Liberty Twp. discusses health care benefits

By D. Anthony Botkin - [email protected]



Liberty Township trustees Melanie Leneghan and Mike Gemperline briefly met in a special trustee meeting Monday morning to conduct the regular business of the township.

According to Cathy Buehrer, township administrative assistant, the regular trustees meeting, which was scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, would not have had a quorum because Trustee Shyra Eichhorn and Leneghan were both scheduled to be out of town in the evening.

Buehrer said the meeting could have been canceled, but Leneghan wasn’t leaving town until the afternoon, which allowed for the morning meeting.

“We could have just flat out canceled it, but we decided to reschedule it in the morning,” she said in a report last week.

The trustees’ first order of business after roll call and approval of the March 5 minutes was to go into the first of two scheduled executive sessions.

The first was to discuss “Preparing for … bargaining sessions with public employees concerning their compensation or other terms and conditions of their employment.”

Collective bargaining matters are stated in the 2017 Ohio Sunshine Laws manual as one of the nine permissible reasons for trustees to call an executive session and hold a discussion behind closed doors away from the public.

The second closed-door session was held at the end of the trustees meeting for the purpose of “… to consider the … employment … discipline … of a public official or employee ….”

Upon returning to the public meeting after the first executive session, trustees approved purchase orders and blanket certificates, and the bills and warrants totaling $82,467.

Recently, the township and the labor unions, International Association of Fire Fighters Local 3754 and the United Steelworkers Local 9110-07, underwent arbitration over changes in the township’s health care benefits opt-out policy.

As of Feb. 19, the township was ordered to bring the language of the policy into conformity with state laws.

Trustees approved a resolution in accordance with the order on Feb. 22, but in the Monday morning meeting, trustees approved a resolution with line C of the document removed in its entirety.

“It’s amending the original resolution just removing item C,” Buehrer said.

Gemperline and Leneghan both approved the new resolution.

The removed line allowed the fiscal officer and township administrator to take “appropriate action to recoup any overpayment made to those bargaining unit employees who received a cash-in-lieu payment greater than the statutory 25 percent level as of May 23, 2017.”

Item C no longer exists.

On the recommendation of Fiscal Officer Nancy Denutte, trustees approved entering into a health and life insurance contract with United Health Care Insurance reflecting a new rate schedule taking effect April 1.

According to Buehrer, resolutions numbers five and six were removed from the morning’s agenda along with resolution seven at the request of Fire Chief Tom O’Brien.

The first two resolution removed were on the published agenda Friday afternoon as a memorandum of understanding with the IAFF and a memorandum of understanding with the USW.

The one requested by O’Brien to be removed was a renewal agreement with SourcePoint for a services coordinator for older adults in Liberty Township.

“We can also remove resolution number eight, the annual physicals,” Buehrer said.

The resolution was for the annual physicals for the township’s firefighters and paramedics with Mount Carmel Occupational Health.

Trustees then went on to authorize an expenditure for paramedic refresher classes through Ohio Health Emergency Medical Services at a cost of $3,500.

Matt Huffman, township administrator, presented a resolution to authorize a cooperative agreement between the township and Delaware County for road improvements to West Orange Road.

“It’s an ongoing issue,” he said.

Trustees authorized the agreement.

Trustees also approved a request for engineer assistance for the construction of the Sawmill Parkway Trail Extension, the hiring of two part-time Parks and Road Services employees, a private food concession agreement with Dan’s Deli, and appointed Suzanne Vais as a regular member of the Zoning Commission for a five-year term.



By D. Anthony Botkin

[email protected]

Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.

Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.