RAISES APPROVED FOR RED BANK EMPLOYEES
By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Raises are going out at Red Bank Borough Hall, but stopping at the dais.
After two years of austerity, the borough council approved two-percent raises across the board for non-unionized employees last week. But the governing body kept its own pay flat.
Councilwoman Kathy Horgan objected to doling out two-percent boosts across the board, suggesting that employees receive raises based on performance evaluations. But Councilman Mike DuPont, who heads the borough’s finance committee, said while the committee will work toward implementing a more stringent system to evaluate employees, the workers had earned the increase after two years of tough economic measures. At the end of 2009, the council approved three-percent raises for non-union employees.
“Our employees hadn’t had a raise since 2009, last year they had furloughs, many of them are wearing numerous hats,” DuPont said. “Have we hurdles to overcome? Yes. But the majority of the employees, they’re doing great under the circumstances. We all felt the employees had to be noticed, they had to be encouraged.”
Among the non-union workers wearing numerous hats is Stanley Sickels, the borough’s jack-of-all-trades, serving as administrator, deputy clerk, purchasing agent, fire marshal and construction official. He’ll make $157,738 in 2011 for those combined duties.
Others topping the list for salaries include Chief Financial Officer Frank Mason, who will receive $95,662; assistant administrator and public works director Gary Watson, who will get $87,197; and Police Chief Steve McCarthy, making $128,233 for the year.
The pay increases are retroactive to the beginning of the year, and all full-time employees except McCarthy will receive an additional $500 for every five-year employment period with the borough for longevity pay compensation. McCarthy’s bonus will be administered through a collective bargaining agreement between the borough and Policeman’s Benevolent Association Local 39.
The mayor and council, who Mayor Pasquale Menna said “probably get the most satisfaction out of their job and probably the most grief,” declined the raises for the seventh year in a row. Mennna will receive a $7,301 stipend for 2011, while the remaining six council members get $3,650 each.
DuPont, responding the Horgan’s suggestion that the borough implement a salary range scale and performance-based evaluations, said the finance committee will work on tracking employee pay more closely to avoid giving unwarranted raises.
“I think that we’ll see that in the next couple of months, those suggestions,” he said.