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Fozman: I Won't Take MUA Pay

Councilman says he'll decline stipend, health waiver as MUA commissioner

Brick Councilman Jim Fozman will work for free as a Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority commissioner.

Fozman announced Friday, via a press release, that he would turn down a $2,500 stipend as well as a $5,000 waiver for opting out of MUA-provided health insurance.

"The public deserves an explanation," Fozman said in his statement. "For the record, I am taking no salary, no stipend, no benefits package as the newest BTMUA commissioner."

"In keeping with 'eliminating Cadillac benefits plans for MUA appointees,' being a watchdog for the people is the right thing and this is the new norm."

Eliminating benefits for MUA appointees was incorporated as part of the campaign literature distributed by Fozman – a Democrat – and his three running mates who swept the 2011 township council elections and took control of the municipal governing body.

Fozman found himself the target of criticism earlier this week when the township council made the rare move of selecting a sitting council member to also serve as MUA commissioner.

Fozman, at the meeting where he was appointed, initially said he would take the $2,500 stipend that comes with the commissioner post, but would decline a $5,000 waiver incentive for opting out of MUA-provided health benefits.

Fozman, as of Jan. 1, receives a health insurance package for he and his wife as part of his council post.

Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis said he maintains that it is a conflict of interest for a sitting councilman to serve as an MUA commissioner in the same town.

"He said that he took everything because he had a change in his life circumstance," said Acropolis, in reference to Fozman's explanation on why he took township health benefits and his initial indication that he would take MUA pay. "What changed in 72 hours?"

Fozman called his move a "win-win" for Brick taxpayers.

"After speaking one on one with Council President Bob Moore, the best interest of the community is being served," said Fozman. "It's a win/win for the ratepayers of the Township of Brick. No salary, no stipend, no benefits, no pension. Absolutely no pay, of any kind, from the MUA."

