Margaret Gibbons of The Intelligencer reports:
Montgomery County Treasurer Jason Salus is throwing open the doors of his county office Sunday to help people enroll for health insurance under the federal Affordable Care Act.
None of his landlords were aware of Salus’ plan nor did he seek their OK, according to county Communications Director Frank X. Custer.
The treasurer’s office is in the county-owned One Montgomery Plaza office building across Swede Street from the county courthouse in Norristown.
One of his landlords, Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr., said it was not up to him to tell Salus, a Democrat serving his first four-year term as treasurer, what he can or cannot do.
“I did not know that the treasurer was doing this,” Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr., the lone Republican on the board, said Saturday night. “However, he is an elected official and, as far as I’m concerned, has access to his office at all hours of every day to carry out what he believes to be his duties.
“It is not for me as a commissioner to define for him what his duties are,” said Castor. “It is for him to use his best judgment within the bounds of his statutory powers and subject to oversight by the voters.”
Salus said he believes he is providing a “constituent service.”
He said he contacted security officials, who told him they are in the building at that time (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and “all typical safeguards are already in place.”
Some staff members, said Salus, have volunteered their time to make the office available.
Certified health navigators from the nonprofit Resources for Human Development, a Philadelphia-based social service organization, will be on hand to help residents enroll in a health insurance plan. The organization has a federal grant to provide these services.
Salus said more than 50 people already have registered to come in and sign up for health care coverage.
“I think that is fantastic,” said Salus.
The open enrollment sign-up deadline is Monday.
The county treasurer is an independently elected row officer and not subject to the jurisdiction of the county commissioners.
The treasurer is the custodian of all county funds, according to that office’s web page. Payments of county taxes and fees, state and federal grants, and other funds due the county are received and deposited by the office.
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