Public Works Director Gary Watson’s $10,000 pay raise was greenlighted by the borough council last night over ‘no’ votes by the two Republicans on the governing body, John Curley and newcomer Grace Cangemi.

The increase was part of a slate of 3.5-percent pay raises approved for non-unionized borough employees, from Planning Board secretary, whose pay rises to $2,153, to $104,008 for a construction/fire official.

Today’s Asbury Park Press has the details, and quotes Cangemi thusly regarding Watson’s increase:

“Our residents are in financial trouble. Borough employees deserve increases, but we have to be sensitive to senior citizens and those on fixed incomes,” Cangemi said. “The appropriate number is somewhat less (than $10,000).”

The raise pushes Watson’s salary for four jobs to $80,190. In addition to public works, he oversees recycling, the four-employee parking utility and parks and recreation.

As a retired police officer, Watson does not get health benefits as an active employee or accrue new pension benefits. Supporters of the increase say that Watson’s various skills and multiple jobholding save the borough tens of thousands of dollars a year.

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