Laid-off children’s librarian Sira Williams embraces colleague Jane Eigenrauch after Wednesday night’s council meeting. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge) By JOHN T. WARD Hours after more than half the staff of the Red Bank Public Library…

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Posted: March 13th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Red Bank | Tags: , , | 12 Comments »

Layoffs At Asbury Park Press

Nudniks Tout $1500 Prize, Don’t Report Layoffs

No news. Empty newsstands stored in the Asbury Park Press's empty parking lot in Neptune. July, 12 2013

No news. Empty newsstands stored in the Asbury Park Press’s empty parking lot in Neptune. July, 12 2013

Between 13 and 40 people were laid-off at the Asbury Park Press last week, as part of a nationwide RIF in parent company Gannett’s newspaper division.

Gannett, a publically traded company, is not saying how many employees they have cut loose. The Gannet Blog, which first reported the story which was picked up by the Associated Press, estimates that 200 newspaper employees have been let go from the Asbury Park Press, The Burlington Free Press in Vermont, The Arizona Republic in Phoenix and The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky.

The Asbury Park Sun was the first New Jersey news outlet to report the story.

The Asbury Park Press Neptune Nudniks have yet to find the story newsworthy, preferring instead to report how they won a $1500 prize from the Associated Press Media Editors for their Superstom Sandy coverage.

“We are honored by the great recognition the journalism community has given to the entire staff of the Asbury Park Press and APP.com for their unflagging
dedication during such a terrible storm, which affected each of us in some way,” said Hollis R. Towns, executive editor/vice president for news at the Press.
“Our team worked tirelessly before, during and after the storm to ensure the community received the most accurate, useful information as quickly as

In the same article, the Nudniks touted a prize they received yesterday from the National Association of Black Journalists for their “Gripped by Violence” report on shootings in Asbury Park.

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Posted: August 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Asbury Park Press, Asbury Park Sun, NJ Media | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Middletown Settles With Superior Officers, Saves 4 Police Officers. Mayor Hopeful That PBA Deal Will Avoid Layoffs

By Art Gallagher

The Middletown Township Committee came to an agreement with the Superior Officers Association that prevents the demotion of four officers, which saves the jobs of four patrolman.

The SOA agreed to pay the greater of 1.5% of their salaries or 25% of the premium of their current PPO health insurance plan or to switch to the Township’s HMO plan and contribute 1.5% of their salaries to those premiums.

The SOA will receive raises for 2011 of 1.5% in October, with no retroactive pay, and 2% per year for 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Mayor Tony Fiore said he is hopeful that the Township will settle with the PBA at their meeting tonight, and thereby save the jobs of 6 additional officers.   Fiore said that the PBA’s representative informed the committee that the union voted to accept the township’s proposal, the details of which are not yet public, over the weekend.  Pending  review today of the documents submitted by the PBA, it appears that police layoffs have been avoided in Middletown.

Posted: May 2nd, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Middletown | Tags: , , | 6 Comments »

Middletown Files Layoff Plan

Mayor Fiore Hopeful That Some Police Jobs Can Be Save Through Union Concessions And Tapping The Library’s $1.2 Million Surplus

MIDDLETOWN – The Township Committee has directed the Township Administrator to file a layoff plan with the State Civil Service Commission to address significant and continuing declines in municipal revenue and to conform with the 2% cap levy law.

“Recent budget analysis prepared by the Township’s Chief Financial Officer have made it readily apparent that the Township is left with no option but to immediately begin the process of initiating another round of significant layoffs,” said Middletown Mayor Tony Fiore.  “We are hopeful that some police jobs can be saved through reasonable concessions by the Township’s collective bargaining units and with assistance from the Middletown Library’s $1.2 million surplus.”

