>Ordinance 2011-3027 And When Is A Salary Freeze, Not A Salary Freeze Explained: UPDATE

>Earlier today I was contacted by Middletown Township Clerk Heidi Brunt in reference to yesterdays’ blog post, I wasn’t available when first contacted, but I called her back around 4:30 this afternoon.

Ms. Brunt, after reading about my experience trying to get information pertaining to the proposed salary ordinance 2011-3027 (that was to be re-introduced at tonight’s Township Committee meeting) via an OPRA request. She wanted to apologise and clear the air about any misunderstanding that may have arisen from it. Clerk Brunt informed me that there was indeed a list of employees with job title and salaries available to me for the year 2009. She stated that if she had been in the office when I stopped by on Friday she would have presented me with what I requested.

After speaking with her and telling her exactly what I was after she said it was no problem, she requested me to send her an email so that she would have a record of my request. As soon as I sent her the email, with in minutes, she sent me a list for all township employees, their job positions and salaries for the year 2009 (even though I requested 2010). Ms. Brunt stated that to her knowledge, the salaries contained in this document had not changed.

While on the phone with Clerk Brunt, she did volunteer a small bit of information to me. Ms. Brunt mentioned that Tax Assessor Charles Heck and herself were due a 2.5% statutory salary increase for 2011. She informed me that, she, herself, had no intention accepting the raise and as a matter of fact had already turned it down. Her feelings were such that she in good conscience could not accept a raise while others were losing their jobs. She could not say the same of Tax Assessor Heck, who, she believes has not turned down the raise and is planning on accepting it.

Aftyer hanging up with Clerk Brunt it accured to me that I did not follow-up with her about Heck’s $15,000 “bonus” that was part of the ordinance. That is something that needs to be cleared up.

Heck received a salary of $108,572 from Middletown in 2009 which means he is due for an increase of $2714 in base pay increase if he accepts the 2.5% raise. A far cry less than the $15K “bonus” proposed in the ordinance, but which is no less disturbing.

Thank you Clerk Brunt for contacting me and clearing this up!

BTW – as a side note, it accured to me while looking at the list of employees and salaries, that this list doesn’t reflect the employees that retired or were laid off last year (2010), which isn’t a problem. Where the problem lays (and it really isn’t a problem, I just want to point it out) is that last year members of the Police Department were given a retro-active raise of 8% to cover salary increase for 2008 & 2009 in exchange for a 0% raise in 2010 (Gerry Scharfenberger was very proud of this), so I need to add 8% to the base of all members of the Police Department to get an accurate gage for 2011 salaries, which should not be misconstrued to be a jab at the Police.

I believe that the police have a very difficult job and at anytime during the day or night are putting their life on the line to protect other and uphold the law. One never knows when their next traffic stop or domestic dispute call will be their last.

12 Comments

Filed under bonuses, Charles Heck, Heidi Brunt, OPRA requests, resolutions and ordinances, salary and compensation, salary freeze, Township Clerk, update

12 responses to “>Ordinance 2011-3027 And When Is A Salary Freeze, Not A Salary Freeze Explained: UPDATE

  1. >Also add the 6% raise the Library Staff was given. plus the raise they be getting this year.

  2. >Sorry, The library doesn't count – separate budget

  3. >Because it comes from another budget I guess its ok to keep giving them raises. Still comes from our taxes.

  4. >Our taxes to the library are stipulated by state law. Local public employees are paid by local ordinance and the whim of the politicians. Ms. Brunt is a classic example ,remember the huge increase she got just a couple of years ago?STOP crying about the library. If anyone is over paid it's some of the cops. Not discounting the dangers they MAY face either. Some of those salaries and benefits are OFF THE WALL. Try and get them to enforce the traffic and safety laws and the attitude is unbelievable. Many of them need courses in basic law .

  5. >The library's budget is set by state statute and is a totally different beast that can not be judged the same as the municipal budget.There for it is a totally different subject and the two should not be confused.

  6. >I see both points anon 7:59 and anon 8:45. In these times anyone that receives a pay check paid by the taxs should take a freeze for this year and probably next year.

  7. >Update on last nights township meeting. It was asked how there were bonuses being handed out and the reply from the TC was that it wasn't a bonus. It was given to the two for all the hard work (LOL) that they had done. If it wasn't a bonus then what are we calling it these days. I think we need to have the Township Committee and the administration tested for drugs.

  8. >No one is confusing them but this poster is sick to death of hearing the whining about the cops or the over paid buffoons in public positions. They ought to work in the "real world" where productivity is the standard. Some would find themselves in the unemployment lines…pronto and end of issue.

  9. >In response to Anon 9:23…AGAIN it's o.k. for the TC and administration to answer the public any way they want and not be accountable when it's our tax dollars they are throwing around? How can they give two employees extra money "for all the hard work they have done" when the town in in such a horrible financial place? I'm sure the 26 township employees were hard working as well, yet last week all THEY were given for their hard work was a PINK SLIP…not a $15,000 bonus! The TC and Admin. don't need drug testing, they need MIRRORS so they can look at themselves and feel ashamed for what they have done to the workers who were given Lay Off notices and how their unemployment in this economy will effect their families.

  10. >There's not one member of the current TC that has a conscience. It's all about serving the party !In fact is there one of them with any intelligence? Makes you wonder !

  11. >In response to Anon 9:41am……. Enough about the layoffs! Get over it! It’s a done deal! Move on! Go out and get another job! Go to the Library use the computers and find a new job.

  12. >Anon 1:36,Don't like what we say about this bullshit? Are you one of these knuckleheads?Residents of Middletown there are consequences to election. This is what you get when you elect the slime on the bottom of the barrel! The republican party in this town can't get any worse and IT"S YOUR TAX DOLLARS they are PISSING AWAY!

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