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This happened this week in Maplewood:

TOWNSHIP LAYOFFS ANNOUNCED; 17 JOBS CUT

De Luca announces cuts that will save about $1 million.

February 6, 2009

Mayor Victor De Luca today announced the layoffs of 17 Township employees effective March 6th. The layoffs are part of a $1 million cost cutting plan designed to bring municipal spending in line with available resources.

Additionally, five full-time employees will be reduced to part-time and two current vacancies will not be filled. The Mayor and Township Committee also announced that beginning in June and extending through Labor Day, township offices will be closed on Fridays, resulting in the furloughing of all employees, except police officers and firefighters, for a total of 12 days.

Mayor De Luca, Township Committeeman Lester Lewis-Powder and Township Administrator Joseph Manning presented the plan this morning to department heads and then met with representatives of the Communications Workers of America Local 1031 and UTC&IEIU Local 621, which represent the employees.

The twenty-two employees affected represent slightly more than ten percent of the Township’s employees other than police officers and firefighters.

The reduction in force will save about $1 million of the $2.5 million current gap in the Township’s $38 million municipal budget. The Township Committee, which unanimously endorsed the plan, will continue to look for cost savings in the municipal budget prior to its introduction in March.

They also are open to considering serious, alternative cost saving measures that the unions may propose.

“This was not an easy decision to make,” said De Luca. “Our employees do a great job and we do not want to lose them. We certainly did not want to contribute to the growing number of unemployed in our country. But we have limited choices available to us. Not only do we face a state imposed 4% tax cap, we must also do what we can to limit this year’s tax increase when families throughout our community are facing economic difficulties and uncertainties like never before.”

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This happened this week in Maplewood:

TOWNSHIP LAYOFFS ANNOUNCED; 17 JOBS CUT

De Luca announces cuts that will save about $1 million.

February 6, 2009

Mayor Victor De Luca today announced the layoffs of 17 Township employees effective March 6th. The layoffs are part of a $1 million cost cutting plan designed to bring municipal spending in line with available resources.

Additionally, five full-time employees will be reduced to part-time and two current vacancies will not be filled. The Mayor and Township Committee also announced that beginning in June and extending through Labor Day, township offices will be closed on Fridays, resulting in the furloughing of all employees, except police officers and firefighters, for a total of 12 days.

Mayor De Luca, Township Committeeman Lester Lewis-Powder and Township Administrator Joseph Manning presented the plan this morning to department heads and then met with representatives of the Communications Workers of America Local 1031 and UTC&IEIU Local 621, which represent the employees.

The twenty-two employees affected represent slightly more than ten percent of the Township’s employees other than police officers and firefighters.

The reduction in force will save about $1 million of the $2.5 million current gap in the Township’s $38 million municipal budget. The Township Committee, which unanimously endorsed the plan, will continue to look for cost savings in the municipal budget prior to its introduction in March.

They also are open to considering serious, alternative cost saving measures that the unions may propose.

“This was not an easy decision to make,” said De Luca. “Our employees do a great job and we do not want to lose them. We certainly did not want to contribute to the growing number of unemployed in our country. But we have limited choices available to us. Not only do we face a state imposed 4% tax cap, we must also do what we can to limit this year’s tax increase when families throughout our community are facing economic difficulties and uncertainties like never before.”

Not to worry, the King has already said we have a $4 million surplus, and if Trenton gets their way, the municipalities will receive another pension holiday. (So years later they can blame the employees who CONTINUE to pay their share.)

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Guest Kearnyite
Not to worry, the King has already said we have a $4 million surplus, and if Trenton gets their way, the municipalities will receive another pension holiday. (So years later they can blame the employees who CONTINUE to pay their share.)

Was that a back-handed compliment of the Mayor?

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So does that mean the $4 million surplus self-generated?

I'm going by articles in the local papers, about 2-3 months ago. You might be able to find the articles if you search on NJ.com, but I'm not sure how long they archive for. Hope this helps.

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Guest Hudsonite
I'm going by articles in the local papers, about 2-3 months ago. You might be able to find the articles if you search on NJ.com, but I'm not sure how long they archive for. Hope this helps.

Who's next? West New York, NJ. This happened last week:

Layoffs may occur

West New York Mayor Sal Vega said that due to strapped finances in town, his administration has asked a state monitor to advise town officials on several issues, including possible layoffs.

