Highlands Council Votes To Give DeBlasio His 6th Government Job

The Highlands Borough Council passed a resolution last night, in a 3-2 vote, to appoint Patrick DeBlasio to be the borough’s Chief Financial Officer effective May 1, 2014. DeBlasio is the CFO of Carteret, North Plainfield, and Keansburg. He is the treasurer of the Carteret Board of Education and the tax collector in Highlands.

In Carteret, DeBlasio also serves as a member of the Parking Commission.

The 40,000 salary that comes with the appointment will bring his total compensation from his six jobs to $284,606. All of DeBlasio’s jobs provide a pension. The borough plans to hire him an assistant for an undetermined salary.

Governor Chris Christie earns $175,000, as do U.S. Senators and Members of Congress. State Cabinet Officers earn $141,000. Superior Court Judges earn $165,000

The borough did not advertise the position or explore a shared services agreement with another town, as Mayor Frank Nolan and Councilman Chris Francy advocated. Rather, they voted to hire DeBlasio on the recommendation of retiring CFO Stephen Pfeffer, according to Council President Rebecca Kane and Councilwoman Tara Ryan’s remarks explaining the hire when they moved and seconded the resolution.  Pfeffer earns $69,580 as CFO in Highlands and $157,738 as the CFO of Tinton Falls.

During the public portion of the council meeting, Kane said she would reevaluate the decision after one year. However Borough Attorney Bruce Padula said that the appointment is for a four year term.  DeBlasio would be tenured after the initial four years.  Kane’s term on the council expires in June, due to a referendum passed by Highlands voters in November making the borough’s election non-partisan.  She is expected to run for another term.

In his remarks opposing DeBlasio’s appointment, Nolan said, “We are often the laughing stock of Monmouth County. This is one of the reasons why.”

Posted: December 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Chris Francy, Frank Nolan, Highlands | Tags: , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

10 Comments on “Highlands Council Votes To Give DeBlasio His 6th Government Job”

  1. Barbara Iannucci said at 1:50 pm on December 19th, 2013:

    I posted this on Highlands blog and I’m posting it here. The 2015 financial forecast for Highlands is not pretty according to Pfeffer (our retiring CFO). The doom of bankruptcy and possible state intervention appears to be a strong possibility. Highlands needs a dedicated CFO and a dedicated professional Grant Writer to work side by side with Tim Hill (our administrator) to keep Highlands afloat. DeBlasio cannot provide the focus required while holding a full time & 5 other part-time positions. I wonder if this falls under the municipal codes for “best practices” and if the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) can point us taxpayers to some form of corrective action on this recent Council vote? Thanki you Chris Francy and Mayor Nolan for voting NO. Rebecca Kane is running for re-election … her statements reveal the insider mindset of our governing officials that has brought Highlands down to a condition of blight.

  2. Lucille Kane said at 4:03 pm on December 19th, 2013:

    Yes, Ms. Kane is running for reelection, as I dare to assume Mr. Card is also. As good a time as any to start electioneering by accusing Ms. Kane of having an “insider mindset”.

    It is apparent that Mr. Gallagher didn’t read the article in yesterday’s APP where Ms. Kane explained that the assistant our new CFO is taking on is being paid for out of his pocket and not the Borough’s coffers.

    As to this “shared service” rhetoric being spouted by Gallagher and Nolan, I can only wonder at the spin their criticism takes. Shared service is part time and that is what the job entails, as does most CFOs of small towns.

    As to Ms. Iannucci’s term “dedicated”, she should be assured that our new CFO is and has been a dedicated and respected employee of the Borough for many years and has the endorsement of the outgoing CFO.

    As to his salary, I’m sure there are many more “shared service” CFOs in NJ who more that equal his salary; which will cost the tax payers of Highlands not a penny more.

    I can imagine Mayor Nolan’s no vote, but I would like an explanation of Mr. Francy’s.

  3. Art Gallagher said at 8:37 pm on December 19th, 2013:


    It’s nice to have you here.

    I did read the APP artcle. But Rebecca’s quote to Kevin Peton is not consistent with what happen at the council meeting. The assistant is going to be hired later for an undetermined amount, acccording to what I heard last night.

    Are you saying that DeBlasio will pay his assistant out of the $40K the borough is paying him? He will cover the payroll tax, etc?

    Here’s my “shared services spin”: If one person can do 6 jobs (7 maybe? it’s not clear if the Carteret parking authority is a paid gig) for $285K, why can’t those towns get together and hire one person to do the job for $100K? I think there will be a long line of qualified people applying for that job, especially since it comes with a pension.

  4. Lucille Kane said at 8:14 am on December 20th, 2013:

    Thank you for your warm welcome.

    spin doctor noun

    : a person (such as a political aide) whose job involves trying to control the way something (such as an important event) is described to the public in order to influence what people think about it

    The naivety of your statement that a CFO (arguably the most important position in any corporation or municipality) should work for 100K a year (some sanitation workers earn more than that) certainly belies your political savvy.

