Salary ordinance stuff. Public employee unions. Another money grab outta the deep pockets of 2nd home-owners.
As you may know, back in 2013, Brigantine City Council voted to STOP doling out longevity payments. These are payments given to employees…for just showing up to work. Yup. Brigantine taxpayers still foot the bill for lawsuits, longevity pay, ‘boat checks’, 6 figure salaries and 2 fully staffed schools.
Definition of Boat Check: Usually a check worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, given to retirees for unused sick & vacation time. Governor Christie referred to these ridiculous payments as ‘boat-checks’, because many retired recipients took the cash… and bought a boat.
The always vigilant, Brigantine Taxpayers Association says: even though it was voted OUT in 2013…..longevity pay was still paid in 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017…. in violation of the city’s own ordinance. Millions in un-justified payments, courtesy of Mayor Guenther and City Manager Stinson.
2nd home owners are considering plans to retain the services of an outside attorney, with municipal expertise, to protect their interests.
Ed Stinson, who announced he’ll exit the Brigantine City Manager position, will soon take the newly opened Public Works / DPW job in Ventnor.
Stinson: “We’re not in violation” Stinson & the employee union claims: We can’t do anything about it. Too late.
Brigantine has a long track record of questionable procedures, hairy accounting & financial f**k-ups too numerous to mention. But here’s a small gem for ya: Remember the infamous Brigantine Firefighters overtime scandal? Sweet deal for those on the receiving end. Brigantine Fire Captains were signing off on their own overtime. One such Brigantine employee, who lives in Galloway, cashed in for a very long time. No penalty and no give back. Instead, he was promoted to Brigantine Fire Chief. Go figure.
WATCH VIDEO >
When the cat (2nd home-owners) are away, the mice (council) will play.
Mayor Guenther, a school superintendent at ACIT, Atlantic County Institute of Technology is once again at the center of alleged financial foolery in Brigantine. Mayor: Ordinance language could have been written stronger. Seems to be contradictory. Really. No kidding?
Is this just typical Guenther double-speak? ‘You betcha’ says residents who wish to remain anonymous, fearing retribution.
‘We are in compliance….but….language is a little ambivalent’ says Guenther. (WATCH VIDEO ABOVE)
Note: Brigantine does not follow best practices in regards to annual audits. For true financial transparency, an auditor should be switched every three years, says Atlantic County Executive, Denny Levinson.
Note: Leon Costello has handled Brigantine audits for decades.
Brigantine Firefighter Over-Time Abuse, Starring Tiger Platt:
Anne Phillips of the Brigantine Taxpayers Association questioned council’s salary ordinance and longevity.
Phillips says the city is non-compliant. The city is not following it’s own laws. The city is continuing to make longevity payments as it has in the past.
Stinson said that he could go over the math and that he does not believe the city is in violation of this ordinance.
He also said that the City Labor Attorney advised him that they could not to change the calculation of salary because they are in negotiations with proposed supervisors unions.
Stinson, a Brigantine resident, became City Manager in January of 2015.
Next Brigantine council meeting: Wednesday, March 7 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.