Residents muse use power of voices


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I spoke with the Director of the Center for Government Services at Rutgers regarding the ways to make positive change in government. He said change comes from the power of many voices and the newspapers’ coverage of pertinent issues.

Vernon’s May 14 council meeting listed Salary Ordinance #18-19 on the agenda for introduction and vote. It contained salary ranges for non-union employees. I reviewed the 2018 Employee Census which depicts the employees’ salaries. Salary Ordinance #18-19 allows for the potential of 10 percent, 20 percent, and even 50 percent increases above the current salaries.

This administration raised our municipal taxes by 3.9 percent in the 2018 budget and is responsible for a nearly 13 percent increase in taxes for the past 3 years of budgets. The budget is presented to the Council by Mayor Shortway and pushed through the Council by Jean Murphy. Our surplus funds were used to offset an even higher tax increase and millions of dollars of new debt/bonding, has also been approved.

How can this administration justify Salary Ordinance #18-19 to the taxpayers of Vernon? The largest impact to a municipal budget is the number of employees and their salaries. Finding the content of Salary Ordinance #18-19 quite alarming, I sent out an email blast to inform the residents and taxpayers of this bold move. Councilwoman Murphy chairs the meetings and approves the agenda. She claimed to have received calls regarding the salary ordinance and tabled it. A former Councilman once said, “Murphy puts her finger in the air and makes decisions based upon which way the wind blows.”

I want to thank those of you who made the calls to voice your protest to this salary ordinance. When politicians use poor judgement, we must use our voices.

Sally Rinker

Vernon Taxpayers Association President



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