DART Delays Vote on Domestic Partner Benefits After Board Members Walk Out in Protest

Categories: Transportation

RandallChrismanMichaelCheney.jpg
DART
Randall Chrisman, left, and Michael Cheney
At some point, after a year-plus of hand-wringing and delays, the push for DART to offer benefits to the domestic partners of employees took on an air of inevitability. Two weeks ago, the DART board's administrative committee overwhelmingly voted to move forward with a "plus-one" plan, allowing unmarried employees to cover one unrelated adult. On Tuesday, DART's committee of the whole, comprised of all 15 board members, did the same, all but ensuring final passage at the regular DART board meeting later in the day.

But then, board members Michael Cheney and Randall Chrisman walked out, leaving the already depleted board without the 10-person quorum required to take a vote.

Chrisman, a commercial real estate broker appointed to the board by the cities of Carrollton and Irving, couched his opposition in terms of legal and financial uncertainties.

See also: Former Cop Wants DART to Offer Domestic Partner Benefits

He told The Dallas Morning News that the "plus-one" police was an attempt to "get around the law" and that he's concerned about the impact of rising healtcare costs on the agency.

"They still can't tell me how much the numbers are going to be," Chrisman told the paper. "There are just more unknowns than knowns."

Cheney, a businessman representing the city of Garland, has not commented publicly.

The walkout seems unlikely to kill the proposal, which should have the support to pass at the board meeting on October 8, when it's likely that fewer than four of the other board members will be absent.

Resource Center Dallas, which has been leading the outside push for benefits, promised as much on Facebook:

Bottom line: the vastly-outnumbered opposition tried a parliamentary tactic at the last minute to force a delay. They got their delay, this stunt will backfire and will instead stiffen the resolve of our supporters. Next year's budget, which was approved unanimously, has the money in it to offer the benefits program. So, the Center urges you to mark the evening of October 8 on your calendars. Show up wearing read to the DART board meeting. Stay tuned; this isn't over yet.
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17 comments
ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

And, 'show up wearing read...'

DISD has infected everything.

Downtown_Don
Downtown_Don

Since the Affordable Care Act regards 30 hours as full-time, DART has expressed how "providing health insurance to part-time staff isn't in their interest" by cutting & even firing non-union part-time staff. 

If they are willing cut staff, it's not surprising Chrisman is unhappy with the "plus one" consensus.


hall16243
hall16243

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lakewoodhobo
lakewoodhobo

Thank you Garland, Carrollton and Irving. Some real winners you've appointed to the DART board there.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

"At some point, after a year-plus of hand-wringing and delays, the push for DART to offer benefits to the domestic partners of employees took on an air of inevitability."

Why sugar coat this?  There is a demand for DART to offer health care benefits to gay and lesbian couples.  I am not aware of any lobbying that Resource Center Dallas provides on behalf of heterosexual domestic partners.  If there is, please let me know.

Will this policy apply to unmarried heterosexual couples?

What is the standard for determining what constitutes a 'domestic partner"?


And what is the liability that DART is taking on by offering this healthcare benefit?

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Who are the 'plus-one police?' Seems an awfully drastic move...

ruddski
ruddski

" They still can't tell me how much the numbers are going to be," - they'll have to institute the policy to find out what the policy is. He should know this.

schermbeck
schermbeck

Pointless obstructionism? And neither was named Cruz?

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

They made their point.  They showed what a couple of backward, bigoted assholes they are. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Uh.. we agree on something?  [Myrna faints from shock]

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@TXTC @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul  

I did RTFA.

There is no information in TFA about the liability that DART will be taking on, the definition of a domestic partner, or, mention of any non-LGBT organization that is pushing for this benefit.

And quite frankly dearie, I do not care who does what with whom or what in bed as long it is between consenting adults.

I have no reason to treat people differently because of their sexual orientation nor do I wish to.  I would just like all parties to keep it out of my face. As far as I am concerned, Miley Cyrus' recent display on national television is just as gross to me as some of the displays during various "Gay Pride" parades.


PS:  Do not use obscenities with me.  I do not consider The Dallas voice to be an independent news source.  It is an advocacy publication for a special interest group.  For the same reason, I do not read publications from the AFL-CIO for policy discussions on labor matters.

ruddski
ruddski

LOL, someone actually accepts this line of reasoning, first offered by Nancy Pelosi. Unbelievable.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@ruddski Pelosi has gone off the deep end with her Syria nonsense.  Time for a new Liberal voice out of San Francisco.

BTW, I was tuned in to your sarcasm and agreed with that, you nudnik.

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