.

Township Layoff Plan Calls for Elimination of 171 Positions

Plan calls for elimination of garbage and recycling pickup, 29 police officers

Township officials have submitted a layoff plan to the state Civil Service Commission that calls for the elimination of 171 positions, including deep cuts to the Public Works and Police departments and the elimination of trash and recycling pickup.

The township currently employs 369 people.

The plan, described in a letter to the commission by Deputy Business Administrator Juan Bellu, calls for the elimination of 29 police officers, eight crossing guards and three dispatchers, as well as administrative staff within the Public Safety department. The Public Works department will lose 25 sanitation drivers, eight truck drivers, eight mechanics, eight laborers, five equipment operators and one department head and deputy department head, as well as a number of other employees. That move will result in the elimination of trash and recycling pickup.

The document also states that park maintenance operations will be eliminated and clerical personnel within a number of departments will be laid off. Additionally, a number of inspectors, officers and clerks within the Land Use and Community Development department will get the ax.

"After an extensive analysis of the financial status of the Township it has been determined that it is necessary for the Township to reduce costs," Bellu wrote in the letter, which was addressed to Robert M. Czech, chief executive officer of the Civil Service Commission. "This is due to additional constraints placed upon the Township due to the recently passed 2% tax levy cap, and declining revenues in all areas over the past 2 years. This will result in the elimination of certain functions and titles within the organization."

Bellu wrote that one-time revenues, including a donation of more than $1 million from the Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority and a $4.4 million refund from the state to the township, helped stem layoffs during 2009 and 2010. Those revenue sources will not be available this year, Bellu wrote.

"The Township will be unable to balance its 2011 budget at current staffing levels, if a referendum is not passed by the taxpayers," wrote Bellu.

Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis has said taxpayers will be able to vote April 27 on a referendum which would allow officials to exceed the spending cap and retain certain services. The details of the referendum have yet to be decided by the township council.

"This is exactly what the 2 percent [cap] intended to do, which is to give residents a chance to vote on which services they want and which they don't want," said Acropolis on Tuesday. "There are pros and cons to both sides of the issue."

"Whatever the voters decide, we've got to present a balanced budget to the council," Acropolis added. "I believe that was the governor's intent and the Legislature's intent."

Acropolis said two unions representing township employees – the Transport Workers Union and Teamsters – have opened their contracts for renegotiation, and "some Brick residents will look at that" when considering how to vote on the referendum.

A township council meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The layoff plan is not listed on the agenda for the meeting posted on the township's Web site.

clamdigger March 07, 2011 at 03:26 AM
Brickguy, the question still remains, how much over the 2% really needs to be exceeded. As far as I know the budget still hasn't been completed and we should have it available to us by 3/15 unless I'm wrong. If you're concerned about the "value" of your house because of any loss of services, you have until end of business April 1st to file an appeal of your assessment. To me this is another reason we will not lose any "important services". Tax appeals have skyrocketed in the last year and from what I hear the majority of people are winning which means less revenue to the tax collector. I've begun to gather info on filing an appeal and am seriously considering it myself, if not this year then next, but I have to sit and talk to someone who knows about this procedure and the necessary info to present at the time of an appeal better than I do. From the sound of your situation living paycheck to pay check you are in the same boat as many of us so I understan your dilema, this isn't easy, politicians don't want it to be easy, people don't want to lose jobs others don't want to lose services. To me the line in the sand has been drawn. I've won fights and lost fights (I'm not implying me vs. you) because of a line in the sand and I'm going to stand up for what I believe is right and probably vote no and let the chips fall where they may, but 3/15 will give me a better idea when the budget is available or a decision has been finalized.
disgusted homeowner March 07, 2011 at 04:10 AM
the citizens advisory board is nothing more than a rubber stamp to justify this administration's bad spending habits. it's called job justification.
Goo Ber March 07, 2011 at 02:47 PM
Believe me i am no fan of anyone on the council...However, I am voting "yes". If it fails...the taxes are going up anyway and we'll have to pay for our garbage and recycling pick up. Also if it fails, the layoffs will happen....and we know he wont layoff by the "last hired, first fired philosophy". He'll pick and choose, and move people...
Christina Weaver March 07, 2011 at 05:46 PM
Dear Al, Will you start the recall petition?
Christina Weaver March 07, 2011 at 05:53 PM
Dear Disgusted, I believe it was you (noon Sunday) who said that taxes would increase by $300 to $400 if the vote to exceed the municipal cap were approved. I believe another commenter, whose co-worker lives in Manchester, said that her colleague pays some $100 per quarter for private trash pickup. I have a friend who lives in Jackson Township who pays $80 per quarter, $320 per year, for twice weekly trash pickup whether or not he has trash. The township still does the recycling pickup. I'd rather have the cost of my pickup wrapped into my taxes. The taxes would pay for more services than simply trash pickup. Taxes are deductible for State and Federal tax purposes.
Christina Weaver March 07, 2011 at 05:57 PM
Reading the comments here, one wonders WHO voted for Acropolis. Isn't the thing to do is demand that he leave his job as mayor, in light of his full time employment in Toms River. Is the procedure that the council president/chair becomes the interim mayor? Is it a case of "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't"?
Joe Joe March 07, 2011 at 05:58 PM
I think you need 25% of the registered voters sign a petition in order to have a recall. That would be about 15,000. In order to get that number, you would need 1 person at every polling station having people sign a petition on April 27. and it is my understanding that a group is organizing to do exactly that!!! But not only to recall the mayor... but the 3 council people who ran on a "taxpayer" platform... it's called fraud. I laughed at the 3/1 council meeting... they are pointing fingers at everyone except themselves... and Pezarras is incompetant.
Christina Weaver March 07, 2011 at 06:02 PM
At this point, I am planning to join you Goo Ber in voting "Yes". Of course, I will see what the budget, being released 3/15, says.
Daniel Nee (Editor) March 07, 2011 at 06:12 PM
Joe Joe, The link below comes from the Office of Legislative Services and is an excellent resource for I&R in New Jersey. The report came out in 2007 but it is still generally accurate. http://cityofatlantic.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/ir_counties_municipalities.pdf
forthekids March 07, 2011 at 06:15 PM
If it passes people will be laid off, why would believe these liars??? When elected they claimed there would be no lay-offs then they proceeded to move friends and family into departments which would not be affected by lay-offs, then they laid off 50 people, that was two years ago REMEMBER??? Now they are holding the taxpayers hostage by thretening us that our services will be lost and people will be fired if we don't give them permission to raise our taxes by whatever percentage they want. The greed and entitlement is disgusting.
