Group submits petition to stop mayor's raise

| 13 Jul 2015 | 11:04

A committee of petitioners submitted a petition to Vernon Township Clerk Lauren Kirkman on Friday, July, 10, to stop the mayor's $6,000 per year raise.

The raise was approved by the Vernon Township Council on Monday, June, 22, after a 3-2 vote. Councilman Dan Kadish and Councilwoman Jean Murphy voted against the raise, while Councilmen Dick Wetzel and Brian Lynch and Council President Patrick Rizzuto.

According to a letter sent to the council by the Committee of Petitioners, the petition contained 875 signatures, which required 797 signatures according to the Faulkner Act. The township clerk has 20 days to certify the petition.

The council has approved two previous raises for the mayor since the Mayor-Council form of government took over in 2011. The first was in 2012 when the council approved a raise to $50,000, and the second in 2014 when the council approved a raise to $70,000. The 2012 raise was overturned by 87 percent of the township's voters on Election Day, and in 2014, the council rescinded the raise at the request of Mayor Victor Marotta after a petition was certified to stop that raise. This year, the council approved a raise to $36,000 per year.

The Vernon Township mayor has made $30,000 per year since 2011.