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77 Township Workers Given Layoff Notices

All were in the public works department, officials confirm

A total of 77 township employees, all from the public works department, were given layoff notices Wednesday.

The layoffs would effectively end public collection of trash and recycling, as well as reduce staff in the township's road department.

Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis said the layoffs are part of a plan to reduce the size of government and roll back a tax hike from last year that was the result of a referendum. Should public works be eliminated, private haulers would collect trash and recycling.

The municipal budget would be reduced by about $8 million, he said.

According to a copy of one of the notices provided to Brick Patch by an official with the Transport Workers Union – the organization that represents public works employees in Brick – the layoffs are being planned for reasons of "economy and efficiency."

Business Administrator Scott Pezarras confirmed the township's layoff plan sheds 77 jobs and is limited to the public works department.

According to the notices, the layoffs would be effective on or about the close of the work day March 30.

The layoff notices indicate Acropolis is making good on his promise earlier this year to roll back tax hikes that resulted from a referendum passed in 2011 that kept services such as public trash and recycling collection in place.

"We're having layoffs because people in Brick Township demanded a tax cut," Acropolis said Wednesday, pointing to the November 2011 election, when incumbent Republicans were handily beaten by Democratic challengers who hounded GOP council members on recent tax hikes.

"I'm willing to stand up and say that's what we should be doing in government," the mayor said. "Government should be getting smaller, and the private sector can do it better."

Acropolis said if the public works department – and thus, trash and recycling pickup – was kept in this year's budget, it could have been done within the state's 2 percent cap on expenditures.

"I said we would be OK and we wouldn't need a referendum for the next five years because we wouldn't exceed the cap, and that's true," Acropolis said, but the idea is to reduce the size of government and actually cut taxes.

"I'm going to continue to reduce the number of people who work for Brick Township and I'm going to continue to make government smaller," Acropolis said.

Council President John Ducey said Acropolis promised the town would be on "sound financial footing" if the referendum passed and he looked forward to seeing "why the mayor thinks this is necessary."

"We still haven't seen the budget yet," Ducey said. "It seems like he's playing politics with people's jobs, less than one year later."

John Menshon, TWU chairman, called the plan "shameful."

"I think it's shameful that the mayor continues to play games with people's lives," Menshon said. "The Brick residents made it very clear that they wanted to keep their services, and they passed the referendum."

"He's playing politics with people's lives, and I think it's shameful."

Acropolis said recent deals given to third party contractors in Point Pleasant and other local towns prove trash and recycling collection could be done cheaper by private haulers.

"Things have changed," since last year, he said, when township officials projected the average Brick resident would save money by sticking with in-house services.

All of the details of the township's 2012 operating budget will be revealed by the mayor when he gives his annual budget presentation to the township council on either Feb. 21 or Feb. 28.

Though the township council controls the purse strings of municipal government, layoffs are the responsibility of the mayor's office, Acropolis said.