OceanCounty March 07, 2011 at 08:29 PM
As I noted in similar article here. Unless "ALL" bargaining units agree to concessions, I would have a hard time voting yes. So far, 2 of the 3 bargaining units have agreed to concessions to include a 2011 wage freeze. The town is working with the PBA. Since they are faced with losing 29, one would think they would also agree to some concessions; we'll see.
disgusted homeowner March 07, 2011 at 09:26 PM
AS FOR RECALL PETITIONS, YOU NEED 25 PERCENT OF THE NUMBER OF VOTERS WHO VOTED IN THE LAST GENERAL ELECTION. ANOTHERWORDS, 25PERCENT OF THE VOTER TURNOUT FROM THE NOVEMBER 2010 ELECTION. THE CLERK'S OFFICE COULD GIVE YOU THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO VOTED THAT DAY. IT'S NOT 25% OF THE TOTAL REGISTERED VOTERS IN THE TOWN. THE LAST TIME WE SUCCESSFULLY DID THIS WAS WHEN THE ICE PALACE FIASCO PURCHASE WAS BEING DEBATED 2 YRS. AGO. AND THE GROUP DID GET ENOUGH SIGNATURES AND THEY WERE VALIDATED BY GINNY LAMPMAN WHO WAS THE MUNICIPAL CLERK AT THE TIME. HOWEVER THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL PULLED THE PROPOSED PURCHASE OFF THE TABLE KNOWING IT WOULD PROBABLY BE VOTED DOWN AT THAT TIME. SO WE NEVER ACTUALLY HAD A VOTE ON THAT ISSUE. BUT WE DID SUCCESSFULLY USE THE INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM PROCESS IN BRICK DURING THAT DEBATE.
disgusted homeowner March 07, 2011 at 09:28 PM
YOU WILL NEVER GET PBA LOCAL 230 AND ITS PRESIDENT DETECTIVE MIKE BEVACQUA TO AGREE TO ANY CONCESSIONS. THEY ARE JUST TOO GREEDY AND LOOKING OUT FOR THEMSELVES.
Vsox1957 March 07, 2011 at 10:24 PM
Hey, Disgusted homeowner......MOVE!!!! If you knew anything about the Brick PBA and their president you would know that they do alot for the people of this town. Maybe not you directly unless your one of the 150 homesw that they deliver toys to at Christmas, or that your lucky enough not to have anyone in your family with medical problems for who they hold an annual basketball game benefit with the Brick high school football players, nah, you wouldn't know anything about that stuff. Or that the PBA met several times with the township in an attempt to work out a way to help the town. Climb back into your hole or better yet....take my advice and move.....move, far far away!!!!! Start a new life where you can become educated.
Joe Joe March 07, 2011 at 10:39 PM
Now that is a very smart answer Vsox... NOTTTT>>>>>>
Vsox1957 March 07, 2011 at 10:46 PM
Joe Joe, you just prove how people can post numbers and NON-FACTS and nobody else knows any better. Great country we live in..........especially for people like you!
Joe Joe March 07, 2011 at 10:52 PM
Just the FACTS... vsox1957... Numbers right out of the budget... which is why they are not scrutized... they are CORRECT. Frankly, if I were any of the union heads... I wouldn't give back anything until Bellu is fired, council and mayor give up their healthcare benefits. and thank you.. I do know more than most... I am pretty smart!!!
forthekids March 07, 2011 at 10:52 PM
CAPS LOCK is very annoying, the problem isn't the PBA it's the greedy people running this town. Their sense of entitlement and their greed driven bullying tactics are disgusting. Remember laws don't stop gangs, police presence stops gangs. The mayor and council are holding the taxpayers hostage by threatening to cut police and services if we vote no. These self entitled ego manics will stop at nothing in an attempt to steal more taxes from the hardworking people of Brick, while dangling peoples livelihoods in the wind, the same people who work hard for the town and keep our property values up, the pigs continue to feed from the trough.
Scott Pezarras March 08, 2011 at 02:48 AM
Disgusted You should definitely be in favor of the referendum since you have an assessment that $100k under the average assessment. The cost of getting garbage and recycling picked up would be more than the increase in your taxes. With the increase in taxes on a $231,000 you would get to keep all services the way they are now and still write your taxes off on your income tax. So for you the referendum question should be a no brainer.
Joe Joe March 08, 2011 at 03:02 AM
Not necessarily Scott.... If the person owns the home outright... no loan... they are taking the standard deduction.. So, stop putting out misinformation. Also, if they live in a townhouse... garbage will cost 75/yr... dumpsters in place. Senior communities can go this route also. And... it looks like with 172 less people... that is a 25 million savings... so, that is a 30-40% decrease in taxes... or 120 employees coming back on the rolls.. So, it is a chance to right-size the muni. Also, Scott... there is a letter forthcoming from a group... you and council and mayor are violating the law... the govenor and Attorney General are .cc on the letter... time to cease and desist with the false/misleading information... but then again... you don't know how to put together a forecasted 2012 budget.
80 March 08, 2011 at 03:13 AM
Good Job, Joe Joe.. Be aware. Brickguy is moderating this forum. Kinda like he does on NJ.com.. LOL.
Scott Pezarras March 08, 2011 at 03:27 AM
JJ You still get to write off taxes even if you do not have a mortgage as long as you itemize. Example is if you havew a line of credit and are responsible for taxes. It IS a write off. As far as a townhouse goes it is based on the amount of material that comes out of the complex. We currently pay around $50k a month for this service. So I don't know how you got $75 per unit per year. And it is apparent that I have more knowledge of Municipal Accounting than you. Again I ask what credentials you have are you certified as a municiapl finance officer in NJ, I am certification number N-0308, what is your number? We are not violating the law, READ the local finance notice! I spoke to the Deputy Director of the Division of Local Government Services, so call the Attorney Generals office all you want.
disgusted homeowner March 08, 2011 at 03:38 AM
vsox1957, hell me and my family have been here a lot longer than idiots like you who don't have the brains to see what this referendum is setting the brick taxpayer up for in 2012!!!!and i went to school with your illustrious mayor, so i think i know him better than you!!!!!!
disgusted homeowner March 08, 2011 at 03:41 AM
they should lower the police pay scale to what the "average" ocean county policeman is making. trust me, lakewood has a lot more violent crime than brick and don't make as much money. toms river has a much larger population(92000 vs. 78000 in brick) and they don't make as much as brick cops. it's time to get our force in line with similar sized towns and make some hard cuts.
80 March 08, 2011 at 03:49 AM
Brick has enough scrappers stalking the streets for cash. Put some metal on your curb, see how fast it gets picked up. A heck of alot quicker than Brick Bulk Brickguy,Steve Scott P We know Brick gets kickback from the goverment on recycling. You are telling the people there will be no recycle pickup? I will ask our Gov if this is Kosher. Lots of preservation land near by. How long do you guys give it, til the trash is uncontrollable on the curb?
80 March 08, 2011 at 03:56 AM
Vsox1957, Brickguy.. Steve Acop... Come on, you have a job in TRMUA.. You currently have mayor position in Brick... Now you have multiple names on Brick Patch. Be real. Vsox1957, Do you know how many times I have heard out of your mouth, If you do not like Brick. Leave. It is all recorded. You have made this statement to the public, Matthews and Deluca.. All three of you have said this to the public. I have it filed. Perhaps our Governor will have the time to scan the copies I have sent him..... I know he has the time. GoodBye. Good Riddance.... Adios.... Juan.
Oceangal March 08, 2011 at 04:11 AM
Sorry but I'm not the mayor. I came onto this site to get some answers, get other peoples perspective and share my opinion on things. But I quickly learned that if you dont share the same opinion of those that try hard to be the alpha dogs then you are ridiculed and attacked. I was mistaken thinking there could be some healthy discussion on the issues. But this site has become nothing more than a school yard full off bullys who seem to know everything. Pretty much a waste of time. The only thing this site has made me realize however is that I am voting YES. So carry on children. Maybe I will chime in again April 28th
80 March 08, 2011 at 04:21 AM
Brickguy; VSOX.... Bths06 Psst, Brickguy, you got the email's regarding todays posts? VSOX was the name you were using today. Just sayin. Bullys? I will say it one more time. I have on file, town council bullying residents. You can not hide under a screen name Steve. I cannot call you Mayor. Sleep tight. Just remember. Data Universe has all public employees salary info.
disgusted homeowner March 08, 2011 at 04:51 AM
vsox57- a mere coincidence that is the year mayor steve was born. and yes he and certain nasty council members who crawled out of some dirty tenement in the city are fast to tell other folks to get out of brick!!!!!!! and that has been their callous attitude towards the hard working folks in brick during their entire tenure on the council!!!!! get out, leave, etc. steve you were a bully in grammar school, a bully in high school and you're still trying to bully people now. SHAME ON YOU. your mother did one heck of a job as a parent. oh that's right, she soaked brick for a paycheck too for almost 40 yrs. in the court office. the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »