Penn-Trafford rec board OKs opt-out for director
With a 4-3 vote, the Penn-Trafford Area Recreation Commission board decided Monday to give director Cheryl Kemerer a $250 monthly payment for opting out of health insurance funded by the rec group to join Hempfield Township's plan.
That payment is about half of the $490 monthly payment that Kemerer requested. Because PTARC reimburses Penn Township for covering Kemerer on the township's plan, Kemerer said, she was entitled to the same opt-out benefit that township employees get — a 50-percent payment of the employee's premium.
After rejecting a monthly payment of $500 for the rest of her term as director, Nick Petrucci, Larry Harrison, Joy Clontz and Rita Windsor agreed to pay Kemerer $250.
PTARC will save money in the 2014 budget when Kemerer joins Hempfield's health care plan at the end of the month. The organization budgeted $13,000 — $1,083 per month — for Kemerer's expenses this year.
Earlier this year, a Westmoreland County judge ruled Kemerer is eligible for lifetime medical benefits from Hempfield, her former employer, despite being fired by officials in that community in 2002.
Petrucci, a longtime Penn-Trafford School Board member, said he couldn't justify giving Kemerer an opt-out benefit that is 2.5 times the $200 that school-district employees and retirees receive.
“I can talk face-to-face with a Penn-Trafford employee and say, ‘We gave her $250, but she's supposed to get $500, and we just went halfway,'” Petrucci said. “I can say that, and it doesn't bother me.”
Dreistadt, Bruce Light and Toni Ising voted against the $250 payment, though for different reasons.
Ising said she opposed paying Kemerer a monthly opt-out higher than the school district's $200 opt-out payment.
Dreistadt and Light — who, like Petrucci, are founding PTARC members — said Kemerer's health benefits always have been treated the same as a township employee's. They favored a $500 monthly cap.
“I, personally, think it's immoral to change someone's offering midway in the stream,” Light said.
Board members said setting a cap was significant because Penn Township's insurance premiums continue to go up. Kemerer said the increase for the next plan year is estimated to be 30 percent.
Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- The heat and the hazard: Truths of summer health
- Starting 9: Examining Pirates’ deadline decisions
- Pirates notebook: Burnett says ‘surgery is not an option’
- One Direction brings the thrills to Heinz Field audience
- 4 ejections, benches-clearing scrum mark Pirates’ win over Reds
- Steelers’ Harrison awaits go-ahead from Tomlin before practicing
- Steelers notebook: Officials discuss new game ball procedures
- Biertempfel: Players, MLB agree logic of season’s setup needs to be examined
- Developers share their vision for Garden Theater block on North Side
- Reds solve Cole, stave off Pirates’ 9th-inning rally
- Pittsburgh airport improvements noted as CEO tries to expand activity