Republican council candidates Kellie O’Bosky Colwell and Brian Hanlon listen as Councilwoman Cindy Burnham speaks at Candidate’s Night on October 18. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
“Tired of hearing politicians make vague promises at election time” only to ignore them afterward, the two Republican candidates for Red Bank council unveiled a “six-month action plan” Monday that calls for a freeze on department heads’ salaries and a study of the water utility.
Salaries for the mayor and council members would remain unchanged, but the earnings potential of professionals at borough hall would rise under a proposed ordinance. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Six borough hall jobs will offer potential salaries above $100,000 if an ordinance on Wednesday night’s agenda is passed by the Red Bank council.
That’s up from three the last time the council adjusted salaries for its professionals, in 2014.
In Fair Haven Tuesday night, officials are expected to take up a change to the salary ordinance that at first glance might appear to boost the borough administrator’s salary by $30,000 a year a whopping 30 percent.
In truth, however, Administrator Theresa Casagrande isn’t getting an extra dime, and the change is all about keeping things in line with “hierarchical” notions of who reports to whom, says Mayor Mike Halfacre.
Sunday’s Star-Ledger had an eye-opening article on police salaries in New Jersey.
Analyzing 2009 pay data from police departments throughout the state, the Sledger concluded that
the average municipal cop in New Jersey is paid 80 percent more than the average resident, and three of 10 made at least $100,000 last year. In addition, police tend to be paid the best in small towns with little crime.
A war of words between state legislators and Red Bank officials over recent pay raises for borough employees continued yesterday.
Twelfth-district Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon, a Little Silver Republican, fired back at the all-Democrat Red Bank Council with a letter that challenged the fiscal sense of granting annualized 3-percent salary and wage increases to non-unionized workers.
“We understand that Red Bank municipal employees are hard-working individuals and it would be wonderful if they could all get raises,” O’Scanlon writes in the letter, which was shared with redbankgreen late Wednesday. “But that simply isn’t prudent – and sends the wrong message to our constituents – when the people paying the bills are making less, or losing their jobs all together.”
So far, the GOP three have made no public mention of the two-year, 6-percent increases the borough previously granted to the two unions it bargains with: the Policemens Benevolent Association and the Communication Workers of America.
With a contingent of town employees looking on and only one, brief objection raised, the Red Bank Borough Council approved an annualized three-percent salary increase for most of its non-unionized workers Tuesday night.
Even Kim Senkeleski, a Republican who ran an unsuccessful campaign for a seat on the governing body this year, expressed no misgivings about the size of the boost.
“Everyone’s entitled to a raise,” she said.
Only Bill Poku, of Bank Street, objected to the increase, and he did so parenthetically, in remarks that were otherwise focused on the reliability of property tax assessments.