Supervisor Savoie attempting another NON TRANSPARENT and perhaps ILLEGAL agenda item at this Monday's Board of Trustees meeting (10/26/15) @ 7 PM.
There is NOTHING in the Board Packet about this agenda item period. Therefore, the public and presumably the Board members know nothing about WHAT Savoie will be saying or suggesting concerning this agenda item. The agenda item doesn't even mention HOW MUCH $$$ he wishes to "move". Frankly, the word "steal" or "rob" from the W&S Fund sounds more like it to me.
The agenda item also asks that this be retroactive to July 1, 2015...so that the funds could be included in the OPEB Actuarial Report. Is that report being withheld intentionally for the township to try and make the numbers look better? Is that report from a company called Milliman?
The following information is what I could find out doing website research or my opinion:
FROM THE CURRENT BUDGET: WATER AND SEWER:
At the Monday night, October 26, 2015 @ 7 PM Board of Trustee meeting.....WILL SUPERVISOR SAVOIE have attorney opinions already completed? Will he have other documents at this meeting? Will there be a prewritten motion or resolution for the trustees to vote on? How many of the trustees ALREADY had a conversation with Savoie...about this agenda item? Will the trustees "contact" Savoie, one by one, to get the information needed sometime this weekend? Bypassing the open meeting rules?
This looks like another agenda item that Savoie wants. Will he have his usual "posse" of 4-5 trustees ready to follow him? This agenda item is about boosting the underfunded retiree healthcare fund... with money collected and saved for W&S emergencies or other W&S projects. This saved W&S money came from bill payments by SOME taxpayers. This is NOT millage money collected from all. This W&S Fund money is NOT Savoie's or the Trustees "slush fund" to cover other debts they or previous trustees have/had approved year after year but have not figured out how to pay for. This is NOT the solution.
The trustees already have "taken" from this W &S fund money to pay for a water/sewer/road project for the Upper Long Lake Estates Long Pointe Sanitary Sewer Project. None of the homes affected in this project ever paid into this fund...but benefited from it. How the "free" road was paid for, not sure. May have been some other "fund". Other people/subdivisions also need sanitary sewers repair or new sewers/ and or roads , but they are told that they need to go the route of Special Assessment Districts (SAD) and pay for that project over a period of years. I guess it depends on who or where or some other strange reason why some get "free perks" and others don't under this administration.
Well, now that GASB requires pensions to be REPORTED, this is one fund that doesn't look so good. I know that the Township is on a 100% annual payment aka as "pay as you go" for the Retiree Health Care. Only the cost for each year is paid by the current taxes. I believe the Trust Fund is only about 1.3 % FUNDED. That makes it 98.7% UNDERFUNDED. The township has promised "retiree" healthcare in the employment contract for decades. Unfortunately, the township did NOT put money for those future debts into a fund for that eventual day. We are paying for past promises... big time... It is time to review and revise future employee contracts.
I asked questions in a July 2015 blog about this Retiree Health Care. Please read:
This particular RETIREE HEALTH CARE TRUST was apparently started on March 14, 2005. A complete copy was, in 2005, available at the Clerk's office. So... why couldn't that document be part of THIS 2015 packet and discussion?
Of course, this agenda wasn't posted until sometime Thursday, the offices are closed on Friday, so that leaves Monday to ask for the information/ and if needed to be FOIA... days late in being able to review. Another reason NOT to have a 4 day work week at the township.
Another document that COULD have been part of the Board Packet is this... a report by Milliman that I believe they complete every two years. This is the last one that I found on the township website.
please read: [PDF] Summary Annual Report 2014 Charter Township Of Bloomfield Retired Employees' Health Care Benefits Trust
...1. Gregory J. Schwartz and Company 2. RBC Correspondent Services 3. Milliman, Inc....
...1.07% as of the latest report dated 7/1/13 from Milliman, Inc....
