Resident Voting 'No' To Vernon Pay Raises
Thursday, October 25, 2012 • 10:36am
This Vernon Township resident and taxpayer feels compelled to write a letter from a new perspective regarding whether or not to give the Mayor and Council their desired raises.
We have already learned how after only 6 months in office, Vernon’s debt increased $8 million and the Budget increased $750,000. The number of Township employees increased without any regard to Civil Service Law (political patriotism comes to mind by the lack of proper hiring procedures) and the cost to manage the town is up by 30%. The Salary Ordinance was an issue from Day One. Why? Because the figures do not lie. Taxpayers spoke at meetings and urged the Mayor and Council to rescind or amend this ordinance. In today’s harsh economic climate, in addition to the township debt, it is not the right time for these exorbitant raises. It also was not right to place their salary increases with the employees of the town. But they did not listen. Some things never change.
Which brings me to my point. Since I began attending council meetings last Fall, I cannot compare the Mayor and Council’s behavior to the previous administration. However, I can tell you that I have become increasingly appalled by what I do see. From the earliest meeting I attended, I will never forget the kind woman who only wanted to help homeless cats and was brought to tears by the Council President. She only wanted to help. Was she a “Political Adversary”? A “Complainer”? I think not. Months later, I continue to see a lack of respect for those who are not praising but instead are asking questions. How so you might ask? The “5-minute rule to speak” only applies to certain people. Why? That is unfair. Blank stares are given when answers are not. It is inappropriate for the Mayor to be heard passing negative comments to his Borough Administrator as certain individuals approach the podium to speak. It is unprofessional for Mr. Wetzel to make derogatory comments about a taxpayer as she leaves the podium. In fact, it was because of such behavior, I felt compelled to address this issue at the last council meeting on Oct. 22nd. As I spoke about the need for respect for ALL individuals, I witnessed Mr. Rizzutto rolling his eyes at me. Does this child-like and unprofessional behavior warrant raises? I think not. Perhaps these funds could be better spent on a Training Seminar on How to Treat the Public with Dignity and Respect. Just as the figures do not lie, neither do the taped council meetings. All one has to do is watch these meetings via VernonsOwn.com. There one can see and hear the TRUTH for themselves.
As a taxpayer, as a concerned resident, it is my right to ask any question I choose and to be treated with the utmost respect. We pay their salaries. They work for us. Has this simple fact been forgotten? Additionally, I find it appalling how the Mayor chooses to target a long-time resident in the newspaper by calling him a hypocrite. In my opinion, Mr. Marrotta is focusing on the wrong issue. Mr. McClacherie is not the mayor of our town who is raising his salary 67% in six months when he said he would work Part-Time and do it for $500 week. Nor has Mr. McClacherie increased our debt. Instead Mr. McClacherie is an advocate for ALL Vernon Taxpayers, whether rich, poor, young, old, business-owner, homeowner, friend, or stranger. To Mr. McClacherie, I say Thank You and Do Not Be Deterred in your Efforts.
In closing, I will remember the facts and figures that do not lie in addition to the Mayor and Council’s unacceptable behavior towards the public that can never be erased. For those reasons, I will be voting NO to Vernon Pay Raises on Nov. 6th.
Lynn Van Gorder