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posted: 4/18/2011 1:00 AM

Story misrepresented township's costs

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Your April 10 article regarding township leaders' health care costs was extremely misleading as it pertains to the trustees of Downers Grove Township. The statement, "Four townships -- Addison, Downers Grove and Naperville in DuPage County as well as Leyden in Cook County -- even offered free coverage to trustees, whose main responsibility is to appear at a dozen or so meetings a year," is not factually correct.

The Downers Grove Township board voted in September 2008 to eliminate health insurance coverage for all four of its trustees. At that time for a single coverage, in the case of Bill Swanston, the total cost to the township annually was $8,226. However, today Mr. Swanston receives a monthly stipend of $150 to be applied toward supplemental health coverage. This is not free coverage.

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Specifically, the health coverage costs as they relates to the Downers Grove Township trustees have been substantially reduced from $17,400 in 2008 to $3,600 in 2010. In 2008, two of the four trustees had full health care coverage costing the township over $21,000 annually. It should be noted these elected officials have always contributed individually to their health care costs just like all other township employees. It is certainly misleading to lump the Downers Grove Township's trustees annual health costs of $3,600 with 29 other townships with health care costs of more than $1 million.

Kathleen A. Abbate

Downers Grove Twp. trustee

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