CNI Newspapers: stirring controversy where none existed

BrookfieldNOW has a stunning expose (syrupy sarcasm there) titled “Should aldermen get health insurance” on Mr. Happy Pants’ latest move. He’s back at the committee table begging for attention. Once again he wants to keep aldermen and the municipal judge from “drawing health insurance from the city.”

Now when you read the words “drawing health insurance from the city,” and “Should aldermen get health insurance,” what do you think? Health coverage as a benefit to the elected, right?


I don’t know if it’s Scott Berg setting up a naive reporter or poor wording on that reporter’s part, but the only elected official who receives health care as a benefit is the Mayor. Other elected have the opportunity to purchase a plan from the city pool. They pay for it with real money from their own pockets. It is, I suspect, close to equal the salary aldermen receive. (Update – 8/27 – I’ve been told it’s about 40% more, or around $14,000.)

Mr. Berg spends his salary on a nice vacation for his family. What’s wrong with another alderman purchasing health insurance from his or her part-time employer? From his aldermanic Web site:

Just to make the intention of Ald. Berg’s quote clear: Ald. Berg believes that his aldermanic salary should pay for expenses incurred by performing his duties (postage, books, etc.), cover his campaign costs (do you really want an alderman beholding to contributors instead of residents and his conscience?) and have enough left over for a nice family vacation (how do you make up lost time to young children?). Ald. Berg does not think the pay should be so much as to pay for his children’s college education. An inspection of his voting record speaks for itself.

(Yes, I’ve got a screen capture. You know he’ll change it, ESPECIALLY if he runs for mayor and takes campaign contributions.)

Berg’s up to something. Heck he’s always up to something, but he rarely gets anything done. This time he’s still trying to stick it to a couple of aldermen who buy policies. Who knows, maybe they’ve hurt his feelings. Never can tell with Scott Berg. Sure does smell like a potential mayoral candidate, though. A champion-of-the-people sort who would save taxpayers money by keeping elected from “drawing health insurance from the city.”

Sadly, the BrookfieldNOW fell for it all. A reporter wrote a one-source story in Berg-speak championing Berg’s cause. They’ve even set up a forum dedicated to stirring controversy where none existed. By the way, I find it compelling that BrookfieldNOW monitors comments to their own forum but refuses to allow bloggers the same privilege. I’ve got one waiting right now. Will they publish it?

And Journal Communications wonders why it’s landing on its bum.

UPDATE – BrookfieldNOW ran this lie on the front page of their little paper this morning. I bet Scott Berg is all tingly about his front-page coverage.



    At one time during my tenure as municipal judge I gathered all the info on city health insurance and decided it was quite expensive and opted out of the idea. Yes, it is not an issue.