“Committeeman Kevin Settembrino, the Committee’s representative on the Middletown Library’s independent board, has specifically requested that it authorize payment of $898,000 of the Library’s $1.2 million surplus that will have no impact on the Library’s operations so that additional police layoffs can be averted,” continued Fiore.  “Nobody can be immune from cuts in this current economic climate, but we must first focus on essential core government services such as providing police protection and maintaining municipal roadways.”


Budget & Layoff Facts

 The layoff plan was filed with the State Civil Service Commission on Friday, February 11, 2011 with notice to the affected employees and unions, proposing the elimination of 26 total positions, as follows:

 Department of Parks & Recreation (13 positions), which eliminates every position but for the Director essentially eliminating the Department.  Most of these positions cannot be saved absent an extraordinary change in projected municipal revenues and major concessions.

  • Police Department (10 positions) with demotions proposed too. The $898,000 requested from the Library’s $1.2 million surplus to avert further police layoffs represents the amount of the municipal budget that pays the debt service for the library renovation project, $565,000, plus the amount of contribution mandated by statute that will decrease due to changes in the Townships overall valuation resulting from the reassessment totaling $333,000 in 2012.

§ Building Office (1 position).


§ Department of Finance (1 position).

§ The Municipal Court (1 position).

 The projected effective date of the Layoff Plan is Friday, April 29, 2011.

  • Despite more than $3 million of reductions in budget appropriations, revenues have decreased approximately $7.4 million, leaving an estimated budget shortfall of $4.4 million.
  • The largest source of revenue loss continues to be from tax appeals that represent a total of approximately $4.9 million, which is one of the principal reasons why the Township is currently completing a Township-wide reassessment.
  • The Township eliminated 40 positions last year through layoffs, retirements and resignations.
Posted: February 13th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Middletown | Tags: , , , , | 19 Comments »

Little Government Returns To Highlands

By Art Gallagher

After being absent from Borough of Highlands Council meetings for much of the year due to her congressional campaign, Highlands Mayor Anna Little swept into the Council’s public meeting last night in order to vote with her Democratic colleagues to prevent police layoffs.  Little skipped the Executive Session in lieu of attending holiday parties sponsored by the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce and the Monmouth County Affiliated Republican Club.

Little voted for a resolution offered by Democratic Councilman Christopher Francy and seconded by Democratic Councilwoman Rebecca Kane to amend the PBA contract to accept concessions by the police union in exchange for penalties to the borough should there be layoffs through June 30, 2012.

The police have given up a 4.25% salary increase, retroactive to July 1, 2010, have offered to accept comp time in lieu of overtime payments, and have agreed to join the rest of Highlands employees in having their health insurance transferred from the borough’s contract with Horizon-Blue Cross to the NJ State Health Benefits Plan, in exchange for a no layoffs pledge through June 30, 2012.

Should there be any police layoffs through June 30, 2012, the borough will make cash payments to all members of the PBA for the conceded salary increases and for overtime incurred, under the proposed agreement.

Highlands Chief Financial Officer Steven Pfeffer told MMM that the salary and overtime concessions would save the borough $90,000 in the current fiscal year through June 30, 2011 and another $60,000 in the following fiscal year. The Borough is saving $300,000 by transferring all of its employees to the state health benefits plan, according to Pfeffer.

Republican members of the Council, Frank Nolan and Richard O’Neil voted against the resolution.  Had the resolution failed, 3 police officers would have been laid off, resulting in a savings of at least $250,000, according to Nolan.

Nolan will succeed Little as Mayor on January 1st. O’Neil is Little’s predecessor.

Nolan and O’Neil are in the early stages of negotiations with Middletown to share police services with Highlands.  Should the two municipalities enter an agreement that has Middletown taking over policing Highlands, the savings to Highlands taxpayers would be reduced by the penalties the Borough would have to pay to the PBA members.

The deal with the Highlands PBA must be ratified by its members and be approved by the Council again, presumably at the December 15th meeting, before it will take effect.

Posted: December 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Anna Little, Highlands | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »