Starkville alderman starts GoFundMe for unvaxxed employees after city imposes insurance fee

Starkville alderman starts GoFundMe for unvaxxed employees after city imposes insurance fee
Starkville alderman starts GoFundMe for unvaxxed employees after city imposes insurance fee(WCBI)
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 3:32 PM CDT
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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) - Last week, the city of Starkville agreed to new policies for their employees.

Masks have been required for some time in city buildings; now the Board of Aldermen voted to require unvaccinated workers to use their sick leave if they test positive for the coronavirus and must quarantine.

An additional insurance fee for unvaccinated workers has one alderman taking financial matters into his own hands.

Alderman Ben Carver doesn’t think workers who refuse the vaccine should have to pay extra insurance. That’s why he says he’s setting up a GoFundMe account.

“It all started off with a physician in town that said he’s had people reaching out to him. We just want to help these city employees. We know that municipal and county employees don’t make as much as people in the private sector, and $75 a month can be a cumbersome burden on a lot of people,” said Carver.

All the details for handing out the money to the unvaccinated haven’t been ironed out yet. Carver considered registering as a charity.

According to Mississippi law, that will require filing with the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office along with paperwork for charitable distributions.

“We’ll have to have a little time-lapse to see who’s going to take the vaccine and who hasn’t had the vaccine and then we’ll have to get up with the employees that haven’t had the vaccine and either do a check or do a photo-op and give them a check every month or we’ll have some way to Venmo, PayPal, you know, Cash App them some money,” said Carver.

Carver encourages businesses to remain anonymous if they decide to donate to the GoFundMe. The start-off goal is $25,000.

“That may be reached in the first week, you know. It’s more about sustainability and we have to figure out a number. We’ll have to know how many people are not going to take the vaccination, what that is, and multiply by the amount and then say, ‘We want to support these people for three years, and what does that take to reach that goal?’” said Carver.

The actual GoFundMe is expected to be set up by September 16 and people can begin donating.

“What people want is just an opportunity to meet with their medical professional and make the decision that’s best for them. They don’t want government or anybody telling them what to do, and just to take any options away or maybe we just need to see the data and they want that opportunity to see the data before they’re forced to take a shot,” said Carver.

Carver said if his goal of $25,000 is exceeded, he will raise the goal.

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