Acropolis, Ducey Propose Dueling Salary Measures

Mayor: Ducey, others 'protecting themselves'

Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis will give back his $52,000 mayoral salary regardless of an ordinance ordering him to do so, but cried foul at a measure proposed by Council President John Ducey on Tuesday.

Ducey proposed an ordinance that would keep the current mayoral salary in place unless a mayor had a salaried position at a public employer.

"The ordinance, which I am proposing, would lower the compensation under those particular circumstances," said Ducey. "If the mayor receives a salary from another public entity, the mayor shall not receive a salary."

But Acropolis implied that Ducey might have been looking out for himself. Ducey receives public compensation on a contract basis as municipal prosecutor in several municipalities, but such contract work would not be covered under the proposed salary ordinance.

"If people want to protect themselves for when they become the mayor, let them face that when they try to do so," said Acropolis, who proposed his own version of the ordinance – eliminating a mayoral salary for anyone who receives public compensation, or simply making the mayoral salary $1.

Acropolis also called on council members to halve their salaries and eliminate taxpayer-funded health benefits for council members. (Council members earn $8,000 per year. The council presidents earns $9,000 per year.) He polled the four new council members on whether they would elect to receive health benefits through the township, but all four declined to answer. In their answers to a questionnaire from Brick Patch prior to the November election, they would not take taxpayer-funded health benefits.

No action was taken on either Ducey's and Acropolis' proposals, though there was some discussion on the matter.

"Are we doing it because of taxpayer money or time here?" asked Councilman Domenick Brando. "The main thing is to have somebody here, time-wise."

Ducey said his proposal did not take time into account, or whether a mayor had a full-time job in the private sector.

"We can't make someone punch a time clock," said Ducey. "You're not necessarily here from 9 to 5."

Ducey's proposal did not make mention of council members' salaries, only the mayor's; it did not mention health benefits.

Acropolis' proposal also includes rescinding the health care waiver benefit, which pays council members $4,000 to waive health insurance.

Ducey indicated he had the public on his side.

"Here in Brick, it was pretty loud and clear throughout the election that two full-time, taxpayer-funded jobs is not well received," he said, referring to Acropolis' dual positions as Brick mayor and Toms River MUA director.

