2008-05-03 / News

Liberty Township Trustees at odds on health insurance

By Scott Rawdon

BALTIMORE - Liberty Townshp Trustees are battling over health insurance.

Trustees Nancy Montell and Tim Linkhorn were unhappy at the April 21 meeting with Trustee Ivan Ety's decision not to approve checks paying for Administrator/Zoning Inspector Tom Spring's insurance benefits.Montell said Spring ultimately received his benefits because a check only needs to be approved by two trustees and the fiscal officer."We came close to losing the insurance for everyone," she said.

Montell described township benefits as the "Cadillac of insurances," with no deductible. Montell said she, Linkhorn, and Spring are looking into ways of reducing the township's insurance costs.

"Why should a man working part-time receive full-time benefits," asked Ety after the meeting. "It's getting ridiculous." He said that granting Spring benefits may obligate the township to provide them to its other part-time employees, which is prohibitively expensive. Just providing the benefits alone would cost the township more than what it paid Spring's predecessor, Billy Phillips.

The other trustees said previously that Spring is doing doubleduty as the zoning inspector and the zoning administrator.

Ety said the township had a dramatic increase in legal expenses when Spring took office.

Linkhorn said Spring's position is administrative and by law he's not required to record his hours. Linkhorn said Spring is working nearly 40 hours per week, even though he's technically part-time. "He's not a salaried person," said Linkhorn.

Montell and Linkhorn also disagreed with Ety regarding the necessity of a computer to transcribe recorded meetings. Montell and Linkhorn voted to allow township personnel to look into buying a computer to create hard printed copies of recorded material. Ety voted against the measure, saying after the meeting that the township has considered buying a new recorder for quite some time, which is fine, but now the other trustees want to throw in a laptop computer as well. He believes meeting recordings can be transcribed at the Township Hall, and a laptop is not necessary, particularly when, he said, it's tough to receive approval for road maintenance equipment; maintaining the township roads is a trustee's primary duty, said Ety.

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