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Brick Council Benefits Debate to Re-Emerge

Brando to propose ordinance eliminating benefits, pay for council members

Brick Township Council members would receive no taxpayer-funded pay, stipends or health benefits under an ordinance Councilman Domenick Brando says he will propose at the Feb. 19 council meeting.

The ordinance, which Brando will place on the agenda for a first reading, will eliminate pay and benefits for current and future council members. Currently, council members are paid an $8,000 annual stipend, and are eligible to receive full employee health benefits or a waiver stipend if they opt out of the benefits program. The council president makes an additional $1,000 in salary, for a total of $9,000.

"I think it's the right thing to do for our taxpayers," said Brando. "We'd be like the Board of Education, we'd be doing it totally voluntarily."

"Living through what's happend after the storm and seeing the hardships the residents are facing, it's the least we can do."

Brando also indicated the proposal was, at least in part, inspired by an Asbury Park Press article published last week that included a quote from Councilman John Ducey saying the Democratic council majority would only appoint commissioners to the Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority who would not accept health benefits from the authority.

"Why not extend that all the way to the council?" asked Brando.

"I haven't seen it yet," said Ducey, when asked about the proposal. "I don't know what it is or why it's even being proposed."

"It seems odd when it comes from someone who works for the MUA," Ducey said, referring to Brando.

Brando is an employee of the BTMUA, where his salary was $60,300 in 2011, according to public records.

Ducey also said the option of receiving benefits and a stipend was never removed for MUA commissioners.

"We didn't take it away, we're just asking the question, 'will you take benefits?" said Ducey.

Ducey, along with council members Jim Fozman, Bob Moore and Dan Toth currently accept health benefits as a result of their council positions. Fozman is also an MUA commissioner, though he does not take any stipends or benefits from his appointment there.

Brando, as well as council members Susan Lydecker and Joseph Sangiovanni, do not take council health benefits.

Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis pledged his support to Brando's proposal, which he said is an improved version of one he has repeatedly tried to introduce to both Republican and Democrat controlled councils.

"I think this was a long time coming," he said. "I think this is the first time, I believe, that a council member has put my ordinance forward."

"I think any money the township saves should be earmarked toward Sandy relief. I am in favor of it," the mayor said.

