District 7 Police Juror Allen Michael McCartney is on a mission to free up money in the general fund spent on health insurance for jurors to allow those resources to be used in a way that better serves the taxpayers. “We must end juror insurance at some point as it is a runaway cost that is about to surpass the salary itself,” said McCartney.
Insurance cost per juror – $784.31 month (up from $719.38)
Total per year if all jurors enroll – $65,882.04
Percent of general fund revenue – 4%
Total cost of jurors salaries + insurance (if all jurors enroll) – $142,682.04
Percent of general fund revenue – 8.6%
The Minutes of November 18, 2019, Regular Police Jury Meeting reflect that then District 4 Police Juror Michael Carpenter made a Motion to eliminate paid health insurance to Jurors. The Motion was not seconded and failed.
According to the minutes of the Police Jury Budget Committee meeting held on November 18, 2019, then Police Jury President Allen Michael McCartney pointed out to the Jurors present that “the greatest costs in the General Fund is inmate costs and health insurance.” He also went on to forewarn that there will be a Motion on the next regular meeting agenda to have jurors pay a portion of their insurance to offset the increase.
A recording of December 16, 2019, Regular Police Jury meeting reveals that then Police Jury President McCartney introduced a Motion for Jurors to pay $150 per month toward their health insurance. District 4 Police Juror Michael Carpenter made the Motion and it was seconded by District 3 Juror Josh McAllister. During discussion District 6 Juror Author Robinson stated “Our insurance is one of the things that help us attract jurors, it’s definitely not the pay. We have new Jurors coming on and we will have new Jurors coming on in the future and I personally believe that we need to leave it as it is.” McCartney responded by pointing out that “from a financial standpoint this is a part-time elected position and so I’ve always been against it.” The Motion was then put to a vote: two Jurors voted “Yes” (Michael Carpenter and Josh McAllister) and three voted “No” (Deionne Carpenter, Phillip Evans and Author Robinson) the Motion failed.
Currently, McCartney, newly elected District 5 Juror Kirk Miles, and McAllister do not take the health insurance offered. While, District 1 Juror Phillip Evans, District 2 Juror Deionne Carpenter,and District 6 Juror Author Robinson do. Newly elected District 4 Juror Tammy Griffin was undecided regarding accepting the insurance at the time of publication.
“People need to understand what’s going on. Jurors are elected by the people to represent the people’s wants and needs. If the people aren’t okay with the way a Juror votes on any given issue they have the right to contact that juror to let them know. If that Juror continues to vote in a way that isn’t representative of the wants and needs of the people in their districts the people have a right to not vote for them in the next election.” said McCartney.
According to McAllister he and McCartney have never accepted the insurance offered to Jurors and in fact have used that money to build batting cages at the Winnfield Recreational Center and other projects in their districts over the last four years.