Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in the case of Township of Ross v. Harry E. McDonald, Ralph Anderson and Paul W. Brandt, No. G.D. 78-17022.
Michael A. Donadee, for appellant, Ethel Anderson, widow of Ralph Anderson.
Fred E. Baxter, Jr., for appellant, Harry E. McDonald.
Richard D. Klaber, Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, for appellant, Paul W. Brandt.
John M. Means, Markel, Schafer & Means, for appellee.
Judges Blatt, Craig and MacPhail. President Judge Crumlish and Judges Mencer, Blatt, Williams, Jr., Craig, MacPhail and Palladino. Judge Rogers did not participate. Opinion by Judge MacPhail. Judge Williams, Jr. dissents. Concurring Opinion by President Judge Crumlish.
[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 307]
This is an appeal from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County entered in a declaratory judgment action brought by the Township of Ross (Township) against Harry E. McDonald, Ralph Anderson (Appellant) and Paul W. Brandt.*fn1
The Township Board of Commissioners (Board) established a pension plan for employees of the Township on November 11, 1957. The plan specifically excluded elected officials. On August 7, 1961, the Board amended the plan to provide for participation by elected officials.*fn2
[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 308]
Appellant served as a duly elected Township Commissioner from January 1952 to June 1970. He has qualified for benefits under the Township pension plan which was fully funded by Township revenues.
As the result of a suit in equity that alleged the benefits paid to Appellant and others were illegal and that was dismissed for failure to make proper service upon the named defendants, the Township suspended payment of benefits to the three retirees in question and sought a ruling as to the propriety of the payment of benefits to them. The precise issue addressed by the lower court was whether the Board had the power to enact a pension plan for themselves.
In his opinion, the trial judge examined Sections 605 and 1502 of The First Class Township Code (Code)*fn3 relied upon by ...