WATCH Brigantine City Council Meeting JAN 15

CLICK to watch ON-DEMAND…the RECORDED broadcast of the Brigantine City Council meeting: Wed, JAN 15, 2014. You can watch individual clips, or the entire 3+ hours of this fine piece of local drama starring Tony Pullella & crew. Featured: vote to fund future, potential full-time public safety director position, plea for Brigantine to boost local business, collection of heart felt public comments & seething anger directed at those alleged to be serving up political payback, and potentially using majority power for personal gain.

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26 thoughts on “WATCH Brigantine City Council Meeting JAN 15”

  1. comments made by the Fire Captain about part timers NOT being able to find a street were absolutely absurd. The island is a scant 4? miles long by <~1 mile wide. What kind of Fire fighters are you considering hiring, if these comments are valid. The truth is the comments are NOT valid.

  2. We need to CUT OVERHEAD! Taxes re-evaluations are IN! They are WAAAAAY down. FF and PO are running businesses out of the city….. The bullying by these over-paid and over-staffed employees is crazy. If those workers cannot keep the city safe under revised circumstances is a lie.

    1. If city employees are so overpaid why aren’t they the ones that own all the million dollar houses on the water? Because they can’t afford them. When most of the city employees were hired (and most have a lot of time in) real estate was too expensive for a starting cop or fire fighter to buy here and they had to move elsewhere. Over time their income increased as you would expect in any job. The “problem” we have now is so many of our city employees have been here so long they are on the top end of the pay scale. Most places would not think having dedicated, long-term employees was a problem. We should be glad that these people are as experienced as they are.

      1. Different Perspective

        The salary steps that were given to FF & PD (and all City employees for that matter) were a sign of those times. The salaries provided to Brigantine employees (across the board) are not in keeping with industry standards. I can understand the personal stake that many have in keeping the status quo.

        I would like to inform you that Professional Fire Fighters and Police are trained professionals across our nation. (Just as other professions are trained in their duties IE: engineers, teachers, lawyers, clergy, doctors). The FFs & their supporters seem to believe that Brigantine FFs have special “super” training, experience and commitment that is not found in any other FF except Brigantine. This is simply NOT true. The traits and commitment that exist in our FF, are a requirement of the profession.

        BTW- this dialogue is not a personal attack on the qualities of Brigantine employees. They are among the best. It was stated repeatedly during the meeting that their working ability and commitment are not in question… so take that part out of the discussion.

        BUT the numbers don’t work. Fixing the budget problems in Brigantine is not that hard… the City has not performed in correcting this problem due to their love and respect for those employees.

        The town must change with the circumstances of the times. If the town does NOT make changes, the elderly on the island will no longer be able to stay on the island that they have resided.

        Do you have any concern for their plight? The million dollar people will be here regardless. The elderly and the lower middle class are the ones that will be gone because taxes will be out of reach for them. IF FF considered the plight of the rest of the town, perhaps they would be able to respond with the same compassion that they DEMAND.

        Was this wordy? YES

  3. John W. Pucci Sr.

    Give us your ideas how we can save Taxpayer dollars they ask! How about saving $20,000/yr worth of salaries for ever and ever. The seven member council should be reduced by two, by having a Committee form of government of five members elected for a three year term instead of four year terms. Each member is a liason to a separate Dept such as Administration, Police/Fire, Zoning/Planning, Recreation, Seniors. This ALLOWS communication between elected officials and there assigned Departments which is then brought back to the full board insuring a better ( and quicker ) dicision making process. An Administrator is hired ( instead of city mgr. ) to manage the day to day operations of the town and reports back to the Committee, (instead of a council). No Wards needed. Each Committee member is at-large involved in the entire community, (isn’t that the way it is actually now). The Mayor is selected by the Committee itself. Other towns in Atlantic County with larger budgets, more population, larger square miles have Committee form of government.
    ‘ PROBLEM SOLVING WITH A TAXPAYER SAVINGS.

  4. FF & PO are running businesses out of the City? THEY are the ones spending money and utilizing local businesses ALL YEAR ROUND, not just during the summer month weekends like many of the 70%. What a stupid comment.

    1. My comment was with regards to running businesses out of the City. (A common known and “seemingly accepted” practice.) The 70% are paying FF & PO salaries ALL YEAR ROUND Sir, Your assumption that 70%rs are using local businesses any less than FF & PO is without merit and is certainly “off topic”. I would respond to the fact that you called my comment stupid, THAT WOULD be stupid. I also know that Business Owners that are trying to compete with job pricing against FF & PO businesses are not happy with that practice because they cannot compete with people that have such high City salaries. Those Business Owners are quite vocal about this problem Mr. Skippy G.

