‘We cut salary and boat checks’, said Jeffrey Chiesa, the man currently in charge of Atlantic City. Reformed Police and Fire contracts were the hot topic, so Chiesa called into the big radio show in town.
The former State Senator, Attorney General and current ‘CEO’ of the financially ailing city, Chiesa was a guest on the Harry Hurley WPG Radio show, on Friday morning, March 17. Click to listen.
What we all learned from that interview: in order to financially right size the city, the state wants to cut PD salaries, increase hours and eliminate some benefits. This would save the city about $20 million. Fire department cutbacks would save the city $14 million.
Harry Hurley provided recap / analysis from a March 13 memorandum he was first to acquire, that became effective March 15.
State wants to change Atlantic City police & fire contracts:
- Reduction in salary, across the board
- Reduction in force. From 274 to 250 officers
- Increase health benefit contributions & prescription co-pays
- Changes to work week schedule and overtime pay
- Eliminate longevity and education payouts
- Eliminate terminal leave (so-called ‘boat checks’) at retirement
- 15 years to reach top pay. At one time, it only took 3 – 5 years.
Chiesa: Atlantic City Police Chief will have $210,000 salary reduced to new cap of $165,000
Social Media: Mayor Guardian using public safety crisis as way of pandering to Atlantic City voters.
Chiesa and State now confronted with lawsuits from AC police & fire. ‘This exposes City to additional costs. It’s a simple money grab, nothing to do with public safety,’ says Mr. Jeff Chiesa.
The reality is…we can not continue to pay what we’re paying . We don’t have the money.
Protecting highest salaries & highest benefits. Rather than cutting under-performing / problematic officers, Police Chief fingered 24 of the youngest / newest officers for pink slips.
Chiesa: The Mayor of Atlantic City is putting on a show.
Boat checks cripple the municipal budget. Terminal leave checks for up to $300,000 for unused sick/vacation/personal time: costs Atlantic City taxpayers $19 million dollars.
Press of Atlantic City: Judge ruling on March 17: NJ State CAN cut Atlantic City firefighters’ pay & benefits….but CAN’T cut FD staffing down to 125 firefighters.