City Council moves to slash mayor’s salary

The City Council introduced a salary ordinance Monday night that would slash the mayor’s salary by 68 percent, drawing a 5-minute rebuke from Mayor Rick Proctor in which he called the move an abuse of legislative power and political retribution.

The ordinance (O-38-11), which will be up for a final vote and public hearing at the Dec. 12 meeting, would set an annual salary for the mayor’s position of $20,809 — a 68-percent reduction from $65,000. The salary ordinance passed 8-0 (one absent) and would take effect Jan. 1. City Council members, who received a roughly 2 percent increase in the previous salary ordinance adopted in September, would remain at the same pay level of $8,043 in the new ordinance ($9,676 for the council president).

“This isn’t about Rahway. This is about a political falling out and an abuse of legislative power. This is a personal vendetta, not public policy. This is not about Rahway, this is about vindictiveness. Am I bitter? Yeah, I am. I’m human,” said Proctor, adding that he took a $50,000 pay cut to run for mayor.

Proctor said $50,000 could be saved if City Council members cut their salary by 68 percent. He rattled off figures indicating that from 2005 to 2011, certain department heads saw their salaries rise as much as 30 to 40 percent. During the same six-year period, the mayor said City Council increased its own salary by 18 percent. “That’s preposterous, and sends a very clear message to the public that you’re either going to sleep through this recession or feel entitled to inflict economic pain to insulate yourself from sacrifices,” said Proctor. “I’m certain that the public will recognize that this ordinance stinks of retribution,” he said.

“Every day the people of Rahway suffering from economic hardship and the only solution you can come up with is to pick my pocket,” said Proctor. “That is inspired leadership.”

The mayor has been at odds with the City Council, as well as City Administrator and Redevelopment Director Peter Pelissier, since at least the summer, when the governing body rejected his bid to add staff within his office, and claimed he tried to have his wife hired as health officer.

9 thoughts on “City Council moves to slash mayor’s salary”

  1. A $46,000 pay cut for the mayor's salary is extreme & if that is the only cut something is wrong with ths picture, to many managers making well over $100,000.

  2. I don't understand why in such a small town as Rahway, we have so many people making over $100,000. This is especially hard to take when our taxes keep going up each year.

  3. Is the Rahway mayor's job a full-time position? What are the perks (free car? free gas? expense account?).More information is needed to determine if the salary reduction is appropriate or punitive (although the circumstances surrounding this move by the council appears punitive)?If the Council succeeds, I smell a lawsuit that will cost Rahway more in the long run than the short term gain of trying to push the mayor out…

  4. Until the administration of James Kennedy, the Mayor's salary did not exceed $20,000 per year for the part-time position. At the time, the increase was justified by and modeled on Linden where the Mayor also served as the Business Administrator. It is unclear, therefore, why the Rahway mayor was ever receiving more than a "part-time" salary when there was always a competitively paid Business Administrator on the payroll. That same B.A. is now collecting in excess of $300,000 per year plus benefits from city taxpayers.Where are you Mr. Hyrwna? Do your research! If you love Rahway, please be its moral compass…It certainly needs one.

  5. this sounds ridiculous . maybe we should dig up crazy otto and make him the new mayor. then we could get oggy out of his assisted living center and make him the new health guy.

  6. ABSOLUTELY NO REDUCTION!! Or Ordinance. 2nd raises for 25+ employees in 6mos??? SOMEONE (or more) is getting nervous! Who has something to hide (SS, PP, or JK)? This Ord. & the other stuff is harassment due to questions by the Mayor!! What if?…reduce, harass, resign, new Mayor…who would at that pay??….oh!, my bad, raise again,….so, who got paid off & protected? Maybe someone besides the Mayor should ask questions!!! If you haven't been paying attention to this whole issue, you should!! KEEP THE MAYOR, REMOVE THE COUNCIL & BA!!

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