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Opinion

October 1, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Oct. 1, 2013

Plan B

savings

TO THE EDITOR: In the Plattsburgh City School District budget, Superintendent Short warned the School Board that re-installing staff and programs was risky.

However, Fred dragooned the board into allowing him to go binge shopping with the taxpayers’ credit card.

Short was right; the irreverent Fred was wrong. PCSD is worried about the new lower tax cap and the impact of Obamacare. So far, Obamacare shock waves have forced UPS and IBM to reduce their coverage.

Plan B would save $1.3 million per year and still offer better coverage than the best state employee health coverage.

For years, the board granted hefty contractual benefits and put them in “locked boxes,” where the union and board must mutually agree to reopen contracts before renegotiation can occur. It never happens, even though both parties know the benefits are no longer sustainable.

Discovering that coverage could be changed to Plan B without collective bargaining has the unions sweating bullets and the board hiding behind “client/attorney” privilege.

Per teacher, that change is minor but would give significant tax relief to the working poor, self-employed and businesses struggling to afford health care that hardly compares to Plan B.

Marino and Krieg are scrupulously supporting the taxpayers. Fred and others are allied with “vested interests,” maneuvering to pirate that potential windfall of $1.3 million into another “locked box,” with taxpayers footing the bill.

Healthcare Consortium consultant Locey has already provided information recommending that the district move to Plan B. Districts that made this move reported employee satisfaction and significant savings.

If there is a vote on Plan B, any board member or their immediate family who directly benefits on this issue should abstain, as Clay ethically did at the Housing Authority.

Integrity and self-respect over self-interest would be a profound statement.

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