“We are going to look at trimming the workforce, and we are looking at every possible agency in the town,” said Vega. He added that every town employee will receive a notice, whether ultimately laid off or not. Vega said that this could be about 100 people, depending on how well talks go with union representatives.

“We are going to continue to speak to them over the course of the next month with the intent that the more assistance we get from them, the lower the layoff number will be, because our goal is not to lay off people; our goal is to save the town money,” he said.

He said if there are layoffs, they could be conducted by June.

The state monitor will also examine the methods of the Purchasing Department, which buys rock salt and other items the town needs, he said.

“We have asked for a monitor to advise us on certain issues because we are committed to making the town better,” said Vega. He added that another advantage to having a state monitor is that it increases the town’s chances of receiving state aid.

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Guest Bayonne Next

Another one:

BAYONNE

Layoff notices to all city workers

Friday, February 27, 2009

By RONALD LEIR

JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

Struggling to keep economically afloat, the City of Bayonne is sending a "general notice of layoff or demotion" today to all 741 municipal employees. It's the second time in two years that Bayonne workers have received such a notice. In 2007, the city laid off 71 non-uniformed employees for an annual savings of about $1.8 million.

This time around, officials say the ax could fall on cops and firefighters because the civilian departments have already been cut to the bone.

Bayonne remains under monitoring by the state Local Finance Board - at least until June 30 - and is confronting a $30 million budget deficit.

City officials said yesterday they didn't know how many workers, if any, would be let go. They are asking the city's labor unions to accept deferred pay raises, reduced health care benefits and furloughs for their members.

The city is also hoping to downsize its labor force through attrition, replacing only "essential" workers.

"We're hoping to avoid layoffs, if we can," Mayor Mark Smith said. "After all, these are not just numbers on a spreadsheet. We're talking about people I've built longtime relationships with, people whose kids play on the same sports teams as my kids."

As many as 36 public safety employees are considering voluntarily leaving their jobs, said city Business Administrator Peter Cresci.

The employee notices state the layoffs could take effect as early as May 1, given the state-mandated minimum 45-day notice of dismissal triggered by reasons of "economy, efficiency, and/or budget deficit."

But since Civil Service workers have "bumping" rights - or rights based on seniority when it comes to layoffs - the city could take up to 120 days "to effectuate the layoffs."

That would translate to a June 30 deadline, Cresci said.

According to the notices, the state Department of Personnel "will be responsible for determining seniority, lateral displacement, demotional and/or special re-employment rights."

Union leaders couldn't be reached for comment late yesterday.

Smith said his goal is to wipe out $10 million of the city's $30 million deficit by the end of this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

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Guest Barney from Kearny
Kearny had a surplus this year, there will be no layoffs..whats the point of posting an article about layoffs from a town that has nothing to do with kearny?

Our main problem is the County Tax. We are paying for Harrison's redevelopment. The County bonded money for that. IMO we ( The County) should not have done that.

Barney

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Guest Concerned
Kearny had a surplus this year, there will be no layoffs..whats the point of posting an article about layoffs from a town that has nothing to do with kearny?

Because Maplewood and West New York had a surplus last year?

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Guest Clifton Too
Kearny had a surplus this year, there will be no layoffs..whats the point of posting an article about layoffs from a town that has nothing to do with kearny?

Council rejects firefighters offer to take paycuts to save jobs

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

BY JAMES YOO

NorthJersey.com

STAFF WRITER

CLIFTON – The City Council rejected an offer from the firefighter’s union tonight that the union said would have avoided layoffs in the department.

Robert Le Duca, president of the Clifton Firemen’s Mutual Benevolent Association, said each firefighter would have taken an approximately $4,300 pay cut in 2009 to save the jobs of their 17 colleagues.

But council members said they could not agree to several items the union wanted given the economic uncertainties facing the city, including extending the contract to 2012.

“Five unions in this city and all of you blame them,” Le Duca said to the council. “When do you start to look in the mirror? Start now.”

Hundreds of people, many of them firefighters, showed up at city hall Tuesday night to see whether the City Council would accept the proposal.

Facing a fiscal crisis late last year, city officials turned to what they said is their last option: cutting jobs. A lay-off plan adopted by the council in December would cut 60 workers and eliminate 81 positions across city government, some which are part-time or vacant. It would also reduce hours for some full-time positions.

Negotiations with the unions are ongoing, officials have said.

The move would cut $4 million from the 2009 municipal budget. As of December, the city budget was $7 million more than the 2008 budget, officials said.

But the problem is a 4-percent cap on how much the city can raise the municipal tax rate, which comes to about $3.7 million in 2009.

All city employees have received offers for voluntary leaves of absence with health benefits and Clifton is switching its employee health insurance to coverage that would incur fewer out-of-network charges.

But the plan has drawn criticism from the city’s unions and its residents. Firefighters and residents have blasted plans to save $600,000 by eliminating 16 firefighters and an administrator, a move which would effectively close a firehouse.

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Guest Bayonne Again

Latest from Bayonne:

Seeking ways to fill a $33 million shortfall in the proposed $122 million municipal budget, Bayonne Mayor Mark Smith said layoff notices are going to city employees, including police and fire officials.

“We hope we don’t have to lay anyone off,” the clearly unhappy Smith said during an interview last Thursday. “But we said all along this might be possible.”

Smith would not say how many jobs are at risk, hoping that he can still find another way to cut costs. But under contract provisions with the local unions, the city must give 45 days notice.

Smith said he is looking to trim about $2 million from the fire department budget and about $1 million from the police budget.

“This is not easy for me,” he said. “I know all of these people and most of their families.”

Smith served on the Bayonne Police Department, both as a police officer and as the department’s director before becoming mayor last November.

The city is also expected to lay off employees in several other departments, including the Recreation Department.

Police and fire departments are being considered for lay offs because the city has already laid off a significant number of non-uniform employees in a previous round of layoffs conducted last year.

Smith said the number of layoffs could be reduced and possibly not happen at all if agreements for salary reductions, furloughs and other give backs can be worked out with the various unions.

“We’re hoping to avoid layoffs if we can,” Smith said.

About 36 public safety employees are eligible to leave on their own through retirements. The notice claims that layoffs could start at early as May 1. Under state law, the city must give 45 days notice of potential layoffs and the reason. In this case, the budget deficit is adequate reason for the city to take the action.

Smith said the city would be cutting several programs, including the Faith-

Based Initiatives program, which was established in Bayonne under then Mayor Joseph Doria to provide training, information and referrals in an effort to find jobs for members in the community.

“As much as I think the program is a good idea, the city can’t afford it,” he said.

While the city’s 27th Street recreation center will be kept open, most of its programs will be cut or reduced in order to save funds, Smith said.

The city is expected to save $250,000 as a result of closing programs at the 27th Street Senior Citizen Center and another $250,000 by closing satellite branches.

This notice comes with significant warning. Just after taking office last November, Smith said he would push to cut costs.

“Simply put, we spend about 24 percent more than we take in revenue,” he said at the time. “From year to year, we are carrying a structural deficit that has grown to over $30 million.”

If taxes were raised to eliminate this, it would mean a 50 percent increase on the municipal tax rate.

In this regard, he is proposing a $10.5 million package that includes about $5.7 million in cuts, $4.8 million in additional revenue, and imposing fiscal discipline to maintain progress.

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Guest Clifton Again

Latest from Clifton:

Hugs, goodbyes and layoffs

Friday, March 6, 2009

BY JAMES YOO

NorthJersey.com

STAFF WRITER

CLIFTON – It was the last day for some city hall employees today as a city-imposed layoff plan took effect.

It was a quiet day at city hall and when 4:15 p.m. came around, quitting time for many departments, goodbyes and hugs followed.

“I’m hopeful something will work itself out,” said Carolyn Bondonna, a clerk typist in the Fire Department, as she stood outside the employee entrance of city hall Friday. It was her last day on the job.

Bondonna was one of more than 50 municipal employees to be laid off in a cost-cutting move meant to help the city reduce spending, which is about $8 million over the 2008 municipal tax levy. Rising insurance costs, major medical coverage, pension and contractual salary increases contributed to the need for layoffs, city officials said.

The city had proposed to lay off 47 full-time employees and 13 part-time employees and eliminate 25 vacancies earlier this week. Negotiators for the city and unions for most municipal employees have held talks in hopes of stopping the layoffs.

The city was reviewing one offer from the Policemen’s Benevolent Association and the Superior Officer’s Association, another police union for higher-ranking officers, Friday afternoon. The City Council had rejected an earlier proposal from the Clifton Firemen’s Mutual Benevolent Association that would have cut firefighter salaries by $4,300 across the board. Council members have said they did so because they could not extend the firefighter’s contract nor guarantee there’d be no more layoffs in uncertain economic times.

