All the same professionals hired by Red Bank last year will likely be reappointed when the borough government reorganizes tomorrow, says Mayor Pasquale Menna.

But four of them currently participating in the state Public Employee Retirement System through the borough will no longer be covered, Menna tells redbankgreen.

The four are municipal prosecutor James Butler; Public Defender Kevin Wigenton; Planning Board attorney Michael Leckstein; and Zoning Board attorney Kevin Kennedy.

“They will no longer be employees,” Menna says.

Information about how much the changes would save the borough was not immediately available.

Menna characterized the moves as a cost-cutting effort in an area where the public appears to be demanding it.

He also and said they were a continuation of efforts he began a year ago. In one of his first acts as mayor, Menna eliminated four positions — parking director, special projects administrator, assistant prosecutor and purchasing agent.

“You can’t change everything overnight,” he said, noting that he “took some flack” over the 2007 job eliminations.

Menna said his own decision to forego borough-paid healthcare insurance — and to eliminate the perk for future mayors — was also part of the fat-trimming. (Menna tells us that he is, in fact, now off the borough plan. “I write my own checks each month” for private coverage, he says.)

Unaffected by the pension elimination is Borough Attorney Ken Pringle, because he was already off the plan, Menna said.

Pringle will be reappointed tomorrow; the borough received no responses other than his to its request for proposals for the legal work in the coming year, Menna said.

Other professionals, including Engineer Rich Kosenski and Auditor David Kaplan, are also expected to win reappointment. Menna said there had been competing proposals for the engineer’s post, but that Kosenski’s firm, T&M Associates, had the edge over the others by virtue of “price, experience, understanding of the field.”

He also cited the firm’s proximity, in Middletown, and the costs that the borough would have to pay to transition to a new firm.

By law, governments have more latitude in awarding professional contracts than they do in other types of purchasing.

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