J.JONES January 13, 2013 at 04:25 PM
NEW COUNCIL LIED FROM WHAT THEY CLAIMED THEY WOULD DO IF ELECTED AND BAD INVESTMENTS FOR BRICKS FUTURE..ONE AND OUT ..
Melinda January 13, 2013 at 04:45 PM
Clearly, it is a CONFLICT OF INTEREST for a sitting councilman to serve as an MUA commissioner. Isn't that the reason that the Council appoints commissioners in the first place? Citizens are getting sick and tired of the "no nothing politicians" making POOR CHOICES AND DETRIMENTAL DECISIONS impacting our lives.
David January 13, 2013 at 05:09 PM
Well said! The Conflict of Interest and errosion of separation of powers is evident! Perhaps this is the most despicable action to date.
bths06 January 13, 2013 at 05:28 PM
So Portia you want the self serving career politician instead? While looking at the political world that we are in you are probably right in that we are better off having Acropolis in instead because look who is in the Freeholder seats and the Governor seat. Even though it shouldn't I have a feeling that "restore the shore" is going really going to turn political even more then it has done already (re: US Congress/Senate).
Jaime B January 13, 2013 at 07:09 PM
Who cares, really? Does this mean anything in the grand scheme of things?
David N. January 13, 2013 at 07:55 PM
Knarfie and Jerry, could not agree with you more! These jokers only ran to increase their bottom line. They could care less about saving the Taxpayers one red cent. Since they have no shame, we should ask for the Council members responsible for this outrageous blunder to resign. Time for us to stop footing the bill. Someone said "Hold on to Your Wallet" got that right!
David N. January 13, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Knarfie and Jerry, could not agree with you more! These jokers only ran to increase their bottom line. They could care less about saving the Taxpayers one red cent. Since they have no shame, we should ask for the Council members responsible for this outrageous blunder to resign. Time for us to stop footing the bill. Although Ignorance May be Bliss, it is Costing Us a Fortune. Someone said it best "Hold on to Your Wallet" got that right!
Mrgrumpass January 13, 2013 at 10:11 PM
RE-CALL !
Daniel Nee (Editor) January 13, 2013 at 11:01 PM
That would be correct regarding the 2010 reforms.
P B January 13, 2013 at 11:42 PM
This guy is just another wiener with a mustache. Lets see what big changes will happen... Cough none cough cough
mineeeemoh January 14, 2013 at 02:17 AM
From 1998 to 2003 Former Councilman Kavanagh served as Council Laison to the BTMUA, while also a sitting as a Councilman here in Brick. He also served as Alternate Commissioner to the BTMUA between 2001 and 2003 while serving as a Councilman here in Brick. Former Councilman Mr Michael Thulen was appointed Laison in 2004 after a Republican majority took control of the Council in 2003.
Clam Bake January 14, 2013 at 04:13 AM
A liason is not the same thing at ALL as a appointed commis. Kavanaugh was the only councilman to also serve as a appointed commsioner on the MUA. Two different things.
sick of snow January 15, 2013 at 01:57 AM
What do you think about Moore's wife working in the building department??
Mrgrumpass January 15, 2013 at 06:44 PM
You all over reacted and Voted these clowns into office, so now we all suffer, i do believe that change was in order but not a complete turn over, they cost us money from the first day they were warn in, Lydecker seem to be the only gem in the group i think she realy tries to do what is right for the people!
Tired of the BS January 16, 2013 at 04:35 PM
This may be somewhat off the topic of Fozman, but I hope someone can answer this. When the whole issue of the mayor & other council members "double dipping" & holding two or more jobs came up, the chairperson of the TWU & employee of DPW, (Mr. Menshon) lead the way to save our services, stop double dipping, etc... It is my understanding that he is working for the union now but still receiving pay & benefits from the township. Is this true? And if so, is that double dipping? If he is working for the union & not the DPW, I don't believe he should be getting benefits or pay from my tax dollars. He should be getting that from the union, right? And if it is true, that makes him a huge hypocrite!! Thank you in advance to anyone who can answer this.
Melinda January 16, 2013 at 10:27 PM
Did someone say that Councilman Moore's wife is working at the Township now. Daniel at Patch can you please verify because if it is true I think that it is a disgrace. The glaring Conflict of Interest is astounding. Most professional companies do not allow for family members to work within the same facility/office let alone your spouse be your employee. Does she make her own hours and work five days a week like most everyone else or does she have special hours to accommodate her schedule? Doesn't she have two small children? Does she pick her own job assignments. Wouldn't want to have to oversee a Councilman's wife. If folks found out that Vera was hired they would have a heart attack. Tired of playing by the book and having my tax dollars being mispent!
mineeeemoh January 17, 2013 at 12:38 AM
Why was it ok and acceptable that Mr Catalano sat both on the Brick MUA and Council at the same time. He was a Commissioner on the BTMUA when Matthews resigned his council position. at that time in 2011, the all Republican council appointed Catalano to fill that very same council position. He did not resign from his MUA seat. He lost his bid for election to the council Nov 2011. To his misfortune his appointment to the BTMUA seat expired and he was replaced by another. No one ever from made an issue with that. Not a D, not an R not an I. On another note, was there not a council person who stated early on in 2012 she would donated her stipend to charity? Many of us are curious to know if that kind act took place?
Melinda January 17, 2013 at 12:58 AM
Mr. Catalano is a PUPPET. We all know that the the aging Steve Scaturro "Pulls his Strings. Yes, you are right about Catalano. But I stand by my statement that it is a Conflict of Interest for a Sitting Councilman to serve simultaneously. "Clearly, it is a CONFLICT OF INTEREST for a sitting councilman to serve as an MUA commissioner. Isn't that the reason that the Council appoints commissioners in the first place? Citizens are getting sick and tired of the "no nothing politicians" making POOR CHOICES AND DETRIMENTAL DECISIONS impacting our lives." However, I do not think Mr. Fozman may have thought about the Conflict because he is new to politics but definitely Mr. Catalano did. He was on just about every committee and Board appointment possible. He is a leech who will do Scatturo's bidding as DIRECTED. And look at Steve Scaturro's record *blemish)
Mrgrumpass January 18, 2013 at 11:51 AM
Wrong! Catalano did not hold both positions! Cut the BS for you know not what you speak!
Mrgrumpass January 18, 2013 at 11:54 AM
It seems you missed your MED's!
Melinda January 18, 2013 at 12:42 PM
Mr. John Catalano did serve in both capacities at the same time. He was going to resign from the BTMUA when he was appointed to the Council but changed his mind as he always does when he is is told what to do. Ask him or maybe Scott P or Daniel Nee can confirm.
Mrgrumpass January 18, 2013 at 04:09 PM
You ask Scott, or Daniel and they will tell you that Councilmen JC,MT and JS all resigned their commisioner post when they became councilmen!
Mrgrumpass January 18, 2013 at 04:43 PM
MINEEEEMOH You writing stile and intimate knowledge of town hall leads me to think you are under cover and intimately connected to Mr. Fozman! ??????
BrickGuy January 18, 2013 at 05:43 PM
Mrgrumpass...I was going to say the same...writing style, opinions...Vera is hiding behind mineeeemoh...of that there is no doubt.
J.JONES January 19, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Dem's ran on cutting taxes,stop double Dip, help taxx payers of Brick..They have done nothing they have promissed...So shame on everyone who has voted them in unless your getting a job in town family and friends...There inexperienced liers ...Showing there true colors...now yellow "move with caution"...
David N. January 19, 2013 at 10:12 PM
Bottom line is that No Councilman should be a BTMUA Commissioner simultaneously. MT and JS did have the good sense to relinquish their post but Catalano did not.
J.JONES January 20, 2013 at 03:12 AM
@David N. Agreed !
J.JONES January 20, 2013 at 03:14 AM
Who won the council seat Jim or Vera ?
Mrgrumpass January 21, 2013 at 02:38 AM
I think we may be on to this covert bolger!
Mrgrumpass January 24, 2013 at 12:01 PM
IF YOU LOOK CAREFULY DURING COUNCIL MEETINGS YOU MIGHT SEE HANDS BEHIND HIM PULLING THE STRINGS!

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