Monday, August 9, 2010

Salary "Stimulus" on Resident Backs?

With the Mayor selectively vetoing Public Contracting Ordinance #1411 making a splash on the headlines, one is led to believe that a majority of the council is fiercely battling the mayor and his council support member minority.  According to the council president, the council is looking to protect the residents.

If that would have been the whole truth...

With the sole abstention coming from councilman Freeman, Ordinance #1415 was otherwise quietly passed with no public discussion.  Shrouded in vague doublespeak, this ordinance gives the ability to award salary raises for elected officials and top managers employed at borough hall without further discussion or approval public input or review.

Nevermind that we are in the middle of the most serious recession in decades, a doubling of unemployment in Dumont from recent years and scores of foreclosures with more on the way.  In an economic boom, these awards would appear rich.  In this climate, these awards seem unconscionable:

Council President's Salary - up to 50% increase;
Councilperson Salary - up to 50% increase;
Mayor's Salary - up to 20% increase;
Managerial & Confidential Title Salary - up to 20% increase.

Just weeks ago, the municipality of Bell, Calfornia, size modestly larger than Dumont, made national news because top officials were earning mid 6-digit salaries.  Though the appointed officials resigned in disgrace, I do not blame them.  As an employee, one has the right to negotiate a maximum salary and benefit for themselves.  The blame falls squarely on the elected officials who approved the lavish pay packages for those officials.

As a resident, you can show your appreciation to the council in the following ways:

- Email the council members.  Tell them how much they deserve the salary increase, after extracting concessions from our teachers and custodians in the BOE budget.  Never mind the public contracting ordinance was crippled by the mayor, it's the effort that counts, right?  Approve the raises!

- Tell the council members in person how much you appreciate them helping themselves at the expense of taxpayers.  Brings a whole new meaning to "Dumont Delivers", does it not?

- Attend the next council meeting scheduled at 7:30PM on Tuesday August 17 at Borough Hall.  Cheer them on with chants like "Full Rewards for Half Work" would give them the needed encouragement.

Anyone care to join?