FAIR HAVEN’S GILMOUR SUSPENDED AT JOB

Fair Haven Council President Thomas J. Gilmour, whose day job is director of commerce for Asbury Park, has been suspended without pay by the city for 20 days, the Asbury Park Press reports.

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The suspension was imposed for failure to perform duties, conduct unbecoming an employee and neglect of duty, City Manager Terence Reidy told the newspaper.

Though Reidy declined to go into details, the Press’ Nancy Shields reports that the suspension arose from a marketing campaign that was launched under Gilmour’s purview without approval by the Asbury Park city council.

But Deputy Mayor James Bruno said it is connected to the city’s 110th anniversary marketing campaign byJewell Marketing, the public relations firm that promotes the city.

“We voted on her contract but didn’t vote on her proposals attached to the contract about the 110th anniversary,” Bruno said Wednesday.

Last month, Bruno and some other council members raised concerns over the 110th campaign when funding for certain events, such as the deputy mayor’s own Fourth of July Parade and the Mayor’s Ball, did not come through as it had in the past.

The problem, Bruno said in August, was that he and others agreed not to go to the developers and city attorneys for funding for their traditional events as they had in the past.

They agreed to have Jewell Marketing raise a large sum, perhaps $300,000 to $400,000, of which their own events would be included.

After funds for his Fourth of July Parade fell short, Bruno started looking into the marketing campaign, he said. Last month, he complained that Jewell Marketing was being paid up to $10,000 an event to manage several of the events bundled into the marketing campaign and also was receiving a certain percentage fee of the money she raised from donors.

Bruno said Wednesday that Laura Jewell, president of the marketing firm, has notified the city she will not be renewing her two-year contract for the 2008 year.

Jewell declined to comment Wednesday. Gilmour referred questions to Reidy.

The Press says Gilmour “has worked for the city for more than five years and has been credited with playing a pivotal role in Asbury Park’s economic revival.”

The paper says that Gilmour has been “working off” the suspension since Aug. 6, with the last scheduled furlough day Dec. 17.

“We are allowing Tom to take the days over a period of time so that it has the least impact on the city and his ongoing responsibilities for the city,” Reidy told the Press.

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