Sandulli Grace attorney Jamie Goodwin is at the forefront of the opposition to the Mayor of Marlborough’s outrageous proposal to cut health benefits for retired disabled police officers and firefighters. Specifically, Mayor Arthur Vigeant asked the City Council to repeal its acceptance of Chapter 41, Section 100B of the Massachusetts Laws, which obligates the City of Marlborough to pay medical expenses for police officer and firefighters who retired due to a job-related disability. The City adopted Section 100B in 1973, but now Mayor Vigeant says it is too expensive. If the City repeals the law, the retirees would have to arrange for their individual health insurers to pay their medical expenses. The Mayor’s proposal came before the City Council at a meeting on Monday, January 13, 2014, where several councilors immediately expressed their opposition.
Attorney Goodwin, who represents the Marlborough Police Command Officers Union, MassCOP Local 366, attended the City Council meeting in support of current and future retirees who would be affected, along with a number of union members, to express opposition to the proposal. Attorney Goodwin was quoted in published accounts in both the Metrowest Daily News and the Marlborough Patch. He pointed out to the Daily News that the City’s financial situation was not as dire as the Mayor stated, noting that the City had $28 million in excess levy capacity. In the Patch article, Attorney Goodwin pointed out that he was unaware of any other city or town that was proposing such a move. “This shouldn’t even go to a council vote,” he said.
“At the end of the day, these guys go out and risk their lives,” Goodwin told the Daily News. “It’s a bad decision for Marlborough and a bad decision for the police and firefighters.”