Another document that could have been part of the Board Packet:
FROM archived minutes of MARCH 14, 2005
BOTTOM LINE OF MY THINKING:
- WE DON'T PAY WATER AND SEWER BILLS TO PAY FOR OR FUND EMPLOYEE HEALTHCARE. NOT ALL TOWNSHIP TAXPAYERS PAY WATER AND/OR SEWER BILLS.
- RESTRICTED FUNDS SHOULD NOT BE TRANSFERRED.... ESPECIALLY PERMANENTLY TO COVER EMPLOYEE BENEFITS FROM PAST CONTRACTS.
- TOWNSHIP LEADERSHIP KNEW OF THIS UNDERFUNDED RETIREE HEALTH CARE PENSION FUND BACK WHEN THEY ASKED FOR $85 MILLION BONDING TO PAY FOR THE DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION FUND BUT KEPT QUIET ABOUT IT.
- SUPERVISOR SAVOIE AND THE TRUSTEES SHOULD NOT HAVE GIVEN 2% RAISES EACH OF THE LAST 4 YEARS. THOSE RAISES WERE NOT PART OF THE SIX YEAR CONTRACT. WAGES COULD BE "OPENED" DURING THOSE YEARS... BUT NOTHING SAID THEY MUST GET RAISES. ANY AVAILABLE SURPLUS MONEY IN THE GENERAL FUND SHOULD HAVE BEEN USED TO PAY PAST DEBTS...OR TO FUND UNDERFUNDED ACCOUNTS LIKE THE RETIREE HEALTHCARE FUND BEFORE GIVING RAISES TO ALL EMPLOYEES.
- THE "EMERGENCY" 1.3 TAX MILLAGE PASSED IN FEBRUARY OF 2010....THAT EXPIRES IN 2020 WAS TO KEEP THE STATUS QUO. INSTEAD, THE TOWNSHIP HAS USED THAT APPROX. +/- $4 MILLION COLLECTED EACH YEAR TO INCREASE GOVERNMENT SPENDING....MAINLY EMPLOYEE WAGES/BENEFITS.
- THERE ARE 30 DIFFERENT FUNDS AT THE TOWNSHIP... BUT TWP. ONLY DOES AN ANNUAL BUDGET FOR 18 OF THOSE FUNDS. WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR AND THE NUMBERS FOR EACH OF THOSE FUNDS?
- IT'S HARD TO FOLLOW ITEMS IN THE BUDGET FROM YEAR TO YEAR BECAUSE THE TWP. WILL MOVE SOME EXPENDITURES AROUND TO DIFFERENT ACCOUNTS.
- ANOTHER "BILL" THAT SOME TAX PAYERS PAY IS FOR CABLE. EXCESS MONEY COLLECTED FROM THOSE BILLS END UP TRANSFERRED TO THE TOWNSHIP GENERAL FUND. WHY? LOWER THE CABLE FEES PAID BY SOME. NOT EVERYONE PAYS CABLE FEES. AGAIN, WHY ARE THE TOWNSHIP TAXPAYERS ALLOWING THE TOWNSHIP TO "GET AWAY WITH" USING MONEY COLLECTED VIA A BILL.... FOR ONE PURPOSE... TO BE PUT INTO THE TOWNSHIP GENERAL FUND TO BE USED FOR OTHER PURPOSES?
- IT IS TIME TO GET NEW LEADERSHIP AT THE TOWNSHIP. PLEASE....CONSIDER PLACING YOUR NAME ON THE 2016 NOVEMBER BALLOT FOR ANY OF THE SEVEN POSITIONS THAT WILL BE AVAILABLE: SUPERVISOR, TREASURER, CLERK, AND 4 TRUSTEE SPOTS. APRIL/MAY 2015 IS THE DEADLINE FOR GETTING YOUR NAME ON THE 2016 AUGUST PRIMARY BALLOT... PLEASE KEEP THAT IN MIND.