St. Clair County's politicians certainly take care of their own. They give part-time workers full-time benefits. Even workers who earn just a few hundred dollars a year can get full medical and retirement benefits worth at least $10,280 annually. This practice costs the taxpayers more than $1 million a year.
No private employers and few government employers show such extreme generosity to part-timers. There's no business need to do this. No surprise, politics drives this.
To get one of these jobs it helps to be in the inner political circle. The list of the part-time workers reads like a who's who list of the St. Clair County Democratic Party campaign contributors.
County Board Chairman Mark Kern says that voters can always vote out their elected representatives if they don't like what they are doing. Cute. He knows there won't be any political repercussions for this policy or the county's refusal to release the costs for individuals receiving health benefits -- information that clearly should be public.
If the voters held elected officials accountable at the voting booth, elected officials might focus on policies that benefit the taxpayers rather than themselves and their cronies. But county Demo-crats can do whatever and still get re-elected. And so they do.