In today’s Daily Journal we learn that the Freeholders have finally acted on our suggestion to cease paying benefits to part-time employees. Well, sort of.
Cumberland County is cutting off health insurance benefits for elected and appointed officials in another move to cut spending.
The Board of Freeholders approved the benefits elimination at its year-end meeting on Dec. 23. The vote was 6-1 along partisan lines.
You can see Lou’s political maneuvering in this latest ploy, however.
The key to the freeholder decision, though, is that it will affect future elected and appointed officials — but not people currently holding those offices.
In other words, the two freeholders currently receiving health benefits from the county will keep the benefits through their current terms. If re-elected though, they will not have health benefits in their new terms.
Lou exempted himself, as well as Jane Jannarone. Lou is not planning on running again, and we all know that Jannaorne is unelectable after last elections fiasco.
The change applies to freeholders, the county’s legal counsel, county treasurer and appointed members of the Board of Elections and the Board of Taxation.
This is all well and good, and as it should be. These positions are all part-time.
It also applies to “constitutional officers,” who are, the county clerk, county sheriff and county surrogate; and any other part-time workers, which is defined as people who work less than 30 hours per week.
This is where I have a problem. The constitutional officers all are expected to work 40-hours a week. These positions are their jobs. This ploy is clearly a personal attack against the lone Republican, Gloria Noto. Doug Rainear – who never works a full work-week anyway, already has lifetime medical coverage from his job in education, and hence no need for the county benefits. Bob Austino also has no need for health coverage, as he is covered from his years of being a police officer. Noto has no such coverage.
The targeting of the full-time officers reeks of a political agenda – but then this is exactly what we have come to expect from Lou Magazzu. However, the worst part of this action is that it wasn’t implemented sooner, and jobs could have been saved.