Scott Pezarras January 06, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Me The Mayor's salary pursuant to a law signed by the Governor does not attach to his pension as you stated. When the Mayor was elected and left the council his pensionable credits ceased as it relates to his job as Mayor in the Public Employment Retirement System.
Ken January 06, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Neptune gave up benefits years ago and settled for 8,000 per year for members
BW January 06, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Scott, oes he still not get pension credits from the TRMUA and with his state job as an "aide" to our senator? Yes It is public record and Steve did list that job on his financial disclosure. And I hae one more question for you. Why when you go to public data bases like the APP ot the Star ledger, Steve's salary is not list? NONE of his public jobs are in the public data bases. What is he hiding?
Scott Pezarras January 06, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Me Any job that is incorporated into the PERS is pensionable, so yes his job in Toms River would be pensionable. As far as this other position, it depends on many other factors dictated in the pension law. The APP data base is put together by the Press, I don't know where their info comes from, but any qualifying PERS job is reported to the Division of Pensions or Benefits.
BW January 06, 2012 at 01:34 PM
There info comes DIRECTLY from each town, then the state and fed. Paul D'Ambrosio(sp) explained it to me. They OPRA the towns to get payroll information, and update their site when they get it. I just find it very interesting, that since being elected in 2007 Acropolis' info has been deleted from that OPRA request each and every year.
Scott Pezarras January 06, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Me I can't speak for the DMUA, but the twp doesn't report anything because his salary doesn't qualify for PERS pension under the new law.
BW January 06, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Has NOTHING to do with pers. It has to do with PUBLIC SALARIES. Not everyone in public data bases pays into pers, but they DO collect a public paycheck, or 3 or 4
mimi January 06, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Even thought the new Dem council's number one fan poster "ME" will not discuss it. I heard today the new D council are going to take the heath benny's and therefore reneg on their number one promise not to!
BW January 06, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Funny. Post your proof. You know when you attack other posters, you look like a fool! Look me up I am an R who is one of many who is tired of Steves BS!
TimeForChange January 06, 2012 at 02:21 PM
mimi, since this is such a hot topic, do you think that it is irresponsible to to post something like your statement without providing information as to where you heard this? As far as Me goes, I am aware that he has posted MANY times that he is a registered Republican (like myself) that felt he had no other choice since he is smart enough to vote for the person and not the party (like myself).
morrissey January 06, 2012 at 02:36 PM
if they take health benefits , there should be a recall and tax revolt AT ONCE !
mimi January 06, 2012 at 02:37 PM
lol, "ME" is the leader of the Brick D party. What proff do you have they are not going back on there promise?
BW January 06, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Is there anybody you like?
BW January 06, 2012 at 02:39 PM
mimi or should I say Mary. Attack all you want, you are making yourself look like the fool Steve is! Have a nice day and God Bless (you need it)
mimi January 06, 2012 at 02:48 PM
"ME" hurry up and find out if the new council menbers are going back on their promise already. RECALL THE NEW COUNCIL IF THEY TAKE THE BENNY'S!!!
Gina January 06, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Mimi: you stated "I heard today the new D council are going to take the heath benny's." Since there has been no public statement yet, can you provide us with the source of your information so that we know whether it's credible or just gossip?
Seen Enough January 06, 2012 at 05:25 PM
I said it yesterday, the new council members only need to log on here and put all of this to rest. Its either "Yes I took the benefits" or "No I did not take the benefits". Its only about 25 keystrokes, not rocket science. Their silence is amazing! Less than one week into the new council and there are already questions regarding their integrity that they could easily to put to rest. 25 keystrokes to answer the Brick Taxpayers, Ladies and Gentlemen step up to your computers and answer! No need for a meeting!
Denny D January 06, 2012 at 06:01 PM
The Rs made a fatal mistake by running such a nasty campaign. They outspent the Ds something like 9 to 1. They still got crushed by a bunch of nonames. Now they want to keep control of everything and demand all kinds of answers 6 days into the new regime. The way you guys are acting this R(since 1968) may never again vote for any R that aligns themselves with any of you sore loser aka cry babies. YOU LOST Now go back to the drawing board and start anew. Some of the Rs are "toxic". If you keep them around you are doomed. Get rid of the gutter politics. Most people are sick of that. Didn't the election show that? A few thousand here and there doesn't mean much when the taxpayers are looking at some rather shady multi million dollar projects. BTW What IS the DEAL with Food Town? We still have never been told the truth.
Joseph Lamb January 06, 2012 at 06:16 PM
It seems the Acropolis Team really wants to make hay of benefits and salary for the mayor and council when the Acropolis Team wants to spend $3.6 million for Traders Cove. And the Acropolis Team thinks they can craft a 24% tax decrease? This financial path is illogical. The benefits and salary issue is just political grandstanding to take the focus off the $3.6 million for Traders Cove and the Standard Alternative solar panel project for $23.5 million. Standard Alternative is just a company in paper only. I went to their address. It's a luxury apartment, not a commercial office building. Standard Alternative just registered with the state in April 2011. Standard Alternative doesn't have prior experience and are not financially capable of hndling a project this size. Standard Alternative's finances are so deficient for this project that something else (company or whatever) is has to guaranty the project while Brick has to take on risk for the debt. Anyone who thinks Brick should go through with this should have their head examined.
Sean Conneamhe January 06, 2012 at 06:16 PM
"Rumor has it that Wegman's is seriously looking at the old Foodtown site." "Edgewood Properties/JSM/M&M has a Wegman's at their Marketplace on Route 70 in Cherry Hill and it is GREAT!"
Gina January 06, 2012 at 06:25 PM
A representative from Wegman's came out with a statement, maybe 6 months ago, that they have no plans to open a store in Brick. Maybe someone remembers where that was written; it was at the time when the Foodtown site was a hot topic. There is a Wegman's in Ocean on Rt 35, about 15 miles from Brick.
Daniel Nee (Editor) January 06, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Here was the article we did on that: http://brick.patch.com/articles/no-plans-for-upscale-supermarkets-to-come-to-brick
MrsDefjam January 06, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Lamb, Good try at deflection. Question, did the current Dem council state that were not going to take benefits , yes or no? Why can't you answer that question? All indications are they said no they would not. We concerned taxpayer would like to know if they are sticking by their promise or not.
Denny D January 06, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Does anyone think that the Mayor would have agreed to one buck if the Rs all won re-election? This is a traveling clown show. Time to clean house. How gullible does the Mayor think the voters of Brick are? Geez
Joseph Lamb January 06, 2012 at 10:41 PM
This grandstanding for $16,000 or whatever is to deflect attention from the real issues. The Acropolis Team took a heavy beating at the polls and this time around it is survival so they will do whatever is necessary to divert the focus of what's important. Our taxes will now have to carry an additional $3 million for an addition to Traders Cove that was not in the original concept and won't pay for itself. Even the marina is not carrying it's own weight for the original $8.1 million.
nan January 09, 2012 at 07:52 PM
I did attend. It was an error of a newbie who had evidently not received the guidance he was promised by the Mayor and previous Council members. Check meetings and you may catch sight of times it was omitted. What you cannot see on video is the raised hand from before Pres DeLuca called on members of the public to ask about Standard Alternative. He could not have possibly missed my raised hand. I was in front of Mr Lamb and in DeLuca's eyesight.
nan January 09, 2012 at 08:07 PM
I stated at the Dec 20 meeting that as Council President in 2004 Acropolis made it clear to Mayor Scarpelli that he was an invited guest. Now he claimed that the part the Mayor plays at Council meetings is very clear. I asked for a copy of this clear statute and Ms Cipriani referred me to the statue. It says "may attend . . .may take part . . . but can not vote." The Mayor wasd not denied an opportunity but when given the floot he monopolized the conversation and insulted the Majority. The public is not invited. They are allowed by law to attend and by law to participate in part.
Art Sholty January 11, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Red, count your change, Obama's after that too. I can see that you made a voting mistake and are trying to cover it up like a true Democrat.
paul b January 15, 2012 at 01:54 AM
I agree with Lori, reduce the position of mayor's salary to $15 or 20k and leave the councils salary where it is at now and eliminate all benefits and pension entirely. Politician's need to stop insulting our intelligence. If they want to reduce spending, here's a way to do it without impacting our services. Maybe it is time for a nonpartisan form of government.
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