Can Brigantine really afford these rich, public employee contracts? That’s the question on everyone’s mind as the Police Chief revolving door cranked out another big pay day. After less than 2 years in that position, Tim Reed has announced he will retire.
Ask and you shall receive. We appreciate the quick turnaround by Brigantine City Clerk; Lynn Sweeney.
We submitted an OPRA (open public records act) request. We asked the Clerk for info pertaining to reports of Brigantine Police Chief Tim Reed and Fire Chief Weidner getting ready to retire after less than 2 years in those positions. We also asked for any documents pertaining to alleged unprofessional activity engaged in by Brigantine Police Chief Reed. We were stone-walled…for now… on that request. SEE DOCUMENTS BELOW.
This public domain info isn’t published in the local papers or sent out via press release. So, what does a Brigantine Public Employee retirement package look like?
For Mr. Tim Reed, he’ll get a Brigantine taxpayer funded check totaling $131,715.12 for unused sick & vacation time.
Because there’s a cap on how much accumulated sick time (2,376 hours) Reed can cash in, he’ll schrewdly burn off 8 weeks of sick time via the often unethical: ‘terminal leave pay’. The outgoing Brigantine Police Chief will get paid to stay home until his official retirement date of March 1, 2016.
These types of employee compensation policies are increasingly rare in a world of belt tightening and right-sizing. But they remain in full force….in Brigantine.
During these so called sick days, Brigantine Taxpayers will provide additional compensation to the new ‘acting’ chief as well. This rich retirement package was crafted over the years by past and present city managers; Jim Barber & Ed Stinson.
The retirement package also provides for healthcare. Approximately 2/3 of the final Chief salary will be used to formulate his long term, monthly pension payments. All of this is paid for by Brigantine Taxpayers.
These harmful public employee contracts are the #1 reason why Brigantine struggles to rebound financially. Un-sustainable deals & municipal payouts have a direct, negative effect on the local economy, specifically Real Estate values. These public employee contracts can trace their nasty roots back to the infamous former City Manager / Public Safety Director; Jim Barber. Brigantine union heads Tiger Platt and Deleon certainly represented their side quite well. Those who represented Brigantine Taxpayers were tepid negotiators…at best.
Brigantine retirement documents for Chief Tim Reed were revealing.
Why isn’t info like this shared by those who claim to represent taxpayers? Good question. We all may want to re-think our support of the (usually) fiscally conservative Brigantine Democrats. Old school lawns signs & corny slogans won’t be enough to clean house on The Rock.
Communicating all issues with residents (year round and part-time) is a key part of council duties. Un-covering and sharing uncomfortable facts of interest to taxpayers (like rich, union retirement packages)…. is also a part of their job. The Brigantine Democrats need to really step up here. Geez, anonymously use OPRA if you’re afraid of harassment.
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Why is BrigantineNOW sharing this critical taxpayer information? No one else was doing it.
Quite frankly, we were pleasantly surprised how quick and easy the process was. We just emailed the request to City Clerk Sweeney. We clearly state in the email that it was an OPRA request. The clerk provided requested info within 24 hours. If desired, I could have emailed an anonymous request. (Please be respectful when requesting OPRA info. Wasting clerk’s time on fabricated requests helps no one)
Really? Nobody has the time to quickly shoot an OPRA email to the very accommodating Clerk Sweeney? Now that’s just plain dumb and a dereliction of duty, especially when you can make the request via anonymous email. Maybe Brigantine taxpayers have money to burn? Maybe there’s still lingering fear of harassment?
Do Second Home-Owners…Have Representation in Brigantine? Not Really.
As for why the local papers don’t do their journalistic duty, we can only assume they’re highly encouraged to look the other way….or else.
How can second homeowners (part-time residents) find proper representation inside Brigantine City Hall? We recommend using OPRA requests as a critical first step.
- Many Brigantine employees have enjoyed 20 percent annual raises for quite some time.
- Salaries dramatically outpace inflation in Brigantine where 63% of each tax dollar goes to public employees.
- Via OPRA, (Open Public Records Act request), we see pay hikes, longevity, overtime and terminal leave pay-outs being some of Brigantine greatest burdens.
- Starting salaries for some in Brigantine increased 44 percent between 1999 and 2012. One particular Brigantine public employee’s salary nearly doubled.
- Brigantine has 30+ employees earning more than $100k per year. That’s NOT counting overtime, cadillac heath care, longevity and pension contributions. That $125,000 salary easily turns into $160,000+… within the blink of an eye.
NOTE: Even when a former Brigantine Police Chief violated a sexual harassment policy……big money payouts still happen.
- Offensive or derogatory comments to victim
- Slapped victim on the behind,”
- Called victim names such as “Sugar Lips”
- “Stand uncomfortably close” to victim
This info was made public after a legal battle lead by open public records advocate; John Paff. Paff uncovered info that showed Frugoli, the female victim and City Manager Jim Barber signed a settlement agreement on March 30, 2010 — one week after investigation report was submitted to the city.
Victim agreed not to sue if the former chief retired and never sought city employment again. The victim received no settlement money.
After all of that…..the former Brigantine Police Chief received a $159,778 retirement package.