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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh Club Invites Public to Join

March 11, 2015

Dear Editor: I am writing on behalf of the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh Association located at 648 Prospect Avenue, West Orange, NJ. There are also two sister Shillelagh Clubs located in ...

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Athlete of the Week

Athlete of the Week: Teresa Narduzzi

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Based on the efforts of the girls’ team this season, the West Orange High School TAP Team has recognized junior Teresa Narduzzi as a standout, and has selected her as the...

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Where Are They Now?!

LHS Grads’ Dream Comes True

MANHATTAN, NY - Marc Jarman, 45, (LHS Class of ’87), had a once in a lifetime experience on March 9— he met his favorite athlete Roger Federer, played tennis with World #11 Grigor Di...

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Exceptional Kids

Burnet Hill Fifth Grader is the North Jersey Elementary School Winner of the “New Jersey Enthusiastic Reader Award”

WAYNE, NJ - On March 14, Meadow Geltzeiler, a fifth grader at Burnet Elementary School in Livingston, received the “New Jersey Enthusiastic Reader Award” at the New Jersey Associatio...

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Community Announcements

Today's Events

Police Blotter

Municipal Court News

East Orange Woman Charged with Credit Card Theft with Intent to Use

March 18, 2015

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Livingston Municipal Court has charged East Orange Resident Myeisha Sturdivant, a Party City employee, with credit card fraud. The charge, originally amended to theft,...

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Press Releases

Columns

Admit U to College

Special Announcement: Admit U Consulting Now Offering Tutoring Services

Melanie and the Admit U Consulting team are excited to announce our latest business venture—our services are expanding to provide students with comprehensive college planning all under one...

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Livingston Community Corner

Mt. Pleasant Middle School Kids Get Stuck on Physics

LIVINGSTON, NJ – According to LPS, Mt. Pleasant Middle School students will never look at science and engineering the same way again. Certainly not the students who got stuck on a Velcro w...

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Y Works

Premier of Newly-Renovated Rosen PAC Features Performance by Aztec Two-Step Performing Simon and Garfunkel Songbook on May 2

WAYNE, NJ - The newly-renovated Rosen Performing Arts Center at the Wayne YMCA will make its debut May 2 as the Rosen PAC welcomes folk-rock duo Aztec Two-Step performing “The Simon & ...

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CPA Q&A

Robert J. Blackwell, CPA/PFS/CGMA

Robert J. Blackwell, CPA/PFS/CGMA is a senior member of Levine, Jacobs & Company, LLC. He provides accounting, tax and consulting services for a diverse client base of individuals and closel...

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Sobel Solutions

Dress For Success to Honor Sobel & Co.'s Michael LaForge at 2015 Gala

LIVINGSTON, NJ – For the first time ever, Dress for Success (DFS) of Morris County, a not-for-profit organization that promotes economic independence for women in need of support, has chos...

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Golda Och Academy Corner

Seventh-Grade Students Apply Judaic Lessons to Golda Och Academy's Annual Tzedakah Fair

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Golda Och Academy’s seventh-graders participated in the annual Tzedakah Fair on March 17, showcasing their multimedia projects on charitable organizations for parents, fa...

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Discount Travel News

A Week in the Bavarian Alps for $298

Dear Traveler,  I don’t know about you, but when I think of visiting Europe (England, Ireland, Spain, Germany..etc.) I think of the popular tourist countries and capitals...

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Real Estate

Township Salary Comparison - Manager is Unresponsive

By LARRY KOHN

August 28, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Dear Editor,
 

At a recent conference meeting of the Mayor and Council, Michele Meade was requested to prepare an analysis comparing salaries paid to Livingston employees with other municipalities.  I was surprised by the Township Manager's reply.  She indicated that it would be difficult given the lack of cooperation with other communities.

Some governments post the salaries they pay on the internet.  All salary information is available immediately with an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request. That is exactly what I did.  For comparison purposes I selected the seven (7) municipalities that the Manager identified as "peer communities" (Westfield, Summit, Montclair, Montville, Millburn Maplewood, and the Township of Morris)  I received 100% cooperation.  Unlike OPRA requests that I submit to the Township of Livingston, I didn't have to file a Denial of Access Complaint with the State Government Records Council to get compliance.  I provided our elected officials with all the raw data I received.

The following are a few highlights of my research that I reported to the Livingston Mayor and Council:

  • Livingston's Manager's 2012 salary was 25.4% higher than the average of the other seven (7) communities.

  • Only four (4) communities had the title of Deputy or Assistant Manager. Livingston's pay was the highest and was 69.3% higher than the average of the other three (3)

  • Livingston's pay for Tax Collector, Health Officer and Engineer was the highest of all the other municipalities.

  • Besides Livingston only one (1) other community reported having the title of Purchasing Agent or Director of Human Resources.

I am not an expert on employee compensation.  There are a lot of variables involved like fringe benefits, education, experience, responsibilities, length of service etc.  I cautioned our elected officials to treat the information I received as a rough comparison and a starting point for further investigation.

Questions should be raised about the priorities and directions given to our Director (and assistant) of the new Department of Human resources.  I know they have created a Personnel Manual that lacks information on merit increases and policies on the personal use of Township vehicles.  I have asked and received no answers about if the $85,860 that was spent to automate sick and vacation records have been fully implement in the last two years.

With salary and wages plus fringe benefits making up the largest component of the operating budget, how can the Mayor and Council make informed decisions without basic comparative information? How are contracts negotiated?

I thought I had problems getting answers. The Township Manager seems equally unresponsive to questions from elected officials.


Sincerely,


Larry A. Kohn

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.