The Brick Township council is set to consider a proposed ordinance on first reading that eliminates several unfilled job titles at town hall, effectively ensuring they are never filled.
The move, proposed by Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis, is a scaled-back version of a larger restructuring ordinance favored by a number of council members that would have eliminated several positions – including some that were filled – and create three new ones.
Acropolis vetoed the council's passage of that measure after Township Attorney Jean Cipriani warned lawsuits could have resulted from it, potentially brought by displaced employees or even between the administration and the council itself. There were also back-and-forth arguments as to whether the move would have saved money or cost money, once employee bumping rights and the salaries related to the new positions were factored in.
The council attempted to override the veto, however Councilman Dan Toth – a supporter of the plan – was forced to abstain after Acropolis presented a letter from a conflict attorney that accused him of unethical behavior. The lack of Toth's vote resulted in the failure of the override.
On Oct. 22, Acropolis and Councilman Joseph Sangiovanni announced they would propose a new ordinance that would effectively leave the current governmental totem pole in place, but eliminate several unfilled job titles so they would never be filled.
"I'd rather see him go all in," said Council President John Ducey, of Acropolis, at the time of the proposal last month. "The mayor's plan has potential savings, which is good. Actual savings is better, but at least it's a step in the right direction."
"This ordinance will give the council another chance to eliminate these positions to make sure they are never filled and not add any further supervisors," Acropolis said at the time, adding the potential savings in his plan added up to $866,000.