Speak Out: Dental insurance forum needs stakeholder input

Ladies and gentlemen, if an issue is important to you, and an opportunity has been offered to be part of the discussion on that issue, do not ignore it. If it was important to you to have your voice heard on public education in our state, for example, the logical thing would have been to attend one of the education forums scheduled throughout West Virginia to help lawmakers figure out how to do the right thing about it during their special session.

Or, more locally, if the discussion of dental insurance for current and retired Wood County Schools employees will affect you and your wallet, be part of that discussion. Do not stay home when public forums are planned and hope someone else will sort it out for you.

Tuesday, when only 30 people attended a meeting that could affect thousands of people, Wood County Schools Superintendent Will Hosaflook had hoped stakeholders would be giving their feedback on how to tackle the challenge of a half-million-dollar cost overage on the dental plan. There are approximately 2,340 people covered by this plan. That means slightly more than 1 percent of them took advantage of the opportunity to be part of the decision-making process.

Surely more than 1 percent of those affected have an opinion on the matter. Some of them have shared that opinion … just not in the formal setting that was organized for that purpose. It is a shame so few are willing to do more than simply complain and wait for a decision made without them.

Another such forum is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at Jefferson Elementary Center. Take advantage of the opportunity, folks.

Getting stakeholders involved in deciding how to handle this challenge should not be like pulling teeth.