With support from the last election, Finance Committee Chairman Ray Jones is now calling on the state legislature to allow the town to increase the percentage retirees pay for health insurance.
Jones had requested a ballot question on the town election to "change the health insurance premium contribution rate for eligible town retirees from town's share 85 percent and retirees' share 15 percent to town's share 70 percent and retirees share 30 percent."
John Goerlach worked 20 years in the town's Highway Department so when he retired, part of his health insurance will come from the town's budget.
Goerlach will be paying 15 percent of the premium with the town picking up the rest. Goerlach is now a Selectman, a decade after leaving the town's employment, and he's tasked with managing the finances. Because of conflict of interest laws, he cannot vote to increase the percentage retirees pay for benefits.
Several dozen current and retired employees of the Mount Greylock Regional School District attended last week's School Committee meeting to voice concerns that the district might unilaterally raise the percentage of health care costs borne by retirees.
Retirees from the town say they were one of the first to agree to move to Medicare when few towns were doing that.
They don't receive any additional reimbursement like other towns and at age 65, health insurance premiums jump by some 30 percent, according to Charles Ornaellas, a former member of the public employee committee. The move to the federal Medicare program saved the town by reducing its contributions toward health care because the federal government took over the majority of the cos