The City of Brigantine Beach will soon have new police and fire chiefs. On July 2, look for City manager Blumenthal to get the OK for entering into contracts with the two new department heads. These fast-tracked announcements are the result of a recent ousting of Dan Howard, the former acting Public Safety Director.
Mr. Howard and the PSD position was ‘voted’ off the island via a special election a few weeks back. it’s well known that the Brigantine public employee unions were not fond of Mr. Howard’s efforts to remove inefficiencies within the police and fire departments. Brigantine Republican Mayor Phil Guenther, was at one time, supportive of the Public Safety position when it was held by ex-cop and former city manager; Jim Barber.
Mr. Barber held the City Manager and Public Safety Directer positions at the same time. Barber negotiated the rich union contracts the city says it can no longer afford. See Brigantine Firefighter Contract here.
Brigantine Public Safety Employees did not like being told “No” by Mr. Howard. So they devised a way to remove him.
Mr. Howard’s struggle to stop so-called ‘self-serve’ overtime was just one example of the inefficiencies uncovered during his short tenure in Brigantine.
Brigantine has finally made a little headway with the Brigantine Firefighters Union. An agreement was reached where the city can reduce the starting salary of new full-time firefighters to $35,000. The previous starting salary was $45,635.
The Brigantine City Manager is expected to hire two new full-time firefighters in the coming weeks.