Mayor Hopeful That Some Police Jobs Can Be Saved Through Concessions By Unions & Funds From $1.2 Million Library Surplus

MIDDLETOWN, NJ - The Township Committee has directed the Township Administrator to file a layoff plan with the State Civil Service Commission to address significant and continuing declines in municipal revenue and to conform with the 2% cap levy law.

“Recent budget analysis prepared by the Township’s Chief Financial Officer have made it readily apparent that the Township is left with no option but to immediately begin the process of initiating another round of significant layoffs,” said Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore.  “We are hopeful that some police jobs can be saved through reasonable concessions by the Township’s collective bargaining units and with assistance from the Middletown Library’s $1.2 million surplus.”

“Committeeman Kevin Settembrino, the Committee’s representative on the Middletown Library’s independent board, has specifically requested that it authorize payment of $898,000 of the Library’s $1.2 million surplus that will have no impact on the Library’s operations so that additional police layoffs can be averted,” continued Fiore.  “Nobody can be immune from cuts in this current economic climate, but we must first focus on essential core government services such as providing police protection and maintaining municipal roadways.”

Budget & Layoff Facts

  • The layoff plan was filed with the State Civil Service Commission on Friday, February 11, 2011 with notice to the affected employees and unions, proposing the elimination of 26 total positions, as follows:

§         Department of Parks & Recreation (13 positions), which eliminates every position but for the Director essentially eliminating the Department.  Most of these positions cannot be saved absent an extraordinary change in projected municipal revenues and major concessions.

  • Police Department (10 positions) with demotions proposed too.  The $898,000 requested from the Library’s $1.2 million surplus to avert further police layoffs represents the amount of the municipal budget that pays the debt service for the library renovation project, $565,000, plus the amount of contribution mandated by statute that will decrease due to changes in the Townships overall valuation resulting from the reassessment totaling $333,000 in 2012.

§         Building Office (1 position).

§         Department of Finance (1 position).

§         The Municipal Court (1 position).

 

  • The projected effective date of the Layoff Plan is Friday, April 29, 2011.
  • Despite more than $3 million of reductions in budget appropriations, revenues have decreased approximately $7.4 million, leaving an estimated budget shortfall of $4.4 million.
  • The largest source of revenue loss continues to be from tax appeals that represent a total of approximately $4.9 million, which is one of the principal reasons why the Township is currently completing a Township-wide reassessment.
  • The Township eliminated 40 positions last year through layoffs, retirements and resignations.