County supervisors defend insurance buyouts

"Not everybody who takes the buyout is getting it from the town," said Essex Supervisor Ron Jackson, noting how several of the supervisors take the buyout because they have insurance through their spouse's work or through retirement benefits. Jackson is one of nine supervisors who opt for the buyout.

Westport Supervisor Dan Connell, who also uses the buyout, said he does so because the money helps supplement the cost of the insurance he has through retirement.

"Without the buyout, I would be foolish not to come to the county and take my health insurance," he said in contrast.

"It looks good in the press to get rid of the buyout," added Connell. "Economically, it's a disaster for the county to get rid of the buyout."

Town of Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas stated that both Manning and New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli had found nothing illegal in the practice of elected officials taking buyouts.

"Just like anybody would, you weigh your own situation with your employment opportunities, whether you work for IBM, Wal-Mart, or are an elected official," added Douglas, noting how buyouts are common throughout public and private sectors. "To single out elected officials is wrong."

Scozzafava's resolution was defeated as all but himself voted against it.

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