Hoboken City Council Passes Wage and Housing Division Ordinances
The salary increases and the creation of the new housing division were part of a two-hour meeting of Hoboken City Council.
At the December 1 meeting, the council voted to increase the salaries of elected officials and the maximum salary ranges for other city officials, and also voted to create a new housing division within the city.
Adoption of salary increases for elected officials and administrators
The city council voted to pass an ordinance that would increase the salaries of elected officials and the salary scales of a few senior city government officials. The order was first presented at the November 15 meeting.
The salary increases are as follows:
- Mayor: $ 116,950 to $ 130,000 (This will come into effect following the election of a new mayor) *
- Municipal council members: $ 24,130 to $ 35,000
- President of the municipal council: $ 26,541 to $ 40,000
- Vice-Chairman of the Board: $ 37,500
The maximum increases in the salary scale are as follows:
- Corporate director: $ 162,000 to $ 199,000
- Directors of Community Development, Social Services, Public Safety, Transportation and Parking, Environmental Services and Finance: $ 137,500 to $ 170,000.
- Chief Financial Officer: $ 132,441.75 to $ 142,441.75
- Tax collector: $ 133,850.37 to $ 141,850.37
- Controller: $ 122,038.92 to $ 132,038.92
- Assistant Controller: $ 107,558 to $ 120,000
- Payroll Supervisor: $ 79,590.60 to $ 87,590.60.
The board voted 5-3-1 to pass it, with board members Phil Cohen, Jim Doyle, Vanessa Falco, Emily Jabbour and Michael Russo voting yes. Vice-President Jen Giattino, Michael DeFusco and Tiffanie Fisher voted no, and Council President Ruben Ramos abstained.
Hoboken spokeswoman Marilyn Baer said after the first reading that the ordinance was drafted in such a way that the city would remain “competitive in attracting and retaining talented employees, because over the past few years, several high-caliber managers have left town jobs after receiving higher-paying jobs with similar titles elsewhere.
Baer did not respond to comments on why elected officials were getting pay increases.
The adoption comes just a month after election day, where Doyle and Jabbour were re-elected last month under Mayor Ravi Bhalla’s list. Michael Russo’s uncle, George DeStefano, is also the city’s chief financial officer.
During the meeting, Fisher, who had strongly opposed the ordinance, attempted to bring forward a motion to separate it into different parts for elected officials, trustees and other city officials, but was rejected by council.
She also asked earlier who the sponsors of the ordinance were, noting that the law did not list them since they suspended in-person meetings. But that was shut down considerably, with board members saying they would put together a list of sponsors for the next meeting.
âIt’s funny that people resist putting sponsors there,â she muttered at the meeting.
The day after the meeting, Fisher said he was disappointed that they had not been able to discuss and review each of them separately to “improve each of the terms for the different groups.”
“I just hope the administration prioritizes settling the five outstanding union contracts as soon as possible,” she said. âSo the roughly 500 city workers who left without any increase in the cost of living for four years can get what they are entitled to. “
Officially established housing division
City council voted to formally create the Housing Division, which was announced by the city earlier this summer, and will aim to provide resources to meet affordable housing needs.
The division will be headed by City Councilor Vanessa Falco, who has been chosen by Bhalla for this and is stepping down from her seat on the council at the end of this year. She will work on the city’s affordable housing effort, as well as “act as the city’s liaison with the Hoboken Housing Authority and initiate additional community engagement on affordable housing, among several other tasks.”
During the meeting, there was a heated debate about the new department and the future direction of Falco.
At the start of the meeting, Sheila Brennan, a former candidate for at-Large city council, said the division is a good idea in principle, but a bad idea given its genesis. She also called Falco “completely without credentials and ill-equipped to take on the role based on any history.”
As Brennan was saying this, Falco nodded and smirked on her webcam and took a sip from her mug. Cheryl Fallick, a tenant activist who ran with Brennan on a list in this year’s election, called her when she spoke.
” President of the council [Ruben Ramos], maybe you should berate a few of your coworkers over there for making faces and making fun of members of the public, âFallick said.
âIt’s my face, Cheryl, and I can do what I want with it,â Falco replied. “I got it with the name calling, the accusing references …”
The reunion quickly dissolved into a mishmash of voices between Falco, Fallick, and Ramos before being brought to order.
âI can’t control people’s faces,â Ramos said after the commotion.
“You can ask your fellow councilors to behave like adults,” Fallick replied.
Fallick then criticized the Housing Division for being “broadly, but ill-defined” in the municipal code, the vagueness of the job description and the responsibilities of determining what is up to date and enforcing control orders. rents.
Later, during the debate over passing the ordinance, Emily Jabbour defended Falco, saying people took the ordinance about Falco and made “nasty comments” about him as well.
“You can keep it professional, keep it clean, and focus on the politics of whether or not we need to establish this divide and not on who is involved,” Jabbour said.
Tiffanie Fisher responded that she didn’t disagree that they should always have decorum, but said there has been a lot of talk about the department and who will run it.
âIt’s a controversial issue, and the only way to get the best possible outcome for the city is to have public engagement on an issue,â Fisher said.
The board ultimately voted 6-2-1 in favor of creating the department, with Fisher and Giattino voting no and Falco abstaining.
âThe housing division and its functions is one that Mayor Bhalla and his administration consider important,â Falco said in an email. âI am very grateful for the collaborative relationship that I have been able to maintain with the Mayor and his staff and I look forward to continuing the work I started as General Councilor. “
For updates on this and more, check out www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Mark Koosau can be reached at [email protected] or his Twitter @snivyTsutarja.