MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – The Borough Council approved several salary resolutions at its Tuesday, June 18 meeting. Among them was a resolution to increase the annual salary for the Borough Clerk which passed on Mayor Paul Mirabelli’s tiebreaker vote. The council also approved the sale of unneeded property.
Councilman Rene Dierkes explained that the A&E Committee had recommended a compensation adjustment for the Borough Clerk Martha Lopez. According to the resolution hear annual salary will increase to $100,526.14 as of May 1, 2019. The roll call vote resulted in a tie with Councilwomen Deanna Andre and Rachel Pater voting against it and Councilmen Dierkes and Glenn Mortimer voting for the salary increase. Council President Keith Turner and Councilman Robert Messler were not in attendance.
Before Mirabelli cast his “yay” vote he explained that the mayor breaking a tie is unprecedented in the borough. He noted that during his tenure as a mayor and prior to that as a councilman he does not recall any tie breaking votes being cast.
Mirabelli also explained why he voted for the salary increase. “Since Martha Lopez has been the Borough Clerks she has always acted in a professional and efficient manner. Since I have been mayor I have worked very closely with her and she has been a very loyal employee. She has also been a big part of responding to the numerous OPRA-requests,” he stated. He also pointed out that the salary increase was recommended by the A&E Committee which conducts oversight on the borough’s administrative staff. Moreover, “this increase will put Martha on par with other municipal clerks who have similar duties and responsibilities in towns that are similar to Mountainside,” he reasoned.
Additionally, the council approved the 2019 base salaries for borough employees featuring a 2.25 percent increase compared to last year. The council also approved a salary adjustment for the Director of the Department of Public Works (DPW) as well as for three DPW employees.
The borough intends to sell its surplus property utilizing the online auction services of Municibid. The property to be sold includes five used vehicles and several chairs. Among the vehicles to be sold are a 1999 Ford Crown Victoria from public works with 96,000 miles; a 2009 Ford Crown Victoria from the Police Department with 62,000 miles; a 2010 Chevy Tahoe from the Fire Department with 142,000 miles; 2011 Ford Crown Victoria with unknown mileage; and 2016 Ford Explorer with 91,000 miles.
Furthermore, the borough intends to sell its Martin Yale paper folder as well as several Herman Miller Eames original vintage chairs. The estimated price for similar chairs is $350-$515. Council President Keith Turner noted at the work session earlier this month that some of the similar chairs of brighter colors, such as red and orange, may fetch as much as $800. He also said that the chairs with hooks on the side for easy stacking are pricier than the ones without hooks.