But some jobs were saved this week as the city cobbled together funding from federal monies, sponsorships and seasonal budgets. Retirements also would keep at least five municipal employees coming back to work on Monday, including four firefighters.

Mayor James Anzaldi said the city would continue to search for funds to bring back the laid-off workers.

“We continue to say we would do as much as we can,” he said by phone Friday.

Still, he said he felt terrible for what happened Friday, “Especially some of these people have young families,” he said. “When they get laid off, they lose things like hospitalization.”

One municipal employee who fits that description is Salvatore Guardascione, a 32-year-old fireman with two young girls: A three year old and another born a week ago.

“Tomorrow the laysoffs go through and Monday there’s nothing for me go back to,” he said by phone Thursday.

Outside of city hall on Friday afternoon, other municipal employees walked out for the last time.

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Guest South Orange Is Next

South Orange residents protest planned municipal layoffs

March 16, 2009 22:15PM

Nearly three dozen South Orange residents spoke out tonight against a village plan to lay off 14 municipal employees, suggesting trustees and administrators have not exhausted alternatives to the cuts.

The residents were among 200 people who attended a village board of trustees meeting, with a majority in support of Judy Wukitsch, the cultural affairs assistant director. Wukitsch. is among those slated to be laid off to help close what administrators say is a $5.1 million budget gap, according to the preliminary budget.

The arts, several residents said, is what made South Orange distinct, inviting visitors from throughout the metropolitan area and even further.

Without the arts scene, which includes the Baird Center, Pierro arts gallery, annual Giants of Jazz Festival and wideranging educational programming, the village's unique identity will go by the wayside, artist Melanie Amsterdam said.

"If you drop this position entirely, most of these programs will be lost forever," Amsterdam, a 22-year village resident, said of Wukitsch's job.

A few residents, though, commended the board and village administrators for making hard choices in difficult times and rebuked arts supporters for not proposing alternatives.

"What are you willing to give up?" Robert Landau asked the residents who nearly filled Seton Hall University's Jubilee Hall, where trustees moved the meeting to accommodate the large turnout. "No one wants to see jobs lost. Please suggest a source of funds to pay for that salary."

Union officials and other residents suggested village administrators and trustees should consider seeking wage concessions from the roughly 176 full-time municipal employees. The union officials said employees would be willing to sit down and discuss alternatives and encourage village officials to seek out dialogue.

"I hope that we can work with you," said Kevin McGovern, an attorney representing the public works union employees.

The workers would be let go May 1, according to the budget, which still must be approved by the state's Civil Service Commission.

Five public works employees, four code enforcement and inspections personnel, two recreation and cultural affairs employees, including Wukitsch, and one municipal court employee are expected to lose their jobs. Village trustees also are recommending the library board eliminate two positions and not fill another.

Without the layoffs and another $2.3 million in spending cuts and projected savings, residents would face a 26 percent increase in local taxes, according to the village's $32.5 million preliminary budget.

The village administrator, John O. Gross, said while the cuts and savings have closed the gap somewhat, the layoffs "regrettably remain unavoidable." The planned layoffs would save $1 million this year and $1.5 million next year, according to the budget plan.

Among the reasons for the looming budget deficit are a projected loss of $2.1 million in revenue, capital improvements and debt service totaling $1.1 million, and salary increases and taxes adding up to $850,000.

Despite the layoffs, budget cuts and savings, residents still face an 8.5 percent increase in the local tax levy, according to the budget plan. The village is expected to impose a hiring freeze, with the exception of essential and emergency positions.

To further cut costs, the village is looking into sharing some municipal services and privatizing others, Gross said. It is also thinking about offering voluntary, unpaid days off and long-term, unpaid leave to nonessential personnel.

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Guest Hoboken's Next

LAYOFFS LOOM

State monitor targets Hoboken police, fire

Friday, March 20, 2009

By CARLY BALDWIN

JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

HOBOKEN - More layoffs are looming for Hoboken - and this time they'll be in the Police and Fire departments.

Hoboken's fiscal monitor Judy Tripodi filed a layoff plan with the state Department of Personnel on Wednesday that includes "a reduction in force of uniformed and non-uniformed personnel and demotions in public safety."

