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Boardman Township workers can’t ignore economic realities



Published: Thu, February 24, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

Health insurance coverage for public employees has become the rallying cry of proponents of smaller, less costly government because of the perception among private sector taxpayers that the recipients are not bearing enough of the cost. And, when that perception turns out to be reality, as in the case of Boardman Township, the reaction is one of anger.

When a recent Vindicator news story revealed that the current health insurance plan provides 100 percent coverage, does not require recipients to pay a deductible and costs government — read that the taxpayers — $2.2 million a year, residents wasted little time voicing their disapproval. In the private sector workplace, employees have had to bear a greater share of rising health insurance premiums and the cost of health care, which is why there is little sympathy for public sector workers who do not pay their fair share.

Aware of residents’ discontent with most things government and of the reality that the township cannot keep absorbing the ever-increasing cost of health insurance, Boardman trustees Thomas Costello, Larry Molitero and Brad Calhoun, along with Administrator Jason Loree, want to implement changes that would enable township government to seek competitive bids, thereby reducing the cost. As it is, a 20 percent increase is projected, which translates into a whopping $400,000 to come out of the operating fund.

In order to involve all the stakeholders in government, trustees appointed an insurance committee to adopt a design-change plan. Representatives from each of the four unions, along with the administrator, fiscal officer and a nonunion employee, have had meetings and have voted twice on the changes to the current plan. Both votes went down to defeat.

That has prompted Costello to issue a stern warning: If the committee refuses to let the trustees make changes to the design of the health insurance plan, he and his colleagues will not place a 3.85-mill, five-year additional levy for the police department on the May ballot.

The deadline for the trustees passing a resolution for the ballot issue is March 1.

The insurance committee is scheduled to meet Friday, at which time another vote is expected. Members have been provided with facts and figures to assist them in making a learned decision.

Comparisons

Loree has said the township has been evaluating its current plan offered by Medical Mutual against other possible options, such as deductibles ranging from $100 to $2,000 from other companies.

“We are gathering the health care plans to show the additional savings by adopting one plan over another,” Loree told The Vindicator. “We had a 20 percent increase last year, and we want to work down 20 percent to zero by changing the plan design.”

While the stance adopted by the trustees — a change in insurance in return for a police levy being on the ballot — may appear to be an unfair labor practice; it isn’t. Boardman Township government cannot afford the status quo, and the employees must be prepared to bear more of the financial burden for health insurance and the other benefits they receive.

Such concessions have been a reality in the private sector even before the national recession began in late 2008.


Comments

1cornlius(1 comment)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

When my husband and I planned for an early retirement we were both in our 50's. Not only were we retiring, but we were moving to Nashville, TN. Since we resigned from our jobs, we knew we would have to buy health insurance and dental insurance in Tennessee. We purchased a PPO family plan, for just my husband and me, through "Wise Health Insurance". We paid for the family plan ourselves, initially, the cost was a little less than $400 a month for both of us. Our co-pay was very reasonable at $25 each per office visit.

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2apollo(1227 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

A friend of mine pays $1200 a month for he and his wife. His deductible is $5000 for each. Take the 20% overpayment of township employees out of their health care and pensions. No more accumulated sick and vacation time either.

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3apollo(1227 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

The ONLY cut ALLBS is referring to is eliminating the 60K that the insurance broker gets. Actual cuts to benefits are not wanted by the ALLBSers of the township.

No axe for me to grind. Just standing up for the citizens of Boardman who are being asked for more all the time so that Baordmans finest like ALLBS can continue feeding from the golden trough.

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4apollo(1227 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Give us the details about all those cuts ALLBS.

Os is the 60K the broker gets the ONLY one that has actually been found.

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5jimhoover(16 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Apall-o,
Simple question: "IF the committee decided one way to save money was to replace the township's broker, would that NOT be a good idea?"
Or are you just another union-busting, jealous, whiner?"
If you can stop for a second & think just a bit beyond the tip of your growing nose, you MIGHT realize there are MANY other areas where money could be saved, but the committee has been essentially handcuffed by the township's insistence that they remain in complete control.
This may not sound so unreasonable, except for the fact that the township did agree to accept the committee's decision, and NOW are going back on their promise. Not to mention the fact that they have tried to slide packages past employees, with the gall to then try to make the employees look like the bad guys.
They have succeeded in making themselves look like the inept, bumbling "leaders" they are. Which is funny to me because they ran on the premise that the previous Board couldn't get its act together. These guys said they wanted "to get along" and "to work together". Nothing could possibly be further from the truth.
Oh, and by the way, there are SIX township unions, not four. How is it that so many employees can have it so wrong? Here's your answer: we don't. These trustees are pretending they would like to balance the budget on the backs of the employees. It can't be done like that, and they know it. It's really no different than what's going on at the state level.
These leaders ought to be ashamed of themselves for mistreating the employees, misrepresenting their constituents and mostly for not caring how services will be affected by their misguided decisions.

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6apollo(1227 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Once again, the township employees come to the rescue. So Hoover confirms that I was right all along that their ONLY recommendation was saving the insurance brokers $60,000 fee. I guess ALLBS can't make up any other savings even though he said CUTS plural.

