Response to Councilman Bo Vastine’s Letter
Monday, February 25, 2013 • 12:38pm
To the Editor:
Councilman Bo Vastine provided an account of the process that the Council went through in selecting the health insurance broker/consultant, for the Town, but left out a couple of key details that drove the majority decision to hire Doyle Alliance Group (DAG).
DAG offered the option to pay on an hourly basis which, from my prospective, was a better deal for the town. What was unclear was the maximum amount that they could charge. Mr. Underhill merely hammered down the maximum charge which is $48,000. Hardly another bite at the apple and had they said more than their not to exceed amount, I would have expected that Connor Strong would have re-entered the considerations. Connor Strong is a fine firm with a solid reputation.
Mr. Vastine failed to share with readers that Connor Strong (previous providers) charged over $100,000 last year. The $90,000 figure was Mr. Underhill's guesstimate not the real amount they charged. I suspect that we have been paying a similar amount for the last ten years or so.
DAG has to prove that they actually earn their fee through itemized billings. Will their fee be less than $48,000? My guess is that it should be.
The bottom line is that the new Democratic majority saved the town over $50,000. Would the previous provider offered up a 50% savings had they continued to have the comfort of a friendly majority? I don't know for sure but I doubt it.
The real savings will come as Doyle Alliance begins their work in re-exploring health insurance options for the town including the New Jersey State Health Benefits Plan.
We chose what we believe to be the best provider at the best price and saved the taxpayers money. Isn't that what the voters expect us to do?
Louis Beckerman, Councilman