HARRISON – Following the mayor’s ominous budget presentation early this week, concerned taxpayers came out in force last night to express concerns over town spending.
“We’re giving raises when other towns are furloughing or laying off workers,” said Jimmi Pritchard.
She acknowledged the problem, which town officials have been stressing, that much of the spending is the result of contractual obligations with police unions.
If the unions would accept a wage freeze, Pritchard said, “it would help the entire town.”
The idea of giving raises – and, in some cases, life-long health coverage to municipal workers – is completely unreasonable in this economy, said town resident Dino Puccio. “This is Fantasyland,” he said.
Puccio then implored the board members to consider the drastic action of filing for chapter 9 bankruptcy the way some municipalities have done in California. The move, he suggested, could provide the leverage needed to negotiate more favorable deals with the unions.
Adoption of the final budget must occur no later than Dec. 20.