Scotch Plains Council Passes Ordinance Banning Healthcare Benefits for Part-Time Township Elected Officials

Scotch Plains Council votes to prohibit health benefits for part-time elected officials on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Credits: Courtesy of SPTV
Mayor Al Smith's election campaign called for ending health benefits for part-time employees of the township. Credits: Courtesy of SPTV

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The Scotch Plains Council passed an ordinance prohibiting the township's part-time elected officials (council and mayor) from receiving health benefits paid for by the township.

During the election campaign last fall, Mayor Al Smith and running mate (now Councilman) Ted Spera ran on a 5-Point Plan "to make Scotch Plains more affordable and prosperous " with point No.1 being to Eliminate Taxpayer-Funded Health Perks for Part-Time Politicians.

In December 2014, the Scotch Plains Council voted to move from a private insurance plan to the New Jersey State Health Benefits plan, under which part-time elected officials are ineligible to receive healthcare benefits. Former Mayor Kevin Glover, who was first elected to the council in November 2006, said that he had accepted health benefits from the township just as his predecessors had done. Glover also said that he was grandfathered in because he had served on the council prior to changes in laws that made part-time elected officials ineligible to receive health benefits from the state-sponsored plan.

Sign Up for E-News

Mayor Al Smith, noting that he had delivered on his campaign promise, said in an interview with TAPintoSPF that the new ordinance means that part-time elected officials would also be ineligible to receive benefits from the township if Scotch Plains were to move from the state plan back to a private insurance carrier.

"Right now, we are under the state plan, but we are monitoring the costs to ensure that it is the most cost effective option for the taxpayers of Scotch Plains," Mayor Smith said. "It's possible that some time in the future it might be advantageous to get coverage from a private insurer. If that were to be the case, the only way for the mayor and council to receive health benefits from the township would be to pass a new ordinance."

"Employee health care is a significant cost to the township. The mayor, council and I are committed to finding future cost savings wherever possible," Scotch Plains Township Manager Al Mirabella told TAPintoSPF. "We will look at the costs of private coverage and compare to the state plan to make sure that we get the most cost savings that we can for our employees' health benefits."

Mirabella also confirmed that employees who previously accepted health benefits in the past will not be made to reimburse those costs. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Three School Buses Involved in Crash at Clark's ALJ High School

June 21, 2018

CLARK, NJ — Three buses collided in the Arthur L. Johnson High School parking lot around noon on Thursday in a chain-reaction crash. 

Students were on board at the time, according to Police Chief Pedro Matos. One driver and two students had minor injuries, Matos said.   

According to a Honeywell alert issued by the Clark Public School District, ...

Let's Talk About Suicide

In our world today, it seems our children, no matter the town, state, education, family unit, socioeconomic background, ethnicity or religion are grappling with complex, confounding and complicated issues not even fit for a middle-aged adult. Sadly, one of these issues is suicide. With mental health gaining more attention, the stigma appears to be dissipating but when a mental health ...

Is Summer Camp the Right Choice for My Child?

Is your child attending camp this summer? Is it their first experience away?  If yes, it can be an experience causing anxiety for you, for the parent and the child. 

This experience can be frightening to your child if it is their first time and it is so important that they do not see your worry or anxiety about leaving home for the first time… especially if it is sleep ...

What Are The Warning Signs of Suicide

The recent passings of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain remind us to take mental illness seriously. 

Many of us feel uncomfortable to ask when someone in distress is suicidal for fear we are putting this thought in their minds. This is not true. It is a myth that asking about suicide increases the risk of suicide. The most common mental illness is depression. Some people are ...


In honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's (of righteous memory) 24th  Yahrtzeit (anniversary of his passing) this coming Saturday the 16th.

Excerpts from an address given by Nobel-laureate Elie Wiesel on April 7, 1992, at a congressional dinner held in Washington on the occasion of the Rebbe's 90th birthday.

Some of you are aware of my admiration, not only ...

We Must Address The Unrealistic Affordable Housing Process Now

June 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank all the residents who attended and watched last Tuesday’s Town Hall meeting on over-development and legislative solutions with Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi and I. If you were unable to attend, I encourage you to watch the meeting on SPTV or the Township’s Facebook page at ().

The meeting was a real eye-opener for many of our residents. It ...

Imagine Hosts Annual Breakfast Fundraiser

June 23, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Nearly 350 guests attended Imagine’s 7th annual breakfast fundraiser, Seasons of Hope, on June 6, at Shackamaxon Country Club in Scotch Plains.

"We especially want to thank our breakfast sponsors -- our platinum sponsor Merck, our bronze sponsors ConnectOne Bank and Northfield Bank, the volunteers and donors that contributed to the breakfast” said Imagine ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Terrill Road Baptist Chruch, Scotch Plains

LifeWay’s 2018 Vacation Bible School at Terrill ...

Religions And Spirituality


Sun, July 8, 9:00 AM

Highland Swim Club, Scotch Plains

Resolve's Third Annual Swim-A-Palooza Party on ...