To the Editor:

I read Councilman Lou Beckerman's recent letter about insurance savings. He was heralding good news of a $60k savings in next year's health insurance for the township. 

Having heard nothing of this at any council meeting this year, I submitted an OPRA request to the town to learn more. I've since learned that the council members haven't been provided any information on this subject.

So is Mr Beckerman making this up? Or perhaps he has used his insurance contacts to get an early look at what the results may be? And if so, is he not aware that it is entirely inappropriate for a councilman to be making public comment on what is clearly an ongoing contract negotiation?

This serves as a reminder of another incident from the beginning of 2013. When it came time to hire the township insurance broker, the council initially made a motion to adopt a resolution hiring Doyle Alliance. It was Councilman Bo Vastine who pointed out that the previous insurance broker, Connor-Strong, had capped their fee at $50k - a significant savings over last year - and that there was no such cap from Doyle Alliance. The council, under the new direction of Lou Beckerman and the Scotch Plains Democrats, then chose to table the resolution to a subsequent meeting.

At the next meeting, the Democrats unveiled a new bid from Doyle Alliance that included a cap for just slightly less than Connor-Strong's original proposal (other bidders were offered no such 2nd chance). So Lou Beckerman got his way and Scotch Plains hired his preferred broker Doyle Alliance for the same amount of savings that would have been achieved under Connor-Strong. 
So Lou Beckerman tries to take credit for something that was going to happen regardless. And now Lou Beckerman is also asking us to believe a promise of more savings for next year. 

Ed Saridaki
Former Scotch Plains Town Councilman
Former Scotch Plains Board of Education