Mrgrumpass February 14, 2013 at 02:20 AM
Joe I have witnessed you at the Housing Authority meetings, where you receive facts and figures and than you arrive at Council meeting with different facts and figures, I am not sure that people should believe your statements; they just blossom and get fuzzy the next day.
Mrgrumpass February 14, 2013 at 04:28 AM
Ryan there is one more thing, a little over a year ago he owned a GYM that I think went belly up, but for the time it was open he seemed to bulk up with mussel a bit but I thought that some one with an arm disability could not work out. Go figure?
Ken February 14, 2013 at 05:42 AM
This Town needs to get there act together, Insurance should be provided by the State Plan, then council members would not be eligable and Tax Payers may see there Taxes down. The State has been trying to supply insurance to the Town for years. http://www.nj.gov/comptroller/news/docs/shbp_audit_report.pdf Brick has had many years to negotiate with the Unions to do this, but they have done nothing
KC February 14, 2013 at 06:43 AM
This country has really gone to hell in a handbasket. The only civilized nation in the world that doesn't want to deliver mail, pick up trash, or provide healthcare. Cut, Cut, cut, cut cut. That's all we hear. Save money, lay off workers, cut, cut, cut some more. Then when every last one is unemployed (save the politicos) we can complain that people are unemployed and don't want to work. We can't maintain roads, bridges or keep our school children safe. Our cities are no longer safe or livable for most so like the indiginous people we are on reservations in Ocean County. What a clusterf--k. Now we are here arguing over health benefits. How did the country fuction in the fourties, fifties and sixties when things actually got built and maintained and people had one full- time job and could go to a doctor? I say keep the jobs as paid jobs and give them to people that have no job. No more double dipping. IMHO as always.
John C February 14, 2013 at 09:15 AM
Mr. Lamb’s statements and dollar figures are fabricated and distorted for politically motivated reasons. He has been given the correct information from many sources as well as the opportunity to discuss it and NEVER takes the opportunity to do so. Welcome to another election year, the silly season is starting early again.
Justmeasking February 14, 2013 at 01:52 PM
So Lori, not quite sure I understand your point. What does "certifications" have to do with a commissioner receiving benefits they are not entitled to? My status as a volunteer is irrelevant. The facts I have stated are quite true. There are current sitting commissioners who are NOT full time employees of the township who receive benefits. As I stated, check the records people. STOP THE WASTEFUL SPENDING. Lori I fully appreciate and support the volunteers and what they do but you will be taxed right out of this town soon. Oh and FYI, paid firefighters are right around the corner for Brick, closer than you think. Have a great day people and HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!
George February 14, 2013 at 03:10 PM
Bob how does this aply to Moore.
bths06 February 14, 2013 at 03:21 PM
Justmeasking since you seem to know who these are, then you would not mind putting their names out on the forum here so we all know. I guess since that the election for the board of fire commissioners this Saturday this would be a good time to do it so that the people that do vote will not vote for those getting the benefits.
rick from brick February 14, 2013 at 06:10 PM
I am no lover of government employees but a token amount of pay for their part time efforts is appropriate but the benefits, please give me a break they need to go.
rick from brick February 14, 2013 at 06:15 PM
When i moved to Brick as a kid the BTMUA didnt exist and people seemed to get by just fine. Its amazing how much money and attention the BTMUA gets, they didnt even exist 30 years ago for god's sake. Ill take my well and septic back and keep my thousand bucks a year thanks.
rick from brick February 14, 2013 at 06:27 PM
How about a proposal for those council people with benefits. Go find a part time job in the private sector that provides benefits like they receive to justify theirs and they can keep them.
mineeeemoh February 14, 2013 at 09:31 PM
So let me see here. You want all of the elected officials to give up what you get from your wife or husbands job while you work off the books? There aint no double standards allowed in this scene.
rick from brick February 15, 2013 at 02:45 AM
Work off the books? and what scene?
rick from brick February 15, 2013 at 02:56 AM
The point I was trying to make was that the benefits given to many public employees dont exist in "the real world". Maybe I was a bit confusing.
Justmeasking February 15, 2013 at 02:26 PM
bths06, this is not a "witch hunt" for any particular commissioner or two or three who receive these "benefits". What I am simply stating is that the benefits should NOT be offered. If these "perks", "stipends", "benefits" whatever you would like to call them are not available then no one would take them. As a taxpayer you have the right to speak up regarding how your taxes are spent. Go to these commissioner meetings, they are open to the public and the public has an opportunity to speak and question anything these commissioners receive and what they spend your hard earned money on. I have attended many of these meetings and spoke up during the "comments from the public" portion of the meeting. One person stating their opinion falls on deaf ears. If more people spoke out things would change but most people just complain to friends, family etc. Until ordinances are proposed and ultimately voted on nothing will change. Well there will be changes when this towns fire services go paid, which is right around the corner
mineeeemoh February 15, 2013 at 07:04 PM
Does Brando take health benefits as an employee of the MUA? Does he also take a waiver of benefits from his spot on the Council? Does Sangiavanni take health benefits from his job on Transportation through the Board of Eduation? Does he take a waiver of benefits from his spot on the Council? Are they both stacking their pensions from both? Who's family members and friends are employed at any of those? Who's family members work at the Parks, Recreation, DPW, Court, Building dept, etc? Who's family and friends are taking a ride on the connect the dots local social clubs? Our point is stop the judgement already if your own backyard is not tidy.
mineeeemoh February 15, 2013 at 07:06 PM
They exist in a duopoly.
Mrgrumpass February 17, 2013 at 06:10 PM
The new bee council people LIED! That’s the point here, not what is where and who did what they LIED to the people to get elected! The only stand up person here is council person Lydecker!
mineeeemoh February 18, 2013 at 12:11 AM
Did she donate her stipend to charity?
