April 20, 2006
MINUTES OF THE BROOKNEAL TOWN COUNCIL

6:30 PM – Meeting of the Brookneal Town Council continued from April 11, 2006.

 

The municipal government of the Town of Brookneal met with the following members present:

 

Phyllis Campbell, Mayor

James Nowlin, Vice Mayor

Meg Tibbs, Kenneth Jennings, Tracy Meisenbach, Richard Adams, and Stacy Hailey Council Members

Bill Gillespie, Town Manager

Laurie C. Francis, Clerk/Treasurer

Ricky Cousins, Police Chief

 

 

DISCUSSION OF HEALTH INSURANCE AND BUDGET ISSUES

 

Mayor Campbell called to order the regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council continued from April 11, 2006.

 

Council discussed various health insurance options.  Four options were made available allowing health insurance to remain in house.  The option of going with Campbell County’s insurance was also discussed.

 

Council member, Meg Tibbs pointed out to several employees in attendance that the insurance cost with Campbell County would be cheaper.  However, payroll would have to be turned over to Campbell County if the Town decided to go with Campbell County insurance.  The employees present expressed were opposed to that option.

 

Clerk/Treasurer, Laurie Francis, pointed out during the discussion that ensued that the Public Works Directors salary was increased by approximately $6000 per council’s request thus increasing the taxes and retirement paid to him as well.

 

Town Manager, Bill Gillespie, stated that he wanted to make it clear that the $6000 was not an increase.  Mr. Gillespie went on to state that he had an attorney’s opinion that responsibilities were given to the Public Works Director and if the town takes the money away from him with no compensation he has grounds to file a suit.    Mr. Gillespie went on to explain that the monies for the increase in salary were already budgeted in the form of insurance premiums.  Mr. Gillespie added that what the town was doing now was moving everybody to equal footing in terms of what they pay for their insurance.

 

Council member Meg Tibbs further explained that it was all a health insurance thing adding that the Public Works Director was getting it in health insurance previously and he would not be getting it in health insurance and he would have to pay like everybody else and instead that money would be going in his salary.

 

Clerk/Treasurer, Laurie Francis, responded by adding that there was an increase in taxes and retirement for the Public Works Director and that had the raise been given instead of insurance several years back it would have only been approximately a $3000 raise as opposed to a $6000 raise.

 

Council member Tibbs pointed out that originally the insurance was given to the Public Works Director instead of a raise to save the town from having to pay taxes on the money if they gave him an increase at that time.

 

Council member Richard Adams explained that one of the reasons that the town was looking at something a little different and putting everybody on the same playing field is that the way the town has done the payments for the health insurance for all of the employees in the past, the town was operating outside of the law.  Mr. Adams added that the Town was literally doing things contrary to the way the statute was set up so the town had to make some changes to treat everybody the same way across the board on how the payments were made by the town and by the employees.

 

Meg Tibbs continued the discussion regarding health insurance comparing the different options available.  Council members explained to the employees in attendance what the actual increase and total cost to each employee would be based on the different options council was looking at.

 

James Smith, maintenance worker for the Town of Brookneal, asked that the council consider at a later date increasing each employee’s salary once things started to look up for the town.  Mayor Campbell responded saying that seemed to be a very reasonable request.  Council member Adams asked if the employees could work with the council on this at this time.  Council member Tibbs also pointed out that the budget was done without the tax money from Dan River included adding that it was better to plan on the short side than it is to expect money that the town might not get.

 

Mr. Adams explained that the town was also looking into a premium only plan for the town that would allow the employee contributions towards health insurance cost to be treated on a pre-tax basis.  This lowers what the employee’s taxable income is on each check which will mean that the employees will pay less taxes out of each check.  Mr. Adams added that the down side to that is that at retirement time, when you put a little less into the plan for Social Security, you will draw a little less in Social Security when you retire.

 

Mr. Jack Carwile, of Adams Ferry Road, was also in attendance.  Mr. Carwile asked for an explanation of where the savings that were proposed at a previous meeting had gone.  Ms. Tibbs explained the difference in the cost of the various insurances adding that the savings would have been near $25,000 had the council chosen to go with the Campbell County insurance policy.  Ms. Tibbs also explained that by passing some of the cost of the increase in insurance premiums on to the employees the town was able to keep the insurance in house.

 

Mr. Carwile also asked why the Public Works Director was getting an increase in pay adding that the Town Manager had told him it was because the Public Works Director would now have to pay his insurance that was given to him in the past due to increased duties.  Mr. Carwile went on to add that the council had taken away the part time help in the front office and given more duties to the Clerk/Treasurer noting that there was nothing budgeted for a salary increase for the Clerk/Treasurer.

 

Town Manager, Bill Gillespie, responded that the Town had paid the Public Works Directors insurance when he assumed a certain amount of duties five years ago.  Mr. Gillespie added that because the insurance had gone up, the amount of the salary increase had gone up.  Mr. Gillespie went on to say that from a legal point of view, you cannot give a person a benefit that was agreed to for them taking on additional duties and then take it away from them and not give him anything.

 

 

INSURANCE PLAN

 

Mayor Campbell asked for a motion concerning the insurance plan.

 

Council member Richard Adams made a motion that the town choose to go with Local Choice Key Advantage Expanded insurance with the employee contributions based on the percentage matching the plan Campbell County currently has in place.

 

The motion received a second from Kenneth Jennings.

 

Mayor Campbell called for a roll call vote as follows:

 

Mr. Nowlin Aye Mr. Adams      Aye Ms. Tibbs        Aye

Mr. Jennings   Aye_ Mr. Hailey       Aye

 

Ms. Meisenbach         Abstained

 

The motion carried with a 5 – 1 vote.

 

 

MOTION TO GO TO PUBLIC HEARING WITH GENERAL FUND BUDGET, WATER FUND BUDGET, AND SEWER FUND BUDGET.

 

Council member Stacey Hailey made a motion to advertise for a public hearing on the general fund budget, the water fund budget, and the sewer fund budget on May 9, 2006 at the next regular council meeting.

 

The motion received a second from Council member Meg Tibbs.

 

Mayor Campbell called for a roll call vote as follows:

 

Mr. Nowlin       Aye Ms. Meisenbach         Aye Mr. Adams      Aye Ms. Tibbs        Aye Mr. Jennings   Aye_ Mr. Hailey       Aye

 

The motion carried with a 6 – 0 vote.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

 

Upon motion from Council member Meg Tibbs, Mayor Campbell adjourned the April 20, 2006 meeting of the Brookneal Town Council.

 

 

 

 

___________________________                  ____________________________

Laurie C. Francis,                                           Phyllis Campbell, Mayor

Clerk/Treasurer                                               Mayor

 

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