In The News

Review Needed of Health Care Buyouts,
Say Desso and Spain

Councilmen Will Introduce Resolution on Buyout & Insurance

North Greenbush Council Members Lou Desso and Al Spain Jr. want a complete review of the health care buyout policy and payments approved by the previous Town Board during 2006 and 2007.

Along with seeking an overall review of the health care buyout policy, Desso and Spain said they want to ensure that any possible future buyout policy is subjected to collective bargaining and that buyouts are specifically approved by the Town Board.

Desso and Spain first put the health care buyouts under scrutiny in June when they questioned the reason for certain buyouts and the amount of payments. The two council members also questioned a buyout given to the newly-hired town comptroller.

While the buyout was put in place by the previous Town Board to generate a savings, a review of the buyouts in 2006, 2007 and 2008 show the buyout program actually cost the town $46,000, Desso and Spain said. The buyouts during 2006, 2007 and 2008 were carried out due to a labor contract approved by the previous board.

"The buyout policy was agreed to by the previous Town Board, and we have concerns about the methodology used for these buyouts. It makes all the sense in the world to review these buyouts and to also ensure there is proper oversight both now and in the future," said Desso.

"We are glad that our efforts helped prompt a public discussion of the buyout issue. We believe more oversight is needed over the buyouts and that a review of the past buyouts will guarantee the buyouts were handled properly," added Spain.

Along with pressing for a review of the health care buyouts, Desso and Spain said they will introduce a resolution reforming rules for receiving health care from the town. Under the resolution, health care will be offered to employees upon retirement after 20 years of service with the town. The resolution will establish a policy governing future eligibility for employees and elected officials, and will result in substantial savings to the town.

"The town’s health insurance policy needs to be cleared up and steps taken to ensure there is a policy that everyone, both employees and taxpayers, can understand and follow," said Spain.

"We need a clear and reasonable health insurance policy. We believe our proposal is fair and one that protects employees and the town," said Desso.

Seeking re-election to the Rensselaer County Legislature