You guys and gals have health care coverage that is lined with gold and are unwilling to sacrifice like those of us who PAY FOR YOUR GOLDEN FLEECING.

You've been fleecing the citizens for decades thanks to Mancini the giver and Costello the rubber stamper. All those millions in inheritance dollars down the golden drain.

CALEA - 200K
Substation - thousands
IT coordinator lie
Zoning hires scam
Clearance numbers falsified

If this was a publicly held company, the people running this township would have been booted out at the very least and possible arrested for corruption.

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7apollo(1227 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

The unions asked for and got everything they wanted for decades. 40 million dollars just in inheritance monies given out in contracts that continually got sweeter and sweeter. Zero deductible health care alone is a joke right? Nobody in the real world has that sweet of deal. Accumulating sick and vacation time and inflating pensions those last 3 years. Nichols making $141,000 in 2010. Where's the outrage when you were outraged that Berarducci made 100K???

Then let's not forget the employees claim that we have "better" employees because we pay GOLDEN wages and benefits. Would that include the 2 perverts who were forced to resign? Is Kotheimer the best zoning person that we didn't even advertise for? Was the IT coordinator with almost zero experience the best of the best? How about the other zoning hire. Advertise the position, get a dozen or so resumes and then interview ONE, the actual hire. I have the resumes and she's not heads and shoulders above the others, far from it. Connections anyone?

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8Doctore(52 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

We support you guys! Keep up the good work, and don't let the negative ninnies get you down. You get paid well, GREAT! I couldn't do your jobs because I'd lose it having to listen to some people run their mouths, knowing they are keyboard heros. Public employees have not "bankrupted" anything. Drops in revenue due to the complete destruction of private workers by their greedy employers has. Just remember, nobody wanted your jobs 10 years ago, and nobody is going to offer your pay back when the economy improves. I don't want to take from you, I want to improve my own situation; maybe that's maturity showing through?

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9apollo(1227 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Hey Kim, I'll speak out about the injustices that occur in this corrupt township when I want and for as long as I want.

Are you the best they could do? How do you know if you don't advertise for zoning positions and just GIVE them to the politically connected for help in getting them elected?

Or worse yet, advertise them and then just disregard all but the person you wanted to hire in the first place.

You saved the township money. Right. I guess your double dipping for a higher pension won't ever materialize?

Kind of like the Nichols rehire saving the township money. That smoke and mirror savings. We are only paying Nichols 60K in 2011 but the state pension system will also be paying him 60K. (or more) I guess that state provided 60K isn't from Boardman right? Only in Boardman can up be down.

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10apollo(1227 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Funny, how the township workers don't mind cutting the insurance brokers fee or taking money from his pocket to pad their own. Of course, that's all they know taking from the pockets of others.

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11apollo(1227 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

I went to public meetings before, they are a joke just like hiring you, the other zoning hire, the IT hire, CALEA, the substation, clearance stats, 2 men per truck, clothing allowances, take home cars, accumulated sick and vacation time, and a whole host of others.

Yeah Doctore, you're far more mature than most of us taxpayers. Keep feeding this beast if you want to. In fact, send them extra. The property taxes are due in March. Add an extra few zeros to the check you send in.

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12Doctore(52 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

No Apollo, I won't be sending extra. You see, I could find some (read SOME) common ground with your arguments. However, you have degraded your presentation in to personal attacks and broad brush labeling of many of these employees. I work, pay my taxes, and SUPPORT our officers.
I know for a fact that that our township employs many great officers and I will continue to support them. When I needed them, they were there from beginning to end, and did more than I expected them to do.
I didn't choose that career path, as I have said numerous times before, because I would not do their job. I am glad they get paid well, and if it is so great, why don't I see you patrolling my street?
Just so you know, most everyone I know supports these guys and takes no issue with their pay.
So sit back, crack your knuckles, smile and prepare your next edgy anti-police statements. You are the Pied Piper of bitter internet nobodies, so lead the charge buddy!

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13apollo(1227 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

I wonder Doctore, if everyone you know supports them and their wages, why did the last levy fail?

Why do they need to move the current levy attempt to August?

I have a minor in Criminal Justice also Doctore and could easily do their jobs. This isn't New Orleans with murders and violent crime happening daily. This is Boardman. Look at the police blotter posted today. Petty thefts makes up most of the crimes. Boardman policeman is about as cushy of police job that there is. Well, except for Canfield and Poland. Paying them $100K with another $33K in benefits makes zero sense. Mall guards making $100K.

I have nothing against them. They are probably good guys. I talked to one a couple of months ago. Seemed like a decent guy. But do we really need more empty houses and empty businesses from property taxes too high? Because that's going to be the result.

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14apollo(1227 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Also Doctore, how come you have a problem with my attacks on them and yet say nothing about their attacks on me?

Carl, My Mothers basement is really nice. No need to move out.

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15wownut54(4 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

‎..."We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers' salaries and take away their right to strike." Adolph Hitler, May 2, 1933

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16d824(3 comments)posted 3 years, 6 months ago

Here is an idea, why not implement the spending cuts the committee found and cut insurance costs by having employees pay something... even if minimal. If Boardman did both of those and saved even more money, maybe we wouldn't need a new levy.

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