Gaines highway superintendent says health insurance reimbursement was negotiated by prior Town Board, not him

Posted 11 September 2016 at 8:46 pm


This letter is in response to Marilynn Miller’s Letter to the Editor: “Gaines Republicans should seek new GOP Committee Members”

Although I have several opinions and could easily express my own thoughts in response to the information in Ms. Miller’s letter, I will only address the statements that are false; ones that I have been involved with personally.

This is not an election year for me. The outcome of the upcoming elections will not affect my employment nor my commitment to fulfill my duties as Gaines Highway Superintendent.

As far as being the “beneficiary of an improperly negotiated union contract…” Some background: Mrs. Culhane was not the Town Supervisor during this time period.

While Mrs. Culhane may not agree with the results of the decisions made before her tenure, these decisions were made and sanctioned by the Town Board that was in place, not by me. A representative of the Town Board, a union representative with two union employees negotiated a contract. This was signed by the town supervisor, town attorney, the union attorney and the Town Board (please note I was not involved).

This contract was also agreed upon by the Town Board. Once the contract was in place, union and non-union employees were approached to propose a monetary reimbursement if they did not take the medical insurance offered by the Town of Gaines.

Fiscally, this was a cost saving move for the town and would benefit the tax payers; the employees (myself include) agreed.

Family medical insurance costs approximately $15,000 per year for an employee. The negotiated contract offered $10,400 as reimbursement (from Jan. 1, 2011 thru Dec. 31, 2013).

After that date to this current date, the highway employees (2 individuals) received $8,000. The Highway Superintendent (me) received the same reimbursement ($10,400 from Jan. 1, 2011 – Dec. 31, 2013). From January 2014 to present, I have received $3,000/year medical reimbursement ($5,000 less than other stated employees). Unlike the other town employees, I have not been offered the opportunity to receive medical insurance from the Town of Gaines since Jan. 1, 2014.

Respectfully submitted,

Ron Mannella

Gaines Highway Superintendent