff date of December 31, 2011 in order to preserve their benefits. Many older, lower-wage workers can neither afford to retire nor to lose this benefit; they would lose a great deal of the retirement security which they have counted on.
I fought hard for what I believe in, and I am pleased that we are making significant changes to the City’s policies that will help us retain many of our senior employees. However, I am deeply troubled that we are not honoring our commitment to all our older workers. I believe that we must always do our best to protect the most vulnerable among us. Nevertheless, the steps we are taking will make a difference in many lives.
Despite the improvements, the situation has not changed for my family. Like many other City employees, I would have to retire by December 31st in order to retain our current coverage, coverage that I have counted on as I balanced my work life and my public service.
To my great disappointment, I will have to choose between continuing
my service to the community as a City Councilmember and doing
what’s best for my family.
Many people who are aware of the difficult decision I must make are urging me to run for City Council again should I decide to retire. Under California’s pension system rules, my family could retain our healthcare coverage if I ran for re-election, even as early as our April 2012 election. I am honored by the confidence and enthusiasm these individuals have expressed about my continued service. While this is not a decision I take lightly, I do feel a strong desire to see so many things through to completion.
My wife Anne and I are weighing the plusses and minuses of the entire situation. Regardless of the outcome, though, you can count on my continuing service to the community through the many charitable and volunteer efforts I have been a part of for the past 20 years.
As always, never hesitate to contact me if I can help you in any way.
Scott Malsin, Vice Mayor