Jackson Council Meeting

Last night the Jackson Town Council had a “Special Meeting” for the purpose of introducing CY 2011 budget amendments. It quickly became evident that the township administrator had little clue as to the workings of our town. When asked by council if he had reached out to all the unions, he responded that he had spoken with ALL unions for concessions and there was no more that can be done. Carol Jordan and Camille Elluzzi union reps came to the microphone and refuted the administrator’s assertions stating that neither she, nor her counterpart had spoken with Mr. Torres. When Mr. Bressi pressed Mr. Torres and Mayor Reina insisted that Mr. Torres get the attendee list it was noted that he did not speak with all unions as stated.

The evening went on with employees and union members getting up to speak to the council, mostly stating the matter of distrust they had for the administration. Detective Campbell Brown President PBA and Jack Siedler , president of SOA, brought out the agreement made last year which was signed by Mayor Reina and passed by the Council that there would be no layoffs for one year and the township would hire new officers within an allotted time frame to replace retirees. Dan Burke, municipal engineer, noted the cuts from his department went to other departments rather than saving his staff which was already cut drastically. In light of these actions, how can you blame the unions or employees for their skepticism?

Our town deserves better than this! Police department, town workers and citizens deserve better than this! At times, I may not agree with the unions or the administration however, agreements should be honored or not made at all if you don’t intend to follow through. Ken Bressi suggested that the council go line by line through the budget to find the necessary cuts to save jobs, time is not on our side and administrators can’t be taking a vacation in the middle of this process. Politics aside, we need more common sense and business savvy in the administration and the council.

One though proposed to me, that we freeze all salaries and not give raises, we would have enough to save our employees and police. Keep all the OE and S&W expenses the same levels as 2010. This budget is already 6 months into the year so we are only asking to stay the same level for the rest of the year.

Now is the time to start work on next year’s budget so we don’t get caught in the same situation. Let’s make agreements and live up to them.

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