Brian Ventura February 20, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Are you effing kidding?!.... Why bother having a vote on a referendum? The People's Republic of Brick has a dictator that is no different than any other. We voted, we spoke and we were ignored!! What an incredible lack of leadership from a self serving nobody. He's unprofessional and irresponsible. But rest assured, he's smart enough to know that there is no one who can do anything about it.... That's why he did it. And apparently a town's vote is worthless too. I think I'll end with classless slug..... Thanks for nothing.
Dawn Marie White February 20, 2012 at 06:10 AM
For anyone interested in Learning the truth about the EPA decisions regarding French's Landfill the following links will clear up any questions. http://cfpub.epa.gov/supercpad/cursites/csitinfo.cfm?id=0200540 http://cfpub.epa.gov/supercpad/SiteProfiles/index.cfm?fuseaction=second.CleanupActs&id=0200540 http://www.epa.gov/region2/superfund/npl/bricktownship/bricktownship_proposedplan.pdf
BW February 20, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Everyone should do what some of us already did. Write to The States Attorney Paul Fishman. Tell him what has been happening in town, and tell him you want an investigation, into Acropolis and the township of Brick. If he gets enough letters, maybe he will do something. **Dawn how many more for sale signs have gone up in Brick in the last 2 months? I know there seem to be alot more in midstreams.
Vera Fozman February 20, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Sal, If you listen to the Mayor's "Town Hall" cry, repeatedly aired on Local channel 20, you will hear his cry in favor of non-partisan government. Why are you touting it along with him?
BW February 20, 2012 at 02:24 PM
VERA to answer your question to Sal. Because non-partisan give MORE people in Brick a chance to run for office and also make them MORE accountable for their actions. NO more R or D, no more a select few saying who can and can not run. No more appointing the same people over and over to different commisions an committees NO PARTISAN MEANS TRUE CHANGE!
Vera Fozman February 20, 2012 at 02:38 PM
NO PARTISAN, is being touted by Mayor Acropolis!
Sal Petoia February 20, 2012 at 02:39 PM
For Vera: First, I am no friend of Acropolis! Second, if you were around and involved in politics long enough and knew me, you would know that I have always been pro-non-partisan government. I chaired the original petition drive that gave us the non-partisan mayor council form of government back in 1966. I was an outspoken opponent of the change the Republicans made in 1988 that gave us partisan government. Non-partisan was recommended as a result of a charter study, which you may like to look up and read, because it was considered the best for Brick Township. The mayor's posturing for "non-partisan" is simply a ploy for him to remain in politics and has nothing to do with my position. Partisan politics is devisive. You above all should know how true that is. Further, making it easier for ALL who desire to serve in public office to enter the race should be embraced by all Brick citizens in the interest of gettng better people to represent us. Ask me another question!
knarfie February 20, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Sal, You are 100% correct. In 1988 it was the GOP who pushed for the two party system with the ploy to taxpayers that moving the election to November would save them money and the voters went for it. I still say you should run for Mayor.
Vera Fozman February 20, 2012 at 02:49 PM
With all due respect Sal, your position is clear. I am aware of the politics which ensued in 1988, when a huge political change was pushed. Time to move forward.
Mark Story Jenks February 20, 2012 at 03:23 PM
That sounds like a good idea, knarfie.
Vera Fozman February 20, 2012 at 03:27 PM
If you listen closely to what the Mayor is proposing via "his" reruns on cannel 20, you will comprehend his intentions.
Vera Fozman February 20, 2012 at 03:28 PM
*channel
Cosmo February 20, 2012 at 03:39 PM
With all due respect Sal, its just a meaningless buzzword. No one can show us "nonpartisan" government anywhere. Yes, they let them run, but who ends up winning the office? Always a republican or a democrat. Insulation from any real change continues.
Cosmo February 20, 2012 at 03:49 PM
What is the truth Dawn? Just some statements with no corroborating links to verify anything they say. I think thats only the truth they want us to know.
Sal Petoia February 20, 2012 at 05:25 PM
knarfie. Again thank you for the compliment. But as you probably know, I am an independent. As such, it would be near impossible to compete in a partisan election. I do usually support local Democrats in recent years because I think overall thay have done a better job governing the township. Besides, I am still bitter about Republicans having changed the government to partisan in 1988 just to enhance their chances of being elected. For them it's all about power and control, appointments and furthering their own interests. The Dems do the same, but not quite to the same extent. Also, the Dems opposed the change to partisan government. It would be refreshing if the current Dem controlled council members took it upon themselves to consider an ordinance placing a referendumn on the ballot to change back to non-partisan government, but with some variations. And for the record, I did not and will not vote for Obama!
Sal Petoia February 20, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Cosmo: You are wrong. Brick had a non-partisan government for over twenty years, and it worked fine. True, it was usually a Republican or a Democrat who got elected mostly because of the organizational support and the money, but the door was open for so many more people to run. At least voters had to THINK about the candidate since there was no party designation on the ballot or in campaign literature. We even had slates consisting of both Dems and Reps running together. People (voters) were given a much greater choice under non-partisan, but in the end it is the responsibility of the voters to learn who the candidates are and what they stand for. Much better than just votng "D" or "R" because of your political affiliation. Try it...maybe you'll lilke it.
Sal Petoia February 20, 2012 at 05:44 PM
And for Vera: I am pleased with the Democrat's success in the last election, but let's not forget that the voters didn't have much else to choose from. Most will tell you that the "win" was more of a vote against the Republicans than a vote for the Democrats. But now, the Democrats have a chance to prove themselves by standing for the people. It is not surprising that Acropolis is looking at non-partisan government, but it isn't because he really wants it.... it's an attempt to remain in power. If he really desired non-partisan, he could have had it put on the ballot when he was council president, or even as mayor when his "team" controlled everything. Let's be realistic about things!
