2009-12-19 / Editorials & Letters

‘Watchdog’ wonders if trustees will reduce their benefits

Editor:

I have been writing about the Bowling Greem Township health insurance and reimbursement issues. To me, these are a major issues since I found out what they have been doing.

It is not the fact that they CAN legally vote themselves this perk (for this PART TIME job), but it is the 100% FREE, the TYPE of coverage and the huge associated costs that really bother me. Currently, township taxpayers are paying about $3,600 a month, just for the BASIC health plan for three trustees. Let’s not forget the additional ILLEGAL Medicare reimbursement check that WAS being paid to GOB Watkins from 2005 - 2008.

It is now open season for health care for most government offices. Here is some interesting data for 2010. Licking County employees now pay more and the individual costs for the federal employees and retirees have also gone up. Below is data on the MONTHLY 2010 “ OUT OF POCKET. ” YES, that is what they have to pay for their own FAMILY coverage. Incidentally, these numbers are for FULL TIME positions; there is NO COVERAGE for PART TIME. These costs do NOT including any deductibles that have to be paid. Deductibles are lower on the township’s current policy as well. Licking County only has one basic option now, but federal employees and retirees have numerous options (cafeteria style) available. I thus listed the most popular ones used:
County
Basic Health $139.07

Vision $8.15
Dental $48.25
Federal
$401.00 Blue Cross/Blue Shield
31.98 FEP Blue Vision
$87.56 - $122.48 Aetna PPO

Mind you, our trustees already get a monthly SALARY. State law sets the maximum salary which is based on the amount of the township’s annual budget. Their annual salary was increased by 2.8% in 2010 to about $8,500.

So if you add it all up, this is a nice total package deal for a PART TIME job! Our trustees FREE perk actually started in the 70’s, when THEY decided to spend our tax dollars on a health insurance package. So when you think about how many of your tax dollars have been spent on this perk already, think in the six figure range.

Brownsville recently had a 200 year anniversary! What would the roads look like had just 1/2 of this money had been spent there?

Why are our township trustees still able to get US to pay for 100% FREE health, vision, dental, cancer, disability & life insurance? Because most of us do not pay attention or do not care, so we let them get away with it. We are in huge trouble economically, with revenue and incomes sliding downhill fast with no clear end in sight, but will our trustees trim back? That will be determined in the next few months, so stay tuned!
Will (Watchdog) Kern
Bowling Green Township

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