Another Example Of mayor Gerry Not Telling The Whole Truth For Political Gain, Middletown PBA Given 7.7% Pay Raise

Tomorrow is June 8th, Primary Day, and seeing that mayor Gerry has a primary opponent this year in challenger Tony Avallone, it’s time to point out one more example of how Gerry Scharfenberger likes to twist facts and issue half-truths for political gain when he thinks it is advantagous to do do.

Back on May 17th during the Middletown Township Committee meeting in which it was announced by mayor Gerry that he spent days lamenting over the school budget and decided to cut an additional $2.1 million once from it, he again felt compelled to bluster a half truth in order to make it seem that he had accomplished the almost impossible, while basking in the glory of sticking it to the Board of Education.

During committee comments that evening, Gerry couldn’t wait to tell everyone what a wonderful accomplishment he had been able to pull off. It seems that during the executive session meeting which was held before the open public portion of the meeting, Gerry and his fellow committee members received the heads up that 2 out of the 4 or 5 unions that service the township had excepted a zero percent pay increase for FY 2010. To Gerry this was great news and an opportunity to score some cheap political points with those that were in attendance for the public portion of the meeting by letting them know that this was a great accomplishment that would go a long way in helping the township balance it’s budget that has a deficit of $5 million.

When mayor Gerry prematurely made this announcement during committee comments (I say prematurely because all the details weren’t known at the time) he received a few “that a boys” from people in the audience. But if he would have told those in the audience the whole story and not just a convenient half truth I doubt that those that cheered him would have done so.

(Here’s Gerry making the announcement)

Out of the two unions that settled their contracts with the Township I was able to get the details behind one of them, PBA Local 124, which represent the officers of the Middletown Police Department. To their credit, the police accepted a zero percent increase for 2010 and agreed to contribute 1.5% of “pensionable base salary” toward their health benefits effective on July 1,2010 (which thanks to Gov. Christie they would have had to have done anyway), and they gave up 96 hours worth of holiday pay provisions.

What did Middletown have to give up in return?

The Township settled with PBA Local 124 by agreeing to a retro active pay increase of 3.85% for FY 2008 and an additional 3.85% retro active increase for FY 2009 for a total of a 7.7% pay increase that members of the PBA would see in their next paychecks.

Oh yeah and that 96 hours of holiday pay that was eliminated, well it really wasn’t. The 96 hours worth of pay was rolled into the base pay of PBA members, so it wasn’t lost at all, it is just not considered overtime anymore.

Don’t get me wrong,I don’t begrudge the fine men and women of the Middletown Police Department anything here, they do a fine job and should be rewarded. The purpose of pointing out their settlment is strickly to show that mayor Gerry Scharfenberger has a problem with presenting the whole truth when the whole truth may not be politically advantagous for him to do so.

While I don’t expect Tony Avallone to unseat Scharfenberger tomorrow in the Republican primary, I do expect him to make a strong showing that will shock many in town into paying closer attention to what Gerry Schafenberger does and says in the future because the last thing Middletown needs when facing a $5 million budget deficit is another politician who can’t be honest and tell the truth to residents.

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Filed under 0% increase, Gerry Scharfenberger, Gov. Chris Christie, half-truths, health benefits and pension, Middletown Police, Middletown Township Committee, pay freeze, Tony Avallone, union contracts

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