Tripodi declined to say exactly how many city workers - including police officers and firefighters - would be let go; or the exact amount of savings she expected.

But in an interview yesterday she said the plan to downsize would affect less than 10 percent of the city's workforce.

"We will be laying off the most nonessential, repetitive or duplicate positions anywhere," Tripodi said. "This is to create savings for the 2010 budget."

The budget for the fiscal year that ends June 30 is $123.8 million and Tripodi is bent on having next fiscal year's budget even lower.

News of the layoffs, and that firefighters and police officers could be included, apparently took several officials by surprise.

Public Safety Director Bill Bergin declined to comment yesterday, saying he hadn't seen the actual numbers of people to be laid off.

Vince Lombardi, president of the Hoboken Police Officers Benevolent Association, was "shocked."

"I am furious she (Tripodi) did this without consulting the union heads," Lombardi said.

"I plan to aggressively challenge her authority. Right now, we are understaffed 19 patrol officers. Any cuts or layoffs would seriously affect public safety in Hoboken. But she doesn't care," Lombardi added.

Coupled with the early retirements and the seven provisional employees who were laid off in January, these layoffs would bring Hoboken's municipal workforce to some of its lowest numbers in a long time, Tripodi said.

The layoffs and demotions are the result of a preliminary financial audit of the city's departments and entire workforce, she said.

Several council members have asked to see the result of that audit, but Tripodi said the audit is still in draft and anticipates it will be shared with the council on April 1 - the same day negotiations on new contracts are set to begin with the city's six labor unions.

Tripodi is now waiting on the state Department of Personnel to approve the plan. The DOP usually has 30 days to decide, but Tripodi requested the process be shortened to 15 days.

"The sooner the people leave, the greater the savings are," Tripodi said yesterday.

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Guest Hoboken Fire Dept

Laying off the top ranks, not the entry level positions:

HOBOKEN

10 fire captains, chiefs mailed layoff notices

Monday, April 06, 2009

By CHARLES HACK

JOURNAL STAFF WRITEr

HOBOKEN - Fire officials said they have received word that a total of 10 battalion chiefs and captains are being laid off.

These superior officers are likely to be rehired since under Civil Service rules they have bumping rights, but will be returned to positions that pay significantly less, officials said.

The decision to lay off these fire officials was made by the city's state-appointed fiscal monitor Judy Tripodi, who as part of an overall effort to trim the city's budget submitted a plan to the state Department of Personnel two weeks ago that she said would affect less than 10 percent of the municipal workforce, officials said.

The notices were sent out Friday, said Hoboken Fire Department Acting Chief Richard Blohm, who said he learned about the layoffs Friday in a meeting with Tripodi.

"Nobody asked for my input in advance on how to handle day-to-day operations," Blohm said yesterday.

Blomn said he might have to close down a seventh company that he only recently established with a federal grant because he does not have enough captains to supervise the company. "To say we don't need the new company is ridiculous," he added.

Six fire captains, four battalion chiefs and two civilian clerks received the layoff notices, which will take effect by the middle of next month, officials said.

Tripodi could not be reached to comment yesterday. Her layoff plan submitted to the state called for "a reduction in force of uniformed and non-uniformed personnel and demotions in public safety."

The budget for the fiscal year that ends June 30 is $123.8 million and Tripodi is trying to lower it further.

Corporation Counsel Steven Kleinman said yesterday no rank and file firefighters will lose their jobs since there is enough room to absorb the superior officers without additional layoffs.

Kleinman said both fire supervisors and rank and file were advised in January the demotions might be necessary.

"It cannot come as any surprise that the state fiscal monitor and the city were going to take action," he said.

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Guest I M Politico
Laying off the top ranks, not the entry level positions:

HOBOKEN

10 fire captains, chiefs mailed layoff notices

Monday, April 06, 2009

By CHARLES HACK

JOURNAL STAFF WRITEr

HOBOKEN - Fire officials said they have received word that a total of 10 battalion chiefs and captains are being laid off.

These superior officers are likely to be rehired since under Civil Service rules they have bumping rights, but will be returned to positions that pay significantly less, officials said.

The decision to lay off these fire officials was made by the city's state-appointed fiscal monitor Judy Tripodi, who as part of an overall effort to trim the city's budget submitted a plan to the state Department of Personnel two weeks ago that she said would affect less than 10 percent of the municipal workforce, officials said.

