Two lawsuits concerning health insurance benefits for Defiance City Council were solved none too soon last week -- especially for the city of Defiance which was named as the defendant by former At-large Councilman Stephen Hubbard and Council President Tim Holtsberry.
Visiting Judge Charles Kurfess of Wood County granted the city's motion for summary judgment which argued reasons the city believed the suits were not valid. Kurfess ultimately agreed, though it took a long time to get to this point. The suits were filed in 2010, and were pending for more than two years.
In doing so, Kurfess found the plaintiffs' claims that they were entitled to health insurance benefits under existing laws invalid.
The plaintiffs can, of course, appeal Kurfess' decision. So, these suits may still not be over. But for now the announcement of Kurfess' decision has come none too soon for city officials.
The suits have cost the taxpayers more than $160,000 to defend. Whether you agree or disagree with the city's strategy to fight the suits to the end, or have an opinion about whether Hubbard or Holtsberry were right, that is still a lot of money.
Unless appeals are forthcoming, city officials can move on to the more important business of governing.
And, hopefully, this chapter in the city's history has ended.