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Letter to the editor

Insulted by township

June 01, 2011 - Dear Editor,

It was with astonishment that I learned of the latest Township Board insult to its employees and the community ("Benefit cuts OK'd," March 23).

When the Township Board set the policy that elected officials of the township would receive Blue Cross coverage for themselves and their families after eight years of service, it was based on full discussion, debate, and sound reasoning.

One rationale was that an elected official, all of whom are and were full time employees, had to give up other careers to undertake service to the community.

The benefit was to entice the kind of talented people necessary to handle the complex issues the township daily faces.

When the Township Board adopted this policy, it was with qualifications a contract. To continue to have Blue Cross coverage at no cost, the retiree was required to enroll in Medicare parts A and B as soon as it was available.

I completed my part of that contract. In fairness, if that matters to anyone on this current Board of Trustees, once that contract was complete, it was the duty of the township to honor it.

I understand some trustees have opined the board is within its legal rights to do anything it pleases to its retirees. If true, basic fairness dictates this board should not overturn benefits already in effect.

I understand the township may save $75,000 per year by costing its retirees $150,000 plus per year. If you want to save money, I suggest you stop paying the four trustees a combined total of over $20,000 for a part time position. Eliminate your human resources director and let the township supervisor handle those functions, as all supervisors have done in the past. These two actions would save the township at least $125,000.

I implore this board to honor the commitment it made to its retirees and maintain the benefit promised.

Dale and Deborah Stuart

Independence Township

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