The notices were sent out Friday, said Hoboken Fire Department Acting Chief Richard Blohm, who said he learned about the layoffs Friday in a meeting with Tripodi.

"Nobody asked for my input in advance on how to handle day-to-day operations," Blohm said yesterday.

Blomn said he might have to close down a seventh company that he only recently established with a federal grant because he does not have enough captains to supervise the company. "To say we don't need the new company is ridiculous," he added.

Six fire captains, four battalion chiefs and two civilian clerks received the layoff notices, which will take effect by the middle of next month, officials said.

Tripodi could not be reached to comment yesterday. Her layoff plan submitted to the state called for "a reduction in force of uniformed and non-uniformed personnel and demotions in public safety."

The budget for the fiscal year that ends June 30 is $123.8 million and Tripodi is trying to lower it further.

Corporation Counsel Steven Kleinman said yesterday no rank and file firefighters will lose their jobs since there is enough room to absorb the superior officers without additional layoffs.

Kleinman said both fire supervisors and rank and file were advised in January the demotions might be necessary.

"It cannot come as any surprise that the state fiscal monitor and the city were going to take action," he said.

As each day brings more news of municipal layoffs, slashing of emergency services and towns on the brink of bankruptcy, it becomes abundantly clear that the current Kearny administration has acted in a manner that is both responsible and fiscally sound. Granted, an increase in taxes is not the way to endear oneself to the general public, but by carefully honing the budget process, cutting expenditures wherever possible and negotiating in good faith with employees, the Mayor and Council have demonstrated that they put the present and future state of Kearny ahead of their personal political ambitions.

While other municipal leaders refused to see the "handwriting on the wall" and continued to placate their constituencies year after year in order to remain in office, Team Santos has had the fortitude to take the necessary, if sometimes unpleasant steps to ensure the viability of the town's operation.

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Guest Teaneck Laying Off

Firefighters fear layoffs in Teaneck

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Last updated: Wednesday April 15, 2009, 6:51 AM

BY JOSEPH AX

NorthJersey.com

STAFF WRITER

TEANECK — The Fire Department is facing the possible elimination of 10 to 15 firefighters and a slew of demotions, Chief Robert Montgomery said Tuesday, as the town struggles to balance its budget.

Other departments could also see staff reductions, though specific numbers have not been publicly discussed. But it appears that the Fire Department may be in line for the most severe cuts.

The town's interim manager, Greg Fehrenbach, submitted a preliminary layoff plan last week to the state Civil Service Commission, which must approve any demotions or layoffs.

Details of the plan have remained under wraps. Fehrenbach, who is on vacation this week, said on Friday he would not comment because the plan is still part of negotiations with the town's unions.

Neither the commission nor the town has granted requests from The Record filed this week under the Open Public Records Act for copies of the proposal.

A spokeswoman for the commission acknowledged that the plan is being reviewed.

Communication between the interim manager, the unions and the council has not been ideal, officials acknowledged.

Council members, including Mayor Kevie Feit, said they were not given a copy of the plan, though Fehrenbach has periodically updated them on potential options for closing a budget gap of more than $1 million to get the town's tax levy increase under the state-mandated maximum of 4 percent.

Feit said the gap now stands at approximately $600,000 after officials were able to find some additional savings in recent weeks.

The mayor and other officials emphasized that the plan represents the worst-case scenario, since the town may not add any positions to the list once it is approved.

The town may, however, choose to lay off or demote fewer workers.

"As far as I'm concerned, we're still negotiating," Feit said. Options still under consideration include furloughs and other worker givebacks.

But the two unions representing the firefighters and superior officers are pushing back, filling the council chambers at meetings and complaining that the lines of communication have been poor.

"There's going to be a lot of fire loss, a lot of injuries. There may even be some deaths due to this," declared Glen Smith, president of the firefighters' union.

Smith said his union has offered to replace all overtime with compensatory time this year, which he estimated at a $430,000 savings, and discuss giving up a salary raise in 2009 as part of a new contract.

The police and the firefighters are currently working without contracts.

