Town Council, January 22: Salary Squabbles Again

By on January 27, 2018

There was a lengthy posted agenda for the Town Council meeting on Monday, January 22, but the discussion over one element made it longer still.

Ordinance 2018-04 sets salaries for exempt and non-union workers in managerial positions. While it gives these workers a 2% raise, it eliminates so-called longevity, a bonus once given to municipal employees, for four of the positions and makes these positions no longer eligible for overtime. Township Manager Matthew Cavallo noted that, with other changes that have been made, there will be a net decrease in compensation. Cavallo also noted that the township has completed job descriptions for supervisor positions, and that employees will now get a formal performance review every year. Verona hadn’t properly distinguished between supervisors and other employees in the past, which had allowed several department managers to run up substantial overtime.

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The changes were not enough to please Deputy Mayor Michael Nochimson. “It is unfair to give universal raises,” he said.

Mayor Kevin Ryan noted, however that the management raises are substantially less than those that have been given to non-management employees over the last three years. Managers, Ryan said, “are still 8% behind the employees we expect them to supervise and encourage to work more efficiently.”

“It’s wonderful to say that these folks are overpaid or overcompensated,” Ryan added, “but they are working to try to make the town more efficient.” Verona is also down five full-time employees since Cavallo started in November 2015.

Nochimson continued to argue against the raises, finally exhausting the patience of the other four Council members. “You’ve made your point three times,”” said Ryan to Nochimson. “So make it four times and then we’ll vote.” The vote was 4 to 1 in favor of 2018-04, with Nochimson being the lone No.

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In other business, the Council noted that there are vacancies for volunteer positions on the Board of Adjustment and Historic Preservation Commission. There will also be six spots to fill on the new Verona Recreation Advisory Commission. You can see the full agenda here and watch the meeting in full below.

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