      1. There are plenty of people that have businesses aside from their full time job. Not just police and firefighters. I know for a fact that very few police are in this position because of their rotating schedules. What about the city employees that don’t have businesses? You take away money from all of them because some have businesses? What they do on their own time is their own business…. but in case you don’t know they are always on the job because when there is an emergency they are there in a heartbeat. Did you get to spend Superstorm Sandy with your family? I didn’t get to see mine for 6 days because he was here protecting the people who didn’t evacuate as they were ordered…

        1. Well Kathy… as long as those City employees are not doing ANY work involving their businesses, your statement would be quite valid (as it seems on the surface). BUT if FF are doing side business work during their shift, it is NOT acceptable. That includes, phone calls, paperwork, billing, banking, etc. THAT creates unfair completion for others running businesses. It also is not fair to those paying taxes here in Brigantine.

          As far as your statement about 6 days of consecutive service, I submit that the OVER-time paid during that period was significant. YOUR husband was getting PAID! There were hundreds of people that VOLUNTEERED their services during that time AND through-out the year.

          You can’t play the “FFs have undying Devotion card” and then repeatedly demand applause and pity. If that job requirement is a problem for your family, perhaps your husband should seek different employment. During Sandy there were scores of professionals and volunteers that went out to work. (Utility workers, for example, were in much greater danger, working very long hours) are they looking for applause all the time?)
          I was here. The effort put forth has been commended ad nauseam. Yes, there was hard work involved but that is part of the job for which he was paid generously.

          You have a personal vested interest.

          People that are looking for a solution to the fiscal problem of the town are viewing it from a business perspective… looking for solutions that correct the fiscal problem without endangering life. Those solutions are available. This is not hard. Some employees will have to make changes… (a few for the good of many).

  5. The FF , and Mackey were so out of touch with reality that I question whether they should be serving our community. We need Leaders who can present the truth, understand the need for change and adjust their sails when the need be. The nonsense that came out of their mouth was comical. Do they think we are buying into their absurd responses. Part- time employees are no less capable than the Ff who work every 4 days, which may be considered by many as part-time. EXCEPT they get paid $100,000 +|- to work 24 hour shifts, and actually get paid while they are sleeping, waking up fresh to go to their 2nd job, laughing all the way to the bank!!

    1. Do you know how much training the fire fighters go through? They do some form of training everyday. How is a part timer supposed to remain up to speed when they are only here once a month? I hope that is not the person that has to do CPR on me or my loved ones.

      1. Part Timers Supporter

        Brigantine Fire Fighters are not any better than any other Fire Fighters, ma’am. All Fire Fighters train to the same extent as those in Brigantine. The fact that you state otherwise is disrespectful to others in the profession. 24 hour shift workers do not train everyday. You are trying to mislead by your false statement.

        I hope your loved ones never need CPR too. But if they do, you will be happy to see anyone with CPR certification. They won’t be handing you their time card.

  6. The City Needs to stop the bleeding. Money in vs money out. I agree you can’t change those already there. I would hope the police and fire dept reps

  7. Forgetting the Adolescent – Unprofessional public behavior of our entire council during a public meeting. Forgetting that you can’t wade through the political motives. Everyone admits that this City needs to save money not spend it. Well obviously we don’t have people in any branch offering to take pay cuts. And obviously there are “negotiations” going on that involve union reps. If our City Manager is everything they are supposed to be, they will have already used concepts such as a “pay freeze” for multiple years or a “restructure” of incoming people. If she is and if they are being turned down, then it is an issue with the Union that limits our ability to move forward. If she is not, then her interim status needs to be terminated for a more qualified negotiator, being that a major part of the job description. As for a “Public Safety Director” vs chiefs. As I see it , we have a tomato vs tomato issue. Its a question of the person or people in those positions. One person if knowledgable and respected can admin multiple departments. However 1 or 3 if not understanding of the dynamic can muck up the works. For better or worse the City Manager is the pivot point. The only pressure on council is to determine if said city manager is putting forth the appropriate face for the city and setting appropriate time lines for those decisions. …. I’d say 10 months and counting is a pretty ridiculous timeline by anyones standards…

    1. JOE PUBLIC is generally pretty wise. Thanks for a reasonable assessment of some issues of concern along with the standard Leadership approach to correcting such shortfall. here’s a few more: !. No sick Day carry-overs. OR a limited cash pay-out of $15k at retirement 2. No vacation carry-overs- Use it or lose it. 3. No pay raises in this economy – everyone else in the country is happy to have a job. 4. Furloughs… many in Camden County PD’s took furloughs… 3 days. They weren’t happy about it. The union came to them and told them of “handwriting on the wall” 5. Administrative job cuts and/or salary reductions. (Assistant City Manager at $80K?) and others 6. Admin pay freezes and reductions 7. Too much costly Fire Apparatus. too many pieces. Apparatus analysis 8. Analysis of job descriptions for pay scales and combining departments 9. Out sourcing analysis of various positions (ie: Dispatch)

      and yes—- complete this with a quick return. Joe says 10 months… I think it’s more like 3 years????

      1. John W. Pucci Sr.

        Additional suggestion which should be considered if saving Taxpayer dollars is your goal: DOWNSIZE local government, 5 elected officials instead of 7, $20,000. savings every year from now on. Brigantine will continue to exist just fine. Most other neiboring towns have 5 elected officials. If you are the ones in the driver’s seat, deciding how much to Tax your constituents, and ignore this suggestion to save $ 20,000. just because it effects YOUR paycheck, then you are a hypocrite!

