Letters to the Editor

What's Old is Still New...What Happened to Administrative Salary Rollback?


Last year thealternativepress.com ran a series of articles related to the alleged illegal activities of the Jones administration cabinet members that participated and received without legislative authorization changed rate cards for salary increases as 125 police officers and several hundred employees were laid off...  

As the saga unfolds the Municipal Council while under then 2nd Ward Council President Aslon Goow voted and rolled back the raises by ordinance that were given and adopted by a 7-1 seemingly veto proof vote:

*The Mayors' salary would drop from $119,000 to $95,000.
*Business Administrator Charles Thomas' salary would drop from $114,400 to $88,152.
*Department of Public Works Director Christopher Coke’s salary would drop from $105,000 to  
*City Corporation Counsel Paul Forsman’s salary would drop from $96,430 to $76,366.

*Health and Human Services Director Donna Nelson-Ivy’s salary would drop from $84,790 to 
*Community Development Director Lanisha Makle’s salary would drop from $78,190 to 

Mayor Jones vetoed this lawful approval citing the Council's position of one to undermine his authority and to intimidate his department heads not necessarily on legal precedent. The City Council planned to override Mayor Jeffrey Jones' veto of the ordinance reducing administrative salaries but had to wait for the state to approve the hiring of a special legal counsel to handle the matter. The State DCA approved the request. 

Paterson Corporation Counsel Paul Forsman had determined the special counsel was needed because he felt he would have a conflict of interests because his salary was among those that would have been cut.
Council members were very vocal and determined at the time said they quickly would vote to override the mayor’s veto. But that initiative stalled when the Mayor's appointee,  Corporation Counsel Paul Forsman, whose pay would have been cut under the ordinance, told the city council members he couldn’t continue to advise them on the salary situation because of a potential conflict in interests. In the meantime Council President Goow was replaced by 1st Ward Councilman Anthony Davis and the city council voted to retain a special legal counsel at $125 per hour to handle the override. Since then, there has been no public action taken. We wonder why? Why has the process stopped? What's changed from then to now? 
I remind people all the time public sector jobs have a different threshold for disclosure and accountability than a private corporation. Something is not kosher here!    

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