In the mid-1990s, a councilman serving on the Vernon Township Council received $3,000 as a yearly stipend along with a meal ticket.
I’m told that the council also used to meet on many occasions for dinner before their meetings.
It is now 2023, and the stipend is the same - approximately $3,000 and approximately $4,000 for the council president before taxes. No difference in 28 years, and they don’t receive a meal ticket.
Our form of government changed in 2011, and the function of the council changed. It is my belief that the salary of the councilmen should indicate the responsibility of the “checks and balances” of the mayor-council form of government.
Compare with other towns that have the same or similar form of government and population, such as West Milford and Mount Olive. The last time I checked, their councilmen received $10,000 per year.
In Vernon, if you divide five council seats into $30,000 (the mayor’s salary), you come up with $6,000 for each member, which I say is still low but a start. I know that when people hear that “the politicians” are asking for a raise and then get it, taxpayers get all bent out of shape and annoyed. In this case, I think that any reasonable person could agree with me.
After three decades of the same Vernon council stipend, I believe an increase is completely justified.
Mary Ellen Vichiconti