Alderman Bob Mozol’s proposal to require physicals for all city employees who drive vehicles failed to pass committee Tuesday.
Mozol wanted to require the physicals to minimize the risk of an accident in a city vehicle and to cut down on the city’s health insurance costs. He said the idea came to him after realizing the city’s fire department spends less than other departments for health care. All firefighters are required to take an annual physical.
Mozol said extending that requirement to all city employees could catch health problems early. It could also reduce the risk of health problems leading to an accident.
"I don’t think it’s unreasonable given the amount of money the city spends on health care," Mozol told the Personnel and Finance Committee.
The proposal would cost about $30,000 per year.
Committee members were skeptical of the proposal. Alderman Mike Shields said Mozol’s idea sounded like a “waste of money.”
"There are plenty of rules out there to protect the city," Shields said, dismissing Mozol’s contention that the physicals would prevent accidents.
Numbers provided by city staff didn’t support Mozol’s concern about accidents. Interim City Administrator Scott Letteney said he didn’t find a single accident involving a city employee caused by a health concern.
Alderman Tom Friedel questioned if Mozol had thought through the proposal. The plan would require the city to renegotiate its contract with its unions to require the physicals. It could also, if taken to extreme, cost a city employee their job, he said.
Letteney added there may be privacy issues with requiring the results of a physical being reported to the city.
The committee voted unanimously to receive-and-file the proposal, which means they rejected it.