  8. Notice that no one complains how much the police and fire make after they save your life or rescue you from a flood. I can only hope that those of you who want the reductions don’t have an emergency when another emergency is already taking place. And by the way, how much do you think someone who has to wear life saving equipment to work every day should make? After 20 years of going to work everyday and knowing you could get shot or killed in a fire I should hope you are making $100,000 for your sacrifice and dedication.

    1. These scare tactics are recognized as just that, scare tactics. There are plenty of police and fire across our fine country making significantly less than those in Brigantine that are being paid unsustainable salaries. And since you bring up the 20 year number….. many people wish they could Retire in their 40s at such an early age with close to full salary and then go and get another full time job and collect another pension. If the job is so bad and so dangerous, why was that your husband’s choice? Sacrifice and dedication is a part of any person with wonderful work ethic that loves their job. Hmmmmm and from your statement…”I can only hope that those of you who want the reductions don’t have an emergency when another emergency is already taking place.” – can’t Brigantine department handle two emergencies consecutively? Perhaps they need to train with departments that do MORE with Less. Oh and perhaps a person that goes to work in a wheel chair everyday has it harder than wearing a vest…. Your husband loves his job. Stop the drama.

  9. PSD vs chiefs is not a tomatoes vs tomatoes situation. Chiefs are not purely administrative positions. They can and do respond in emergencies, make car stops….etc.. years ago our police chief was the one who caught a bank robber. PSDs can not do any police or fire fighter or beach patrol activities. So you are not replacing these positions to add a PSD and leaving public safety short handed. This is the true issue that these departments are fighting against. Why replace people who are trained and capable of working with the city manager and be a public safety worker with someone who just pushes a pencil? We have people in place who would receive little or NO increase with the title of chief… use these people and save the money a PSD would cost

    1. Against Scare-Tactic Arguments

      I agree that there are reasons to have Chiefs for FD & PD, saving money is not one of them. Do the math. .If the city does go with Chiefs, I suggest that the “Chief” position for the Beach Patrol be incorporated into the PD Chief’s duties. That saves some salary & Benefit money. … and I question whether the Chief would be doing “car stops” BUT…. FF & PD Chiefs do handle Command positions in emergency situations. This is where your argument can be made. It was made apparent by the FF department push-back, that the current available staff do not possess the skills to handle the hard task of bringing FF positions in line with salaries and staffing numbers of other larger, denser populations that service greater area square miles and significantly increased Commercial business sectors. The Chief IS primarily an Administrative position responsible for handling management functions (budgeting, personnel, etc) in addition to Leading the team of officers. Scare tactics and bullying to maintain the Status Quo are the methods publicly exhibited by many that believe that they are capable of filling the positions. It is a fine line to walk with regards to addressing the needs of the Town and the needs of staff It is a tough job and it must be done by an experienced person that is up for the task. HARD decisions must be made- NOW.

  10. Do the Math its easy : Police Chief + Lieutenant + Sergeant = Less than $20,000.
    Fire Chief + Captain + Lieutenant = Less that 20,000.
    Beach Patrol , Captain, Lieutenant = Less than $10,000.

    Police Director : Over $120,000.00 DOLLARS + Healthcare $10,000. + Travel Expense +Phone =$ 150,000.00

    Hired by friend with no questions asked.. ( Second Pension ) at the cost of Brigantine Taxpayers. THANK YOU!!
    .

    SAVINGS : $150,000.00 – $50,000. = $100,000.00 SAVINGS ( NINE PROMOTIONS)

    DON’T WANT TO BE A FOOL.. THE BUCKS ( $150,000 00 ) STOPS WITH YOU !

    CAN ONLY DO POLICY & PROCEDURE

    1. Your numbers are not correct- are slanted in favor of your preference… An increase in salary also increases benefits. You have not included that on the “Chiefs” part of your equation. Where did you come up with these $20k numbers? The scenario is we would eliminate those salary lines…. AND the Public Safety Director does NOT get pension benefits. (that would be illegal, I think) That was stated at the meeting repeatedly. It was also stated that he does not get travel. so, by stating false information to make your point, your credibility is affected. I can’t understand your savings stated BUT I can understand some eliminations of positions for savings. BTW- half the employees were hired by friends – no questions asked…. that’s our point….

  11. Half the employees were hired by friends? Would like to see the PROOF on that. Does that include the current interim Public Safety Director? Most of the Police Officers hired in the last 8 years were not local. Who was the City Manager friendly with? Thought she was hired thru a search. The last couple of dispatchers, came from other departments, not local. Back in the day, it was often the case, not anymore. At least back up your statements with facts

  12. I just gave facts, all can be verified thru the proper OPRA requests. And I happened to know every one of the people I mentioned. That tends to happen when you are a year round resident for 45+ years.

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