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In Your Opinion: Part-Time Franklin Township Council Soaks Up Full-Time Benefits

By Chris Kelly, Somerset.

At a “Meet the Candidates” event at Somerset Run in Franklin Township on October 24, Township Councilwoman Kimberley Francois lamented that one of the reasons for the high taxes in Franklin is the cost of health insurance for town employees. She neglected to mention that she and her fellow Council members are among those who are reaping the rich rewards of the township-sponsored medical insurance plan.

According to information obtained through state Open Public Records Act requests, five Franklin Township Council members are enjoying the taxpayer-funded health insurance to the tune of $100,000 per year. In addition to their part time salaries of $10,000 each per year, they get a $1,000 payment into the public workers retirement plan, and very generous medical, dental, vision and prescription insurance. For 2019, taxpayers pay the following insurance benefit in addition to salary: 

  • Kimberley Francois: $11,795
  • Rajiv Prasad: $11,795
  • Charles Onyejiaka: $26,446
  • James Vassanella: $18,711
  • Carl Wright: $32,682

Total: $101,429

The municipal portion of property taxes on the average home in Franklin is calculated at $1,163 per year. Next time you make your property tax payment, ask yourself, am I one of the 171 homeowners that it takes just to pay the $200,000 in salary and benefits for our part time council? Council claims fiscal responsibility, but are themselves a driving factor of out-of-control property taxes in Franklin and New Jersey as a whole. If you think that this is a problem, be sure to make your voice heard.

Election day is Tuesday, November 5.

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