Kennesaw mayor vetoes ending benefits for elected officials

Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews vetoed July 13 a city council decision of 3-2 that would have stopped giving pension and health care benefits to elected officials.

Opposed were Councilmen Leonard Church and Tim Killingsworth.

Those in favor were Councilwomen Cris Eaton Welsh, the measure’s sponsor, and Debra Williams and Councilman Jim Sebastian.

In a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on July 15, Mathews said, “I have said all along that I feel that benefits should be an individual decision. Offering pension and health care benefits to elected officials is commonplace throughout the state for all levels of state and local government.”

“I have no problem with each official being able to make their own decision as to whether or not they choose to participate,” added Mathews whose term ends this year.

On her Facebook page Welsh said, “I would strongly suggest this upcoming election that you ask every candidate where they stand on both term limits and excessive entitlements for elected officials.”

“Career politicians 2….Citizens of Kennesaw 0,” she added. “Yes, Mark has always said he has a vote…. It’s just spelled different VETO.”

These benefits would have ended for Mathews on Dec. 31, and the current council members at the end of their terms — Dec. 31 this year for Welsh and Killingsworth, and 2017 for Church, Sebastian and Williams.

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