Cosmo February 20, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Ok, I'm WRONG as you put it. Tell me when someone other than a dem or rep won? Anyone else hasn't got a level playing field when it comes to any election that involves spending money. I'm only here 12 years and it either goes one way or the other, never in a third direction. I live by my motto, until I see a change - "there are no lobbyists for the taxpayers". So you can call me whatever you want, I'll believe you when I see something change.
frances February 20, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Sal, approximately fifteen people have approached me regardidng going back to the non-partisan form of government because they have simply lost their faith in politicians. I have been hesitant because I would like to see the newly elected Council have a chance to act in our best interest. However, if fabrication and mistruths are to be told, and folks on both side of the aisle try to pretend that they were not in support of the referendum and that it was not a bipartisan effort, I too will lose faith. Nonpartisan form of government's time may have come. It is my belief that it is a disservice to the people of Brick to suggest that Mayor Acropolis would be a strong proponent of nonpartisan form of Government. Think about it - it would serve no purpose for him. Simply is a deflection from the issue at hand since the Mayor's popularity rate is nill. Although very responsible citizens have all agreed to be obtain one hundred signatures respectively, I think that it would be more prudent to expect 50 signatures from each. It is my understanding that approximately seventeen hundred or ten percent of the votes cast in the last election would be required. If I am incorrect please let me know as you have previous experience on this matter. What is the timeframe that we would have to obtain the signatures? I would commit to gathering three hundred viable signatures should it become necessary. Food for thought.
Sal Petoia February 20, 2012 at 09:16 PM
For Cosmo: I'm not calling you anything, and since you've been here only twelve years, you lack the background of Brick politics. Under non-partisan government we did have Republicans and Democrats get elected, but not all were active members of a political party organization. Perhaps you yourself are registered as either a Republican or a Democrat and may or may not be an ACTIVE member. The point is that under non-partisan there is a more level "playing field" as you put it. And the party member will always have an advantage since they have the party organization raising money or distributing handouts, etc. But despite that advantage, when people go to vote, they need to vote for a PERSON, not a party since no party designation appears on the ballot... nor in the campaign literature for that matter. Voters would be more inclined to vote for a person who presents the best ideas to benefit the town than someone selected by party bosses. If the people take the time to do their homework, we can have better people elected into office. At the least, we will have more choices than just an R or a D.
frances February 20, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Me, perfectly stated . . . and Sal does seem to be a very independent-minded thinker . . . all very important qualities for a public servant!
Sal Petoia February 20, 2012 at 09:58 PM
frances: According to the way I interpret the Faulkner Act (Optional Municipal Charter Law) we would need 10 percent of the registered voters (as you indicate) since according to Wikipedia Brick has a population over 70,000. But what isn't clear is what constitutes the "number" of registered voters. Some have said that it is based on the number who voted in the last election, but I suspect that it would be based on the total number of registered voters… which would likely be a much higher number. If only 1,700 signatures are needed, that would be a "piece of cake". We collected over 5,000 when we petitioned to have the Ice Palace purchase placed on the ballot. But I am an engineer, not a lawyer. Maybe we have some legal types that read these comments who would be willing to offer some opinion.
paul b February 20, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Frances and Sal, it is my understanding that it is ten percent of those who voted in the election - approximately 1,700 signatures. However, you have both inspired me to google the Optional Municipal Charter Law and review it further. I would be willing to be a "district captain" and committ to securing a determined amount of signatures. Given that I need to channel my outrage in a productive manner, this seems like a good starting point! In any event, it will send a message to the politicians that they must start representing our interests. Citizens need public servants to represent their needs, not their own. I am suspect of any individual candidate who won't introduce an ordinance which reduces the salary of Mayor and eliminates benefits. Status quo, it won't change unless we demand the change.
Citizens Unite February 21, 2012 at 12:30 AM
I don't think Acropolis gives acraporless about getting re-elected. He has already feathered his bed. Check out his 'boat' on Google earth. Public service has sure served HIM well. To bad he has no respect for the citizens of Brick. He certainly hasn't served us well!
Can't handle the truth March 01, 2012 at 01:29 AM
if the unions really care about the the people keeping their jobs. then they the unions ,SHOULD take over paying for all the benefits. get it off the home owners back.
Chief Wahoo June 16, 2013 at 02:10 PM
Shout out to Oscar Wilde for calling it on the money over a year before it happens. Just like he said. Very smart guy !
Unhappy Resident June 16, 2013 at 03:10 PM
I can't believe him... Our vote meant nothing. HE IS A VERY MEAN SPIRITED PERSON. What about all the other services the DPW performs - snow removal, road repairs, park maintenance to name a few????
Unhappy Resident June 16, 2013 at 03:13 PM
I just had another thought; what about the new recycling trucks we just purchased? People, we have to get Ducey in for Mayor. If Sangiovani gets in he will continue where Acropolis left off...
C June 16, 2013 at 05:28 PM
I just read the article again & noticed the date.. Is this a current or a past article? Is this happening now or is it an old article? I'm confused.
Chief Wahoo June 16, 2013 at 06:32 PM
No it's an old article that was linked to Daniel Nee leaving as editor. I just noticed that Oscar Wilde posted in Feb.2012 what would happen in 2013. I respect people who are wise.

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