    As to the payroll tax, I’m sure the IRS laws will be strictly adhered to, and the assistant will pay his own. As to “a long line of qualified people applying for that job”, I am quite sure the “long line” already have more jobs than they can handle.

    A poster on the AHH has suggested that the Council is incapable of performing a search and evaluation to find a qualified applicant……tommy rot, does not that poster realize how overworked our Council is. Since the storm, they have spent long extra hours trying to bring the town back.
    If a plum falls into your lap, you don’t brush it away with the crumbs.

    Your efforts on behalf of your protégé are to be commended.

  5. Other states? said at 10:35 am on December 20th, 2013:

    To paraphrase “[NJ is] often the laughing stock of [these United States]. This is one of the reasons why.”

    I have these questions: NJ has 556(?) municipalities? Do we really have or do we really need 556, or however many cities/towns we have in this state, with a guy dedicated to this position at 40-50-100-285K/yr? How do other state(s) that have a more reasonable tax levy handle things? How much does a “big” town like Middletown pay their CFO, is the work proportional to number of residents, total budget or square mileage of town or does “the guy” find/make busy work for himself to justify his pay? If one guy (with a few assistants) could really do the work of a half dozen different towns, can’t there be one small department in Trenton handling all of the towns in the state, or one small department at the county level? For that matter, if an assistant at 40K can handle the majority of work, why do we employ the other guy again? Are there private accounting firms like a Ernst & Young or KPMG, etc that could be hired to handle this kind of work or is there a reason that a guy who seems to have connections and “experience” in other towns gets the job every time? If I wanted to get these jobs for $280K, who do I have to know, what are the qualifications and where do I gain the experience needed?

    Aside from that, Mrs. Kane, your efforts to
    “bring the town back” can also be commended. However, as a taxpayer, please stop trying to fight mother nature and her oceans, you can’t hold them back. Your town is below sea level and the oceans are rising. Please stop wasting our tax dollars trying to fight off mother nature and rebuilding your town over and over after each passing storm. Instead, consider encouraging your residents to move out to higher ground and the state can have another public beach where homes once blocked public access to tidal wetlands and waterways.

  6. Lucille Kane said at 2:59 pm on December 20th, 2013:

    Well, Other States, it seems that once our Mayor gets his nose put out of joint he takes the preemptive step of making the appointment of a new CFO a political issue. Indeed, his public statement in the AHHerald admitted as much. And this before the Council had its vote. That poor nose has been taking a beating of late with his pet projects going down in flames.

    As for residents moving to higher ground,
    that doesn’t sound too feasible. Highlands was settled in the late 17th century and has been building ever since. Have you considered the entire eastern seaboard? Should they all move to earth quake territory ? The mid west with its floods and tornados? The south with its hurricanes?

    Also, you must consider the restaurants that do a landslide (pun intended) business. People flock to them for their water view as well as the sea food. Where else would they flourish as they do here?

  7. Answer the questions please said at 3:28 pm on December 20th, 2013:

    Lucille, clearly you are a typical, rotten, uninformed politician who skirts the questions and makes every effort to just bad mouth the other guy instead.

    I’ll try again, start with:
    1) Do other states have 556 “CFOs”, or one for each town/city?

    If you’re too busy, you can skip ahead to:
    2) If an assistant at 40K can handle the majority of work, why do we employ the other guy again?

    I should add, so how to you know this guy anyhow? What’s in it for you?

  8. Lucille Kane said at 6:28 pm on December 20th, 2013:

    Well, Answer, I just want to clarify the fact that there is clearly nothing typical about me. I am neither rotten nor an uninformed politician. I was, however, somewhat taken aback by your verbal assault.

    Sorry if I did not answer your questions. 1) I have no idea what other states have in the way of CFOs. Nor do I care.
    2) I was unaware that an “assistant” would be doing the job. 3) I don’t know this “guy”. I just know common sense when I hear it. Seems there are quite a few municipalities looking for a CFO. 4) From what I understand it is typical for a small town to hire a part time CFO. Seems there are more demands than there are certified CFOs

    Wishing you a very merry Christmas….

  9. patty said at 1:14 am on December 21st, 2013:

    @Other states..not sure where your from but you are a fool…NYC all on same floodplain guess we should just walk away from American history. Ignorant comment… and you were called on it and spun it’s …but still ignorant!

  10. Lucille Kane said at 11:03 am on December 21st, 2013:

    It does make one wonder why, when someone who has nothing of import to add to a debate but name calling decides to participate. I guess it’s easy under the anonymous, “Patty”.

    The very fact that you mention “not sure where you’re from….” makes me think you
    sure as heck do.

    ’nuff said