Gonser suggests a $16,000 annual cap on employee health benefits

8/26/14 Update After receiving thoughtful comments and email from several people I believe Gonser may have misspoke about a potential hard cap on the employee benefit plan.  He probably intended to say that the Township’s liability for the premiums for the plan may be limited to $16,000/yr.

Thank you Patricia, Marty, Thomas and Phillip for your willingness participate in our efforts to inform our community about our local government.

Jim Foulkrod


At the August 12, 2014 Board meeting Supervisor Gonser suggested that, in its search for a less costly employee health plan, the board could consider a plan that caps the amount of annual benefits at $16,000.  No member of the board spoke against his idea even though it could mean financial ruin for any employee of average means who had even a moderately serious health problem.  I was struck by how his meager $16,000 cap would have served a member of my immediate family who,  in June, fell, broke her leg and required surgery.  Her hospitalization, surgery and rehabilitation has, as of 7/29,  cost over $141,000.   If an Oakland Township employee had sustained this accidental injury and was subject to Gonser’s proposed $16,000 annual cap, the employee would need to pay over $125,000. 

This is another example of why, months ago, the Board of Trustees wisely refused to delegate any administrative responsibilities to Supervisor Gonser.  Township Manager Ann Capela retains  responsibility for all the administrative duties enumerated in state law.  So where does Gonser come up with  the authority and audacity to embarrass the whole Township with such mean-spirited, insensitive and draconian pronouncements?

It is time for the Board of Trustees to enforce their decision and reign-in the Supervisor.  He, by law and our Board’s actions, should only chair the meetings, do photo-ops and ride in the Christmas Parade.  Manager Capela, under direction of the entire Board, should  have full authority over the Township administration.

Jim Foulkrod

Here is the video containing Gonser’s remarks and discussion by the Board.


7 thoughts on “Gonser suggests a $16,000 annual cap on employee health benefits

  1. Patricia

    A cap is just that, it is on the premium not the services. Right now, private sector pays a lot more towards their premium than these employees whose insurance is paid for by the taxpayers. I am in health care, and really, premiums per month without dental or optical are running 1,700.00 for family, and many employees pay 500.00-600.00 per month and then have deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance and No dental or optical. Taxpayers pay a lot more for their own care than township or municipal employees do at this time in the market.
    Thank you–

    1. foulkrj Post author

      I reported precisely what Gonser said publicly ” or a hard cap which means that, at some point the benefit plan is capped and, for example, sixteen thousand dollars per year and any increase over that is the strictly the employees responsibility.” Gonser’s strange, ideological statements have, in the past, proven that you have to take him at his word and not attribute rational meaning to him. This is the guy that said in a public meeting that our safety paths and bike lanes are a part of a global, United Nations plot to eliminate the private automobile.

  2. disappointedresident

    ????? I believe the “CAP” they are referring to is a cap on the PREMIUMS, not actual benefits. And yes, public employees pay ALOT less for health benefit premiums than those in the current Obama Care Act debacle in the private market.

  3. thomas McNulty

    As a retired CFO of a large health care organization, I think that we have a “failure to communicate” as Paul Newman once said. The other commentators have stated that we are talking about the amount of the contribution made by the township, not the benefit paid for services received. The description of the issue stated by the blogger, is unfortunately misstated and politically biased. The need to present the data in an unbiased way supported by validation of the facts, should prevail here. It is not my intention to choose sides in the debate between the blogger and the issues, but lets at least look at the whole facts and judge on those. If you listened to the whole video, it outlines that the board keep in place the current insurance package, until they can review alternatives and make a recommendation decision. What is in play here is a budgeting issue, and similar to many organizations today. Caps on the amount that a company will pay towards an insurance policy simply means a transfer of the excess to the employee if so indicated. That simply challenges the management to review plans and coverage levels for consideration.

    If you are interested you can look at the Obmacare deductibles offered in their plans. and see what the world will look like. Cheap premiums but unrealistic deductibles.

  4. Marty Rosalik

    Given Mr. Gonser’s documented ability to say and do dumb things, ( U.N Agendas & gas lines ) I believe he thought he was talking about premiums not benefit caps. Unless the township currently does NOT purchase insurance and pays 100% of any and all claims. If the latter… that needs fixing.

  5. disappointedresident

    The problem here is that Gonser does not, in fact, know how to communicate effectively as pointed out by another commentator. However, I think the author of this blog took a little liberty on this one, but, I am willing to over look it and not make a broad judgement because of the majority of the factual and eye opening information we get as Oakland Township residents from this site. The writers of this blog should be careful not to seem biased by taking liberties when presenting facts. Again, I do appreciate this site, just be careful.


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