Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tom Gabos Has Hazleton Pay For His Healthcare

A firestorm erupted before last night's Hazleton City Council meeting. As the new City Administrator, Mary Ellen Leib, is pouring over Hazleton's expenditures it was discovered that Tom Gabos as well as one other council person is receiving health insurance paid by the City of Hazleton. It is legal for Mr. Gabos to receive health insurance according to an ordinance passed by City Council in 1997.

Why would a businessman burden the taxpayers with his health insurance cost when he only attends City Council meetings for about four hours per month? The cost of the insurance is $600.00 per month. If you do the math the taxpayers of the City of Hazleton are paying $150.00 per hour for a health insurance benefit. Why would a businessman who levies a mercantile tax on other businesses who must pay their own health insurance premiums ask those businesses to pay for his health insurance?

Its not an ethical violation but a question of his integrity. Is he in it for the money or the true interests of the taxpayers? He owns two businesses, gets paid to attend City Council meetings, has a full time position with the Hazleton Area School District, a part time job for his wife, a part time maintenance job with the Greater Hazleton Historical Society, and health insurance benefits paid for by the taxpayers of Hazleton.

In theses hard economic times that is just plain wrong. Let the voters decide.

Update Note: After a review of Ordinance 97-09 passed in 1997 it appears that the present members of Hazleton City Council are NOT entitled to healthcare benefits from the City of Hazleton. The wording of the Ordinance is quite clear that health insurance was only provided for the newly elected members of City Council for the year 1998. It makes no mention of the word "hereinafter."


Anonymous said...

You are correct> The ordinance passed "allowing medical insurance for council members" is questionable. Since it is so gray, the real responsibility lies with the City's Solicitors for not making it clear. I think we should require all city solitors' E&O insurance to repay all councilmens' insurance premiums!

Anonymous said...

Jack Mundie also has the city paying for his health insurance. Why don't you comment about that? Or is your agenda only to pick on Tom Gabos?

McGruff said...

GRAY??? No, it is very specific. It states the newly elected members of council for 1998 are entitled to health insurance. It does not contain the word, hereinafter, or a similar word.

Your comment about the solicitors would be a consideration if they had rendered an opinion on the subject. There is nothing in the record to date to indicate that happened.

The only issue with Mundie is why his business is located at the Laurel Mall while council mandates businesses in Hazleton pay a mercantile tax. Leaves him open to criticism.

Agenda to pick on Gabos. At least Mundie introduced ideas and is involved on a daily basis.

Until last month Gabos did not introduce one piece of legislation to help Hazleton. The Mayor does not set policy, council does by ordinance. Council sets it and the Mayor implements it.

So yes, the idea is to expose Gabos who has been flying under the radar and ask the voters to put new people who have fresh ideas and want to work to move the city forward, not work the system.

Anonymous said...

Tom Gabos did introduce new things. The parking fines for unlicensed, out of date registration, and out of date inspection was an idea by Tom over a year and a half ago, but the Mayor said don't bother putting it on the agenda because we will not enforce. Funny now the Mayor did but is claiming the credit for himself.

Also he put an ordinance that allowed a discount for reverse subdivision because of how the county charged for land in the reassessment.

What did Jack propose?