Nichole Hannahs

Woman Questions Townships Spending

by Nichole Hannahs on November 1, 2012 at 6:22 am

A Muskingum County woman wants townships in our area held accountable.

Thelma Cohagen went before Muskingum County Commissioners to express her concerns when it comes to township spending, prompted by a 2011 candidate for trustee’s promise not to take township insurance. She sprung into action, researching the insurance, salaries and inventories of the 25 townships. She found most trustees get one hundred percent of their health insurance premium paid and most townships don’t cap the amount they’ll pay in insurance.

"I’m not saying they shouldn’t be insured," explained Cohagen. "Everybody should be insured. Everybody needs to be insured. Everybody needs healthcare, but not a free ride."

Cohagen said she’d like to see them pay 20-25 percent of their premium. While, she know the idea isn’t popular she’d also like to see the township system shrunk, so that one entity is in charge of the county. Commissioners said they don’t oversee townships or their spending, but do offer assistance.

"They are an elected body," said Commissioner Steve Strauss. "I think that’s kind of a common misconception. We really don’t. However, we are always interested in helping anyway we can. We’ve talked before of a collaboration of services and eliminating duplications. If there is anyway we can help we would like to help."

Cohagen encourages residence of townships to attend their township meetings and pay attention to where their taxes are going.