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Wed April 19, 2006
Commerce City Council votes to change insurance agents
By Kevin Jefferies
Commerce – The Commerce City Council narrowly passed a resolution to change insurance agents in regular session last night. Discussion became heated over whether to take city dollars outside of Commerce for such an expense and some council members questioned what it was the city would gain from moving agents.
With insurance options and regulations becoming increasingly complicated, Commerce City staff has expressed the desire to seek professional consultation in the future. Wells Springs of Roanoke, Texas, offer such a service along with insurance agent services. The annual price of services would remain within the same range as the city now pays, but Wells Springs claimed to offer services above and beyond what traditional insurance agents could offer.
Several agents from the Commerce area were in attendance at the meeting to dispute those claims. It was asserted that insurance agents perform those services frequently, and that the real difference resulted in law concerning how agents can charge for services and how consultants can charge. Agents must charge commission while consultants can offer flat fees.
After lengthy debate, a vote was called for on the matter. Council members John Sands and Hector Arce voted against the measure, expressing displeasure with taking money outside of Commerce. Members Kay Sanders and Penny Belcher and Mayor Sheryl Zelhart voted in favor of the change, citing the desire to find the most comprehensive services possible for the taxpayer's money.