GRIEVANCE FILED, AND OTHER COUNCIL NEWS

kevin-tauro-grievanceKevin Tauro, right, delivered a formal grievance to borough Administrator Stanley Sickels Monday night. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Upset with the unilateral implementation of a blanket furlough program, a representative from one of Red Bank’s two government employee unions delivered a formal grievance to the borough council Monday night, and vowed there’d be more to come.

Kevin Tauro, who represents the blue-collar Communications Workers of America union local, filed a policy grievance with the borough, saying that it violated terms of its collective bargaining agreement. He also said he’ll file an unfair labor practice lawsuit with the state.

“I’m very disappointed in the mayor and council. I thought you’d have a little bit more respect for your workers,” he said.

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RED BANK GIVES LAST OK ON RBR CUTS

hot-topic rightBy DUSTIN RACIOPPI

A week after delaying a vote on reductions to Red Bank Regional‘s failed $24 million budget, the borough council gave the green light on $270,500 in recommended cuts at a special meeting Tuesday night.

Sports, clubs and programs are spared in the new spending plan, but eight positions will be eliminated, Superintendent Howard Lucks tells redbankgreen.

“It did include eliminating positions. It included a wage freeze [for Lucks]. It included a reduction in force,” Councilman Michael DuPont said.

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RED BANK SCRAPS FOUR-DAY WORKWEEK

boro-hall-hoursAfter a year of shortened weeks that yielded only about $5,000 in energy savings, borough hall will revert to a Monday-through-Friday schedule next month. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

Layoffs and furloughs are looming, but Red Bank government employees are getting their regular weekends back.

The borough council formally recognized its year-long experiment with a four-day workweek hasn’t really been the energy-saver it was cracked up to be, and is resuming the regular schedule for workers at 90 Monmouth Street.

The normal workweek will run from 9a to 5p, Monday through Friday, instead of 8a to 6p, Monday through Thursday.

It takes effect June 1 — a Tuesday — meaning employees can soak in a workweek-long Memorial Day weekend at the end of this month before getting back to the 9-to-5.

But it comes at a time that officials are pressing the town government’s two collective bargaining units — the Policeman’s Benevolent Association and Communications Workers of America — for concessions that will enable furloughs. Otherwise, there will be layoffs, they say.

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COUNCIL WANTS MORE INFO ON RBR CUTS

rbr-signRBR will likely have more layoffs and program cuts since its budget failed last month, officials warn. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

The Red Bank Borough Council wants more specifics before it votes on a resolution that would call for additional layoffs and program cuts at Red Bank Regional.

Voter rejection last month of the high school’s $24 million budget has already resulted in layoff notices to 70 employees, according to one report. But faced with approving an additional $270,500 in reductions on Monday night, the council held off, members said, because there wasn’t enough information from school officials on how that figure was reached.

“Where’s the $270,000 from? What number is that?” a visibly peeved Council President Art Murphy asked Councilman Michael DuPont, who heads the borough finance committee. “That’s what I want to know.”

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SENKELESKI READY FOR SUMMIT OF SORTS

CodecarAmong the suggestions: share vehicles among departments. (Click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

On Monday, Red Bank’s borough council plans to roll out its 2010-11 budget.

Two days later, the public will have its first chance to kick the tires and ask how it was designed and built.

Kim Senkeleski will be there. But the one-time GOP council candidate will be armed with some blueprints of her own, in the form of several dozen specific suggestions she’s gathered from taxpayers about how to cut costs and bring taxes down.

Though in format the event isn’t exactly the taxpayer summit she had sought, Senkeleski suggests you make the meeting, too.

“We want as many people as possible,” she said.

The more people involved, she says, the better the chances at making a difference to the digits on your tax bill.

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WAR OF WORDS: RED BANK DEMS v. BECK & CO.

beck-010310-41dupont-election2009-2State Senator Jennifer Beck’s refusal to back Red Bank’s request for special treatment in Trenton has drawn fire from local Democrats led by Councilman Mike Dupont.

Red Bank’s all-Democrat council wanted local legislators in their corner recently when they appealed to new Governor Chris Christie for special consideration as he sharpened his budget-cutting knives.

But state Senator Jennifer Beck and her two 12th-district Assembly colleagues, Caroline Casagrande and Declan O’Scanlon, all Republicans like Christie, said quite publicly that borough officials haven’t done enough to merit special treatment in Trenton.

That did not sit well at borough hall. Yesterday, the council Dems (not including Mayor Pasquale Menna) went on the offensive with a letter sent to the GOP three and circulated to reporters.

“You refuse to advocate for the residents of Red Bank with the newly elected Governor to mitigate the hardship Red Bank is experiencing due to the high number of non-profit and tax exempt organizations in our Borough,” says the letter, signed by Councilman Mike DuPont, with apparent endorsement (but no signatures) of councilmembers Art Murphy, Sharon Lee, Kathy Horgan, Juania Lewis and Ed Zipprich.

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