Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors Work Session

Minutes of February 14, 2011

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on February 14, 2011 in the Township meeting room at 7:30 PM. In attendance and voting were Supervisors: Chairman Robert Ciervo, Vice Chairman Matthew Benchener, Secretary/Treasurer Jerry Schenkman, Philip Calabro and Michael Gallagher, members. Also present were Joe Czajkowski, Township Manager and Jeff Garton, Township Solicitor.

Members of the audience included: Grant Kalson, Dahab Associates; Kara Seymour, Patch.com.

Call to Order: Chairman Ciervo called the meeting to order at 7:31 P.M.

Community Comments

None.

Discussion

Pension Discussion – Grant Kalson, Dahab Associates

The Supervisors discussed the restructuring proposal for the Township’s Pension plans. They were provided information in their packets for review prior to the meeting.

Mr. Kalson provided the Supervisors with a memorandum discussing the restructuring proposal for the Township’s Pension plans. He updated the Board on the performance of the current plans through year end and reported that overall the funds did well. He also discussed some funds being down and the current market. He reported on discussions with the Township Actuary regarding funding levels. He discussed tonight’s mission being to review the proposal, recommend the restructuring of the plan which would including changing the form in which the managers’ are managing the Township’s funds. He referenced how the Township’s funds are currently being managed. He advised that the change would cost the Township approximately $8,000 per year. He suggested that the benefits would outweigh the additional cost and reported on how the cost was figured.

Supervisor Benchener suggested looking into indexing.

The Supervisors discussed the Township’s Investment Policy Statement (IPS).

Mr. Kalson suggested that fees should be a consideration, not be the driver when investing funds.

The Supervisors discussed the performance of managers and the funds selected by Merrill Lynch.

Supervisor Benchener discussed possible ways to offset the increased cost to the Township.

Supervisor Ciervo suggested making the changes in small steps as outlined in Mr. Kalson’s proposal.

Supervisor Schenkman reported on his concerns with regards to how to invest the funds. He commented on the time the Township has invested in this review process, putting the money to work, bond funds, and funds loosing value.

Mr. Kalson reported that an Asset Liability Study will be conducted. He discussed investment possibilities to be considered in the future and the Township’s contribution to the funds

Supervisor Benchener suggested that the Township should not invest in any companies that are affiliated with Township Board members.

Mr. Kalson recommended that the structure change prior to changing managers. He reported on his review of IPS. He advised that he has the input needed and should have something for review in the next few weeks.

Supervisor Benchener requested Mr. Kalson to provide the Township with the best five (5) mutual funds. Mr. Kalson advised that he would provide that information, but that it was subject to change.

Supervisor Ciervo discussed the Pension Committee, Township employees and minimizing the change.

The Supervisors discussed how to implement the changes to the Pension Plan and agreed that Mr. Kalson would update the Pension Committee on the changes and effects to the Township employees. Supervisor Schenkman suggested that the Township’s goal be to provide the best portfolio. He would like to accomplish this in the next ninety (90) days. He commented that the Pension Committee and employees need to be comfortable with what the Board is doing. He also requested that the Board be provided a report showing the best managers on a quarterly basis. Supervisor Benchener advised that he has two (2) requests. First, that the structural change takes place as soon as possible. Then complete the IPS. Mr. Kalson reported on the recommendations to liquidate the current funds, which would remain in cash until they could be re-invested in similar funds. Mr. Czajkowski discussed the recommendations from the Pension Committee. Mr. Kalson discussed minimizing the amount of time that the funds sit in a cash fund before investing in mutual funds. Supervisor Schenkman suggested keeping the Pension Committee informed/involved in the process The Supervisors discussed the Pension Committee having a more active role. Supervisor Schenkman discussed educating interested parties and suggested having a local non-profit organization make a presentation on investing money. The Supervisors agreed to change structure, draft the IPS and change managers. Mr. Kalson advised that he would provide the Supervisors with a list of dream team managers and that the IPS will take about three (3) to four (4) weeks. Supervisor Gallagher questioned where the plan will be at the end of the process. He suggested there be fewer changes, commenting on changes costing money. He also commented on the employees being informed on the process. The Supervisors’ discussed the Pension Committee’s recommendation to approval Mr. Kalson’s proposal. The Supervisors agreed to move forward with restructuring the funds. Mr. Kalson advised that he is not a fan of indexing.

Mr. Garton advised that the restructuring does not need to be publicly approved and the Board can take formal action at their meeting on February 23, 2011.

Mr. Czajkowski requested Mr. Kalson provide the Board with a recommendation of alternative funds for the February 23, 2011 meeting.

(Supervisor Benchener left the meeting – 8:45 P.M.)

Supervisor Schenkman requested that the Pension Committee be kept informed. Supervisor Ciervo commented on new hires being non-union and enrolling into a 401K plan. He questioned if Mr. Kalson would be involved. Mr. Garton reported that Mr. Kalson would not be involved and that the ordinance would need to be changed. The Supervisors thanked Mr. Kalson for his time. Applebee’s Restaurant Signage Mr. Garton updated the Supervisors on the signage for Applebee’s. He reported on the approval of the court stipulation which allowed for three (3) signs, only two (2) were constructed. The third sign was approved for the rear of the building, not the side near the entrance of the shopping center. The Township approved permits to freshen up the signs and the third sign was installed, but in the wrong location. The applicant is requesting the third sign to remain where it is or if it is the Township’s wish they will remove it. If the Township is okay leaving the third sign where it is a revised stipulation would be needed. Supervisor Schenkman advised that he is okay with where the third sign is located.
The Supervisors discussed the building lighting and complaints received from residents.

Supervisor Schenkman questioned if there should have been a permit for the lighting change.

The Supervisor agreed that the discussion needed to be continued once more information is provided from the applicant.

Old Business

Supervisor Gallagher discussed the correspondence received from the Department of Transportation with regards to Terry Drive and the significant changes to the traffic pattern. Mr. Czajkowski reported that further information is needed from the Township. Supervisor Schenkman requested an update from the Traffic Engineer. Supervisor Schenkman commented on the purchase order numbers and his review of the bills list. He requested Mr. Czajkowski to update the Board on the process for purchase order numbers. Mr. Czajkowski reported on the memorandum he sent out to all Department heads regarding requests for purchases. Supervisor Ciervo commented on the proposal for fire protective services.

New Business

Supervisor Schenkman reported on his attendance at the BCATO annual convention held at the Spring Mill Country Club. He will forward more information to the Board.

Other BusinessNone.

Adjournment

Without objection, the meeting was adjourned at 8:59 P.M. Once the meeting adjourned the Supervisors met in Executive Session.

 

Respectfully Submitted:
Christy Holley, Recording Secretary

 

Attest:

Joseph S. Czajkowski, Township Manager


Mike Gallagher, Chairman

Robert Ciervo, Vice-Chairman

Matt Benchener, Secretary/Treasurer

Philip Calabro, Member

Jerry Schenkman, Member