Daily Archives: December 17, 2009

Byrnes: 2010 Will Bring Layoffs To Middletown

BY TOM SHORTELL – The Independent

Growing financial woes and increasing debt will force the township to institute layoffs next year, Committeeman Sean Byrnes said at the Middletown Township Committee workshop Dec. 7.

Byrnes predicted the township would cut people from the municipal payroll because of a myriad of financial problems. In 2010, the township faces shrinking revenue and mounting debt, he said. Additional restraints could emerge if New Jersey’s financial problems bring less state aid or if unions win their lawsuit to end government furloughs, he said.

“There’s going to be layoffs,” Byrnes said.

The township will also face contract negotiations with four labor unions next year, including the Policemen’s Benevolent Association and the Superior Officers Association, said Anthony Mercantante, township administrator.

“[Next] year is going to be ugly — UG L-Y, ugly,” Byrnes said.

The township has begun making a layoff plan should the Township Committee ultimately decide it’s the best way to manage the budget, Mercantante said. However, he said the move is a precaution commonly taken by municipalities before budget discussions begin.

“You just need to be prepared, not knowing how much the Township Committee is going to raise taxes, if at all,” he said.

The state’s Civil Service Commission would have to approve any layoffs, Mercantante said. The process typically takes months, he added.

“The existence of a plan does not necessarily mean layoffs are going to happen,” he said.

The committee’s two Democrats, Byrnes and Committeeman Patrick Short, raised the issue of layoffs in a debate over how to pay $1.3 million in health insurance bills and workers’ compensation. The township’s insurance manager warned the committee during the summer that insurance costs were running high for the year, they said.

The workshop agenda contained a resolution to pay those bills with money from the not-yet-created 2010 budget through an emergency appropriation.

The Democrats, however, refused to vote for the resolution. The $1.3 million, when tallied with existing debt, would put the township in a $4 million deficit to begin 2010, Byrnes said.

“It’s a huge number, and it’s frightening. I think we can do it [balance the 2010 budget], but I think there’s a lot of radical steps that need to be done,” Byrnes said….

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Filed under budget resolution, layoffs, Middletown Township, New Jersey, Sean F. Byrnes

Middletown – "It’s Your Town" Newsletter

To help better inform residents about the goings on and what happens during the monthly Township Workshop and Business meetings, the Middletown Democratic Club has put together what is hoped to be, a bi-weekly newsletter.

The newsletter it tiltled “It’s Your Town” and after each Township Committee meeting a newsletter will be issued. It will contain some of the highlights of the meeting, copies of resolutions that were voted upon, ordinances introduced and/or voted on. It will also try to include comments that were made by Committee members and the general public.

This newsletter will cover much more than what you will read in any local newspaper.

If you have any form of interest in your local government and would like to receive future issues of this newsletter send an email to itsourtown@yahoo.com and you will be placed on a mailing list for future issues.

Read the “It’s Your Town” newsletter >>> Here

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Filed under Its Your Town, Middletown Democrats, Middletown Township, Newsletter