From the March, 2012 Minutes of the Newtown Townshp Board of Supervisors meeting:
"Mr. Partridge identified that after Mr. Nawn and he were contacted by the Newtown Square Neighborhood Council (Regi Siberski) concerning medical benefits for supervisors, the Board asked the Solicitor for his opinion on the procedural issue. The Solicitor stated he reviewed all information from 1998 to present and did not believe that the payment of benefits in 1998 was proper. While Section 606 of the Second Class Township Code allows for the payment of medical benefits to non-employee supervisors, there had been no prior board action to create a policy to pay such benefits. However, each year since 1998, the benefits have been separately and clearly identified on the budget for payment, each year the budget was been made available for public inspection and voted on in public, and each year for the last 13 years, the benefits have been paid. The Solicitor stated that should the Board wish to continue this benefit, they are justified in relying on this open public action each year. No supervisor is in the same term as they would have been in 1998; therefore, the rule against increasing compensation during a supervisor's present term is no longer an issue. Mr. Partridge made a motion to accept the Solicitor's legal opinion on the validity of medical benefits for non-employee township supervisors as the official position of the Newtown Board of Supervisors and Mr. Nawn seconded the motion.
Regi Siberski, 410 Timber Lane, who has spoken for the taxpayers stated the decision to take medical benefits in 1998 was taken in private session; two supervisors who signed the ordinance are still living. Ms. Siberski stated there were always objections to the payment each year. Ms. Siberski disagreed with the Board and the District Attorney’s office. Ms. Siberski commented there was the opportunity in the past for a retroactive ordinance. Both PSATS and DCED mentioned that it is not proper. Ms. Siberski took umbrage with the Board’s decision and asked the Board to table this issue for further discussion with the Solicitor to come to a better platform. Ms. Siberski stated she is definitely opposed to a surcharge and wants to see this die and over with."
Here is a list of local townships, all of which were contacted about whether they make taxpayers pay for health benefits and deductibles for their non-employee supervisors (all of Newtown's supervisors are not employees of the township), council members and/or commissioners: Marple, Upper Providence, Radnor, Tredyffrin, Middletown, Malvern Borough, Edgmont, Easttown, Westtown, East Whiteland.
These township managers and/or knowledgeable staff provided this information. None of these towns pay for health benefits or deductibles for non-employee elected officials. In Malvern Borough, council members can participate in the borough's health plan, but they must pay the cost. The taxpayer does not pay for it.
Newtown Township just raised residents' taxes 2.9%. Part of this increase is due to the approximately $78,000 in the budget to pay the healthcare premiums and deductibles for three of the superivors. It includes payment for spouses and/or family members.
Residents' taxes could be lower if the supervisors did not take this benefit. When most, if not all workers are responsible to pay for at least some portion of their healthcare premium, the Newtown supervisors continue to provide themselves with this benefit.
Do you think your tax dollars should pay for this benefit?