Mayoral Salary Ordinance Back on Council's Agenda
But have questions over measure been addressed?
After being tabled last month by the township council, an ordinance to revise the mayor's salary is back on the council's agenda.
The ordinance was re-introduced Feb. 14 without having been included on the agenda for that meeting.
The governing body will vote on the ordinance – unchanged since its last iteration appeared before council members – after a required public hearing Feb. 28.
In what Council President John Ducey has called an ordinance that provides for "part time pay for part time work," the measure delineates two salary levels: the current $52,000 salary for a mayor who does not have full-time employment, and $15,000 for a mayor who is employed less than full or not at all.
But the definition of full-time employment has raised eyebrows, since the ordinance defines a full-time worker as a person who works 35 hours or more per week.
Some residents and council members have expressed concern that there is no way to verify whether certain people – such as those who own their own businesses or otherwise set their own hours – work 35 hours or more each week. Some have suggested a future mayor could ask for a cut in hours from his or her employer simply to collect the larger salary.
"We're going to have people following people around," said Councilman Domenick Brando, suggesting that a future mayor's political opponents might follow him or her to verify employment.
Council members made few comments about the pending ordinance at a caucus meeting Tuesday, saying only that the ordinance was taken off the table to see if certain types of public employment, perhaps rather than hours, could be used as a basis to guide the salary level.
But Ducey said Tuesday that such restrictions could dissuade those who are employed as teachers or in similar public sector positions from running for mayor.
Regardless of whether the new ordinance is approved, the current mayor will not be affected. Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis has said he will take a $1 per year salary for the remainder of his term.
The ordinance will be considered Feb. 28 at the council's regular meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at the township municipal complex.