Macomb Township opts out of public act for 2021

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published October 26, 2020

 On Oct. 19, Macomb Township approved adding a new position in the planning department, opted out of Public Act 152 for 2021, and approved a request for an emergency medical supplies agreement.

On Oct. 19, Macomb Township approved adding a new position in the planning department, opted out of Public Act 152 for 2021, and approved a request for an emergency medical supplies agreement.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Pushed back a week, the Oct. 19 Macomb Township Board of Trustees meeting went off without a hitch.

The Oct. 14 meeting was rescheduled due to legislation passed by both the Michigan House and Senate not yet being signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The governor signed the legislation Oct. 16 allowing public bodies to conduct public meetings remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In human resources news, the board unanimously approved adding the position of plan review analyst position in the planning department.

Tom Esordi, the township’s human resources director and legal counsel, said the planning director evaluated the structure and organization of the planning department and believes there is a need for the new position.

The position description states that under the planning director, the position assists in overseeing the day-to-day operations of the planning department by tracking the progress of all developments from pre-application meetings through final approval.

Esordi indicated there is a vacancy for planning supervisor and that the analyst position is not replacing it.

Also on the agenda, regarding Public Act 152, the board decided in a 5-2 vote to opt out of it for 2021. Trustees Nancy Nevers and Tim Bussineau voted against opting out.

The act deals with health care benefits by municipal employers and was passed by the state Legislature and signed by the governor in 2011.

“The act contains options for compliance, including the township exempting itself from the requirements of the act by an annual two-thirds majority vote,” a description of the item in the board’s meeting packet states.

The motion was to adopt a resolution by two-thirds majority vote opting out of Public Act 152 for the 2021 benefit year.

The act contains three options for complying with the requirements of the act — hard caps, 80%/20%, and exemption.

The hard caps option “limits a public employer’s total annual health care costs for employees based on coverage levels;” the “80%/20%” option limits a public employer’s share of total annual health care costs to no more than 80%. The exemption option, for a local unit of government, may exempt itself from the requirements of the act.

Bussineau said hundreds, if not thousands, of township residents have had to cut back on various spending opportunities because their share of health care costs, under the act, went from $0 to upward of $7,000 because a public employer enacted provisions of the act.

Also at the meeting, the board approved a request for an emergency medical supplies agreement.

Fire Chief Robert Phillips said this is the first time the township has entered an agreement like this.

“It’s an effort to try to save the fire department money for their medical supplies that are purchased,” he said.  

Phillips said that in February, the Southeast Michigan Fire Chiefs Association formed the Southeast Michigan Emergency Medical Supplies Cooperative in an attempt to reduce the costs of the medical supplies that are purchased on a regular basis.

As a member of the association, the fire department is eligible to be a member of the cooperative and purchase its medical supplies through Bound Tree Medical.

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