Brigantine’s property-tax bills are in the mail this week as full and part time residents brace for some potentially unpleasant news. As initially warned by the Brigantine Taxpayers Association, employee salaries along with benefits, pension payouts and the under-performing Brigantine Golf Course share a large part of blame for the soon-to-arrive tax man’s letter.
In other financial follies, expired but still valid, employees union contracts will play heavily in the upcoming 2015 budget process, including continued payments under those contracts that expired 2 years ago.
New Jersey Governor Christie and NJ Legislature are again considering the costly issue of public employee payouts for unused sick and vacation days. The Governor wants to eliminate these payouts. The Brigantine Taxpayers Association agrees. The City of Brigantine is still mired in negotiating expired contracts and has yet to announce its position on this burden and retirement windfall for already well-paid employees.
During the next Brigantine City Council meeting on Wed., August. 6, members will discuss and vote on the 2014 salary ordinance, based on the 2013 ordinance which says, “All employees will receive 0 percent salary increases in 2013.” However, in this amended introduced ordinance, there are some salary increases. The Brigantine Taxpayers Association challenges the necessity of such increases.
Still in limbo are the issues of overtime mis-management, uncovered at a Spring 2014 council meeting.City Council has yet to announce their findings in this potential abuse that took the Mayor and many others by surprise.
Taxpayers are also waiting for official word on the Water Weenie issue. This colorful pontoon boat, converted into a floating hot dog & ice cream vending concession, has pulled up onto the beach at The Cove for many years. Recently it was told to cease business. No word yet on who the owners of The Water Weenie were from the past 10 years, and if they were properly licensed to do business on the beach.