Letters to the Editor

Former Vernon Township Mayor Questions Township Pay Raises



Vernon residents and taxpayers expect their elected officials to be prudent with their tax dollars, transparent with information and decision making, while being respectful and communicative. Government is founded upon trust and integrity. That trust is broken, when  elected officials become self-serving, transparency is non- existent and  the public is mistreated.

When I think about the pay raises this mayor and council voted for themselves and certain employees, the question that I ask is; do they deserve them and can we afford them? Unfortunately, the mayor and council joined the employees on the same Salary Ordinance which many of us believed was a ploy to use the employees as a “shield.” The governing body was asked to separate employee positions from their own, but they refused. I am very familiar with  our senior employees who I know as hard working and dedicated to Vernon. Many of them are not included in the list of positions that will appear on the ballot for voting. All of the employees that have been on board in Vernon, prior to July 1, 2011, have received raises, according to The Public Employees Retirement System. A problem I do have is; all the newly hired employees by the mayor are slated for raises, just six months on the job. The Tax Assessor at $85,000, the Business Administrator at $100,000, the Fire Official at $59,000, and the Recreation Director at $60,000 could get raises ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 in just six months. Another problem is the breach of trust whereby the mayor promised the voters, while campaigning, that he was so skilled that he could do the job for $500 per week, part time. I am sure most thought that also meant without  benefits. Instead, he started at $30,000 plus benefits and six months later jumps to $50,000 plus benefits, an increase of 67%, but 92% above his campaign promise. The council voted themselves a 67% increase plus a 100% increase for council president Lynch, just six months in office. Their raises reach a threshold that conveniently puts them in a retirement plan that will be subsidized by Vernon taxpayers.

Sign Up for E-News

This mayor and council raised our debt more than $8 million, increased our budget by $750,000, increased our employees, increased their own salaries by 67% and 100%, increased the cost of managing our town by 30% - ALL IN JUST SIX MONTHS!

I attended the October 22, 2012 council meeting and asked why this mayor, council, and clerk continue to defy the laws of the Open Public Records Act by refusing many requests for information in which the public is entitled. I reminded Councilman Dunn of his campaign promise that he would “cut up the credit cards of the sitting council”- REALLY? The previous council had a hiring freeze in place and scrutinized every expenditure before voting. I reminded him of the debt and spending he, the mayor and council are responsible for in just six months. He had no comment.

I told Councilman Rizzuto that he cannot listen to the residents without lashing out and telling them to go to the Board of Education with their complaints. REALLY? Wasn’t he on the B.O.E for about 12 years? My fear is he brought those same skills to the Municipal budget.

I reminded Councilman Lynch that I haven’t forgotten that he has been looking for a pay check from Vernon since 2009. He asked Ms. Carlton, the manager, to give him a paid position to oversee all four fire departments expenditures. She showed him the door. When Harry Shortway and I were on the council in 2010, Lynch came to us, shilling for the same position. He assured us that only he could keep the fire departments honest because he knew what they really needed and he would save us from being taken advantage of- if we paid him. Obviously, we didn’t agree with him. I am not surprised he has the audacity to not only raise his own salary 100%, but he is keenly interested in raising the mayor’s salary because he fantasizes about having that position one day.  

The mayor and council in my opinion, have demonstrated by their false statements, targeting of private citizens, disrespectful behavior at council meetings, violations of the Open Public Records Act, questionable use of dedicated funds, reckless spending, increasing debt, hiring more employees, increasing salaries 10% to 100% in just six months, most definitely, in the very least, warrants a NO vote on the Nov. 6th ballot regarding their raises!


Sally Rinker                                                                                                                             

Former Vernon Mayor                                                                                                    


The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Sparta Police: Stop for Broken Light Ends with DWI for Newton Man

February 17, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – A Newton man caught the attention of Sparta Cpl Rubino when he drove passed him on West Shore Trail with a broken license plate light.  Alexis Obolensky was stopped in his gold Subaru on February 15 around 7:45 p.m., police report.

When the officer was stopping the 28-year-old driver he saw him flick a cigarette out the window.  As Rubino spoke with him he smelled ...

Sparta Police Nab Two on Outstanding Warrants

SPARTA,NJ – Several people with active warrants were picked up by Sparta Police this week. On February 12 around noon, Sparta Police Officer Christopher Favaro stopped Newark resident Alex Nunes-Ramalho, 23, for broken break lights on his gold Chevy Impala. 

 Nunes-Ramalho told Favaro that he did not have his wallet with him.  Instead, the driver showed the officer a ...

Sparta Police: Marijuana Card is Not a Free Pass for NY Man

SPARTA, NJ – A man speeding on Route 15 faces drug charges despite having a medical marijuana card.  Muhammad Khan, 26, of Valley Stream, New York was stopped by Police Officer Erick Finley driving his red Lexus SUV 75 mph in a 55 mph zone, police report.

When the officer spoke with the driver and passenger Abubaker Masood, 29 of West Islip, New York, the officer smelled raw ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, February 20, 6:30 PM

Sparta United Methodist Church, Sparta

Girl Scout STEAM Program

Arts & Entertainment Education

Sat, February 24, 7:00 PM

The Prudential Center, Newark

Sparta Education Foundation Night Out with the NJ ...

Giving Back Sports


Tue, February 27, 6:30 PM

Sparta United Methodist Church, Sparta

Girl Scout STEAM Program

Arts & Entertainment Education


Fri, March 2, 7:00 PM

Wallkill Valley Regional High School, Hamburg

The Drowsy Chaperone

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, March 3, 7:00 AM

First United Methodist Church, Newton

Newton Rotary Pancake Breakfast

Food & Drink

One Injured in Two-Family House Fire in Newton

February 6, 2018

NEWTON, NJ—One man was injured, while three others escaped unharmed when a two-family two story apartment house caught fire on Saturday.  On January 27 at around 6:26 a.m. Newton Police received a 9-1-1 call from a passerby reporting a house on fire. Patrols immediately responded to the area and found a structure fire at 75 Trinity Street police report..

According to Police, ...

Paterson's Poet Laureate

February 13, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- The City of Paterson has given birth to famous athletes, business leaders, actors, and now, a poet laureate.

Born and raised in Paterson, Talena Lachelle Queen told TAPinto Paterson that she has been writing since she was five-years old, and, as she grew older, realized that when it came to pursuing studies and a career in writing, she “didn’t have a choice.” ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Does Marriage or Mortgage Come First?

According to the National Association of REALTORS most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, married couples once again dominated the first-time homebuyer statistics in 2017 at 57% of all buyers. Team Nest Builder knows it's no surprise that having two incomes to save for down payments and contribute to monthly housing costs makes buying a home more ...

Very Hot Tea Increases Cancer Risk

Researchers in China studying the consumption of “burning” hot tea, alcohol, and smoking habits of greater than 450,000 people ages 30 –79 for more than nine years found a five time greater risk of esophageal cancer in those who engaged in all three of the behaviors and a two time greater risk in those who either smoked or drank alcohol and consumed burning hot tea as compared ...


AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M7euCp86-c

AtlantiCast Episode 011

Breaking Atlantic Health System news on this week’s AtlantiCast! Plus, find out why Morristown Medical Center is one of the best hospitals in the nation when it comes to recovering from joint surgery, see the newest center for fighting brain cancer and an Atlantic Health System red-carpet premiere!


Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders February 14 2018 Meeting Video

NEWTON, NJ - Sussex County Board of Chosen Freeholders February 14 2018 Meeting Video 


Coalition for Health and Safe Communities to Host Workshop for Community Pharmacists

February 16, 2018

NEWTON, NJ—A Pharmacist Workshop will be hosted by the Coalition for Healthy and Safe Communities, a program of Center for Prevention on Sunday, February 25.

The event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. with registration starting at 5:30 p.m. It will be held at the Center for Prevention on Newton Sparta Road. 

This workshop will provide pharmacists with a Narcan training along with ...