Lori Morrison February 18, 2013 at 02:55 AM
bths06, justmeasking will not post the names of those receiving benefits as a comissioner because there are none. Elections are over, budget passed in District 1 so the fire tax will not go up. Library and fire taxes are the same dollar amount. If paid departments is right around the corner, see how much your taxes go up then.
Mrgrumpass February 18, 2013 at 11:59 AM
Vera what did your puppet do, he got caught and embarrassed didn’t he????
mineeeemoh February 18, 2013 at 12:55 PM
Benefits through other public means is what Brick's Mayor and his friends accomplished through the years. It's amazing to many of us the means to which they he willl go to continue to insult the intelligence of the overall Public. Aint that right Mr? To hold an entire group of employees hostage is criminal and immoral. It's a shame some new bees bought into the deceit for whatever motivation they have. And we aint buying into your doubletalk and threats of job loss anymore. Your Oz is evaporating. Our group is adding new members every day. You can take that to your trough.
disgusted homeowner February 18, 2013 at 02:45 PM
You hav to love this guy Brando. Does the word FRAUD exixt in his mind???? Disability pension from a bergen county police dept. But well enough to work at the BTMUA and earn $60k a year???? To me disabled means disabled, you cannot work. You are physically unable to. Anything else is FRAUD. PERIOD. How come this guy isn't being investigated??????? I wonder who's got his back??? He comes down to ocean county and rapes the system again. And we have to pay for it.
Bob Short February 18, 2013 at 03:29 PM
You need to find a Middle Man,someone with life expierances. Anytime you have these rich clowns in office they don't care.? they will move on, they have their money do you.? if you elect a guy or gal for free - what kind of council person do you think your going to get.? you might as well have the red cross runn council? all volunteers? up there running the show? Oh -Thats a good one? I want someone who knows what it's about to make hard decisions. including bankruptcy. Someone who's been around, who's worked varrious industries and not just one. If I'm going to elect someone new,I don't want a rich guy girl - someone who's retired collecting a pension.. they are already secure, if they fail, they won't care.! they have their money. Give me someone who's from the working class, give me the person who gets up everyday to do his or her job.- Thats' the one I'm going to elect! show me a guy who's willing to take sacrificess over his or her income. and thats the guy I'm voting for and this complex will vote for.! NO Rich - well to do people running the show, - they have money - do you? NO - retirees, money grabbers! - they have money - do you? NO - electees who live in a big house on the river ! they have money - do you? NO Pension collectors on stage,! - they have money - do you? Give me someone with the 35 - 50K income who works hard every day - because he or she know whats it's like to survive.! That person will understand what everyone is going through
Bob Short February 18, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Stop electing the wealthy people who do not care about you! NO Rich - well to do people running the show, - they have money - do you? are they struggling ? NO - retirees, money grabbers! - they have money, pension, benefits for life- do you? NO - electees who live in a big house on the river ! they have money - do you? NO Pension collectors on stage,! - they have money - do you - Do you think, someone who is already collecting a pension, who has an income, who can afford to do what ever he or she wants..Is seriously going to take their time and invest in us- we, the people of Brick? Just Look back all these years,, anyone with money - dosen't care! get me someone who's working class - I can't express it enough! That person will feel the same pain as all of us do. That peson will work for their money, even if they quite their day job to do it! Show me someone who's dedicated to their work, to get the job done. Show me someone who thinks out side the box,, That's who I- myself , my wife and this community of 200 residents - will be voting for! I want someone who I can trust !!! to be in office. It's election time officials, take a look at your inventory - We no longer want the popular club of PTA moms, Teachers,Union reps,local Business owners, big Financial income folks running the show.. who've we've seen the past 20 years - we want someone NEW - that No one knows much of or about.
Mrgrumpass February 18, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Vera you just don’t get it this ordinance is the cries of a desperate man who knows that when his time as councilman is over he will also lose him do little job at the BTMUA, he has been spanked (behind closed doors) for arriving at the MUA at 7:00 AM and getting in the company truck and disappearing till check out time, and the truck would be seen parked at his house for the day. But in the same way Vera your hubby is trying to start his own little scam at the MUA but there are too many eyes on him personally I think Brando is a halfwit and your hubby is a bit slower than him! As for your comments about the mayor I thank God he was the man at the top during the storm and after absolutely no one in our town government can or could have done what this man did for Brick!
mineeeemoh February 19, 2013 at 12:07 AM
Your anger is escalating, and your self doubt is showing. I am not who you claim I am. And if Mr Brando misused company time, then you are equally responsible for his mistake.
mineeeemoh February 20, 2013 at 05:15 AM
The only people elected to your local council who may be remotely wealthy, are the those whose homes suffered damage from storm sandy. And by the way, they should never hold the privilege to vote on any legistlation regarding their homes. That in itself is a direct conflict and they should be informed by the legal department of their deriliction.
Brick February 21, 2013 at 05:29 PM
This is the same man(Brando) along with the other 6 Republicans were asked to give up there benefits 2 yrs ago at a Republican club meeting. They all said NO and now he wants to do it.. Bu bye Brando
David February 23, 2013 at 04:30 PM
The bottom line is that the elimination of "Bloated Stipends and Medical Benefits" for part-time employees (the Council entrusted to look out for the best interest of the public) is Good for the TAX PAYERS and saves TAX DOLLARS period end of story. Save the political spin for your political gatherings. The only constant is that our Business Administrator, Scott Pezarras is worth is weight in gold. His contributions to the Township are unworthy of measure. Thank you Scott for putting up with the nonsense. It goes with the territory.

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