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Guest Guest

Again, i understand why it is smart to be informed on whats going on around in new jersey, but you cannot compare different towns and create this FEAR mentality. Im a republican and I can honestly say, as an educated adult, that the mayor and council must be doing something right when it comes to the budget. We have a great police force, great fire dept, and good teachers. To say. OMG hoboken is laying off workers is insane. I know people that have 20 grand in credit card debt, and then go out and buy a brand new car.. That doesn't mean if you are hard working and pay your bills you can't go out and buy a new car,does it? Our town was repsonsible, and now there is no cut in municipal services. So stop comparing Kearny to these other towns that were wreckless in spending. I will be the first person to bash the mayor if the budget becomes a mess and they start laying off workers.. Believe me, but I am an adult and someone did something right , so I'll give credit where credit is due. I still won't vote for him ..lol., but he is doing a good job considering.

One thing that drives me nuts, and its really trivial i guess, but we pay super high taxes, and yet when you drive around town there are tons of streets that do not even have street signs on the corners, or they are behind power poles, Its everywhere, it makes the town look ghetto. The county roads all have nice clean looking signs..Like i said, its trivial, but it is something that has been left to not be fixed for a long long time, maybe there is a grant the mayor can apply for??? There probably is one out there. Other then that, I think keep the town moving forward and if possible step up the pace at the redeveloping passaic ave. its an eyesore and maybe new businesses would bring more taxes to the town..Just my opinion..

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Guest Not adding up

"Reckless spending"? I'll give you Hoboken. But Clifton? No. South Orange? No. Maplewood? No. Teaneck? No. If you think the fiscal crisis gripping many municipalities is because of "reckless spending," you're wrong. If you can point to spending policies in Clifton, South Orange or Maplewood that are really that different than Kearny's, then tell us. I don't think you can. Those other towns are very relevant.

As to the Mayor, either he's doing a good job and should run on that record or he's not. Each one of us will have to decide that on election day. For most Kearny residents it would be hard to rationalize in a coherent way your views: on the one hand, you say the Town's fiscal health is good and all employees have job security but, on the other hand, in a year when economics is issue number one, you think Santos shouldn't be re-elected. I can see town employees taking those conflicting positions, but not most residents.

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"Reckless spending"? I'll give you Hoboken. But Clifton? No. South Orange? No. Maplewood? No. Teaneck? No. If you think the fiscal crisis gripping many municipalities is because of "reckless spending," you're wrong. If you can point to spending policies in Clifton, South Orange or Maplewood that are really that different than Kearny's, then tell us. I don't think you can. Those other towns are very relevant.

As to the Mayor, either he's doing a good job and should run on that record or he's not. Each one of us will have to decide that on election day. For most Kearny residents it would be hard to rationalize in a coherent way your views: on the one hand, you say the Town's fiscal health is good and all employees have job security but, on the other hand, in a year when economics is issue number one, you think Santos shouldn't be re-elected. I can see town employees taking those conflicting positions, but not most residents.

What part didn't you get? So towns are having problem balancing their budgets, the town of kearny gets its income from its tax bases, which has gone up in recent years not gone down, many towns have had companies close up shop and move out and still continue to spend, kearny has actually added big companies, ie. pepsi, landfil ect, which actually generate income. these are the differences in towns. To say maplewood is having money problems, so be an alarmist and say kearny is next is just stupid. my cousin's credit is shot because he decided he would buy a complete entertainment system, with a big screen tv, surround sound, couches ect...costing like 5 grand, he never paid his bills and now his credit is shot because his wife is no longer working. Does that mean , i have to worry about my finances? NO IT DOES NOT. its the same thing, i own a business and im doing fine, the fact my cousin spent money and hit rough times does not mean everyone else it going to do the same...Stop spreading fear. Those other town are MILLIONS in debt and still for example hoboken has not laid off anyone..so stop your whining. I gave mayor santos credit because he must be doing a good job with finances, i dont agree with anything else he has done around town, another mayor could balance the budget and do more in my opinion. Thats why i wont be voting for him.

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What part didn't you get? So towns are having problem balancing their budgets, the town of kearny gets its income from its tax bases, which has gone up in recent years not gone down, many towns have had companies close up shop and move out and still continue to spend, kearny has actually added big companies, ie. pepsi, landfil ect, which actually generate income. these are the differences in towns. To say maplewood is having money problems, so be an alarmist and say kearny is next is just stupid. my cousin's credit is shot because he decided he would buy a complete entertainment system, with a big screen tv, surround sound, couches ect...costing like 5 grand, he never paid his bills and now his credit is shot because his wife is no longer working. Does that mean , i have to worry about my finances? NO IT DOES NOT. its the same thing, i own a business and im doing fine, the fact my cousin spent money and hit rough times does not mean everyone else it going to do the same...Stop spreading fear. Those other town are MILLIONS in debt and still for example hoboken has not laid off anyone..so stop your whining. I gave mayor santos credit because he must be doing a good job with finances, i dont agree with anything else he has done around town, another mayor could balance the budget and do more in my opinion. Thats why i wont be voting for him.

The part I didn't get was the "reckless spending" part. And you didn't answer my question, did South Orange, Maplewood, Teaneck and Clifton misspend? No.

As to the tax ratable base, it's down and not up because of South Kearny, so that's not the answer. Have you seen all the tax appeals that have been filed in New Jersey this year? They've skyrocketed. And have you seen that State aid to towns is falling fast, with Kearny losing over a million this year?

If it were only one or two towns having a problem, it would not be fair to compare. But it's widespread. I'm not an alarmist. I'm dealing with reality.

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The part I didn't get was the "reckless spending" part. And you didn't answer my question, did South Orange, Maplewood, Teaneck and Clifton misspend? No.

As to the tax ratable base, it's down and not up because of South Kearny, so that's not the answer. Have you seen all the tax appeals that have been filed in New Jersey this year? They've skyrocketed. And have you seen that State aid to towns is falling fast, with Kearny losing over a million this year?

If it were only one or two towns having a problem, it would not be fair to compare. But it's widespread. I'm not an alarmist. I'm dealing with reality.

Kearny barely gets any state aid, thats my point...look around at the grants towns get in aid and kearny is always at the bottom, whether that means santos doesn't know how to play the "game" or not is another discussion, but when towns count on that aid to balance their budgets they are asking for trouble, that is what is happening around the state. Kearny doesn't depend on the hoping the state gives us X amount of dollars to pay their employees and continue serving the citizens. That is my major point. Its ok to be a realist and say, we need to stay the course and not spend anymore money, because kearny may fall on rough times ahead, but to keep posting (not saying it was you) about towns threatening layoffs, when it has nothing to do with kearny, is just pointless.

And yes, those towns you talk about DID misspend, thats why they are in the situation they are in now. If not they would be fine. Misspending could be TONS of different things, Like promoting 12 people to SGT. just to get to someones kid or someones friend on a promotional list, These are the things that are being done in clifton, ect...thats just one example, there are many many , but although small, they all add up in the end, then add the fact that the state cuts aid , now the town is left making up the difference.

Here is a perfect example....The kearny fire dept. applied for a grant and was granted a grant to higher 10 firefighters (could have been 12, i can't remember).. The mayor and town council told the fire department, thanks , but no thanks. The fire dept. was obviously mad. But here is the difference between clifton and kearny. Clifton would have hired the 10 or 12 firefighters and would have thought it was great right? But what the people do not realize, is those grants are only for usually, the first 3 years of the officers career, and usually its just a percentage, it doesn't account for medical costs and family medical coverage. So after those 3 years, what is the town supposed to do , fire the 12 firefighters? No, now they are stuck paying, pensions, coverage, ect...Do this over and over and you can see how those towns get themselves into the situations they are in.

The problem with these towns is a couple years back the state allowed them to not pay the pension payments of their employees. This saved the towns millions. The towns were supposed to sav ethe money and invest it, knowing they were eventually going to have to pay the money back. It was to give them a short term break , to help stabalize taxes. Now, you know exactly what these towns did, they didn't save a dime, and spent and spent, well guess what, the time has arrived to pay the back pensions owed by the municipalities and they do not have the money. So they threaten to lay people off, force work furloughs, and blame the town workers for tax increases ect. These towns were managed poorly, but were skimming by, because the state would just give them millions is tax dollar aid. Now the state is broke, and these towns are left to actually have to pay for their spending on their own.

its just like your kids, you give them money over and over until they reach and certain age, you tell them its time to get a job, and start paying their own bills. At first its tough on them, and they realize just how much they depended on mom and dad over the years. Its basically whats going on right now with cities, and the state, the state is basically cutting the cord and the towns are being forced to be fiscally responsible, something hudson county politicians no nothing about.

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Kearny barely gets any state aid, thats my point....

You're kidding, right? Kearny got $24 MILLION in total aid from the State of N.J. last year! Since your whole premise was based on your super wrong assumption, I think your whole argument is debunked.

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