City officials awarded a new $140,000 contract to a firm that has been providing the city with financial services for the past year.
Wanaque-based Professional Transitional Assistant was awarded the contract on Tuesday evening. The company’s president James Ