Due to changes in the law, our OPEB liability was reduced by $47.5 Million. The luck of these legal changes, accounts for 73% of the total reduction announced in June. The actuary at Miliman, confirmed that the discounted rate changed because of the assumption that we will not break the law and ignore Public Act 202 which requires funding and the legislature removed an excise tax which no longer penalizes us. Even with this lucky windfall adjustment and some changes made by the Township, we are still only 13% funded which is far below the 40% required by law. Additional financial concerns come from the 6-year contracts with higher raises for all employees, and some including cars, and 2-year salary payouts and 3 years of medical coverage if someone is let go. These were negotiated during a pandemic with unknown financial consequences and before the compensation and staffing study was completed. We need to adjust our spending while maintaining community services, because long-term we want this to be a great place work and live.
Please see the video below where Michelle of Miliman and Trustee Dani Walsh discuss the $47.5 Million adjustment at the Board of Trustee meeting on June 22, 2020.
The Township Master Plan expired about 6 years ago and has not been replaced. Implementing a master plan, also known as a blueprint for the future, would end the knee jerk decisions being made that are taking away from the vision and character of the township. Having a plan provides consistency, prioritizes resources, produces positive economic development, discovering areas for green spaces and parks, and is the conceptual framework of the township’s character. In addition to the knowledgeable and experienced employees, our community is also filled with brilliant and passionate people from all walks of life. I will implement a committee that brings together leadership, employees, and citizens to update the master plan and protect the long-term vision, sustainability and needs of the township.