DuBois City Council Ends Healthcare Benefits for Elected Officials

DuBois City Council Ends Healthcare Benefits for Elected Officials

In a recent city council meeting, the DuBois City Council voted to terminate healthcare benefits for elected officials. This decision was made after interim city Solicitor Tom Breth provided his legal opinion, stating that healthcare was not instituted by an ordinance prior to the election of the officials.

The motion to end healthcare benefits was made by Councilwoman Jennifer Jackson and seconded by Councilman Elliot Gelfand. The motion received approval from Jackson, Gelfand, Councilman Shane Dietz, and Mayor Pat Reasinger. Councilman James Aughenbaugh abstained from voting.

Additionally, the council approved a motion for the interim solicitor to look into reimbursement for healthcare benefits received by the elected officials. However, Councilman Dietz and Aughenbaugh abstained from this motion.

It was revealed that the healthcare benefits for elected officials had been in effect since 2015 without an official vote by the council. Former Mayor Ed Walsh, Councilwoman Diane Bernardo, and Treasurer Lisa LaBrasca Becker were among those receiving city-paid healthcare benefits. Their coverage will end by January 31, with the option to continue coverage through COBRA.

Questions were raised by citizens in attendance about the cost of these benefits to taxpayers. Mayor Reasinger disclosed that last year alone, the healthcare benefits for five elected officials amounted to $62,000.

In addition to terminating healthcare benefits, City Manager Chris Nasuti presented a draft compensation ordinance for 2024. The council members were requested to review the draft, provide recommendations, and engage in public discussions before final approval.

Furthermore, the council discussed the progress of issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a city solicitor. The RFP will be sent out for responses by April 1, 2024.

The termination of suspended City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio was also brought up during the meeting. The council clarified that the process would take time, and additional research was being conducted to ensure proper procedure.

The decisions made by the DuBois City Council aim to address the issue of healthcare benefits and compensation for elected officials while ensuring transparency and adherence to legal guidelines.

FAQ Section:

1. Why did the DuBois City Council vote to terminate healthcare benefits for elected officials?
– The decision was made because it was determined that healthcare benefits were not instituted by an ordinance prior to the election of the officials.

2. Who made the motion to end healthcare benefits?
– Councilwoman Jennifer Jackson made the motion, which was seconded by Councilman Elliot Gelfand.

3. Who approved the motion to end healthcare benefits?
– The motion received approval from Councilwoman Jackson, Councilman Gelfand, Councilman Shane Dietz, and Mayor Pat Reasinger. Councilman James Aughenbaugh abstained from voting.

4. What action did the council take regarding reimbursement for healthcare benefits received by elected officials?
– The council approved a motion for the interim solicitor to look into reimbursement for healthcare benefits. However, Councilman Dietz and Councilman Aughenbaugh abstained from this motion.

5. How long were the healthcare benefits for elected officials in effect without an official vote?
– The healthcare benefits had been in effect since 2015 without an official vote by the council.

6. When will the coverage for elected officials’ healthcare benefits end?
– The coverage will end by January 31, with the option for elected officials to continue coverage through COBRA.

7. How much did the healthcare benefits for elected officials cost taxpayers last year?
– Mayor Reasinger disclosed that the healthcare benefits for five elected officials amounted to $62,000 in the previous year.

8. What other decision did the council make apart from terminating healthcare benefits?
– City Manager Chris Nasuti presented a draft compensation ordinance for 2024, which the council members were asked to review, provide recommendations on, and discuss publicly before final approval.

9. When will the Request for Proposals (RFP) for a city solicitor be sent out?
– The RFP for a city solicitor will be sent out for responses by April 1, 2024.

10. What is the current status of the termination of City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio?
– The council clarified that the termination process for City Manager Suplizio would take time, and additional research was being conducted to ensure proper procedure.

Definitions:
– City Solicitor: A legal advisor or attorney who represents a city or municipality in legal matters.
– COBRA: The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, which allows certain individuals to continue receiving healthcare coverage after the loss of a job or other qualifying event.
– Request for Proposals (RFP): A document or announcement that solicits proposals from potential vendors or service providers.

Suggested Related Links:
Dubois City Official Website
COBRA Health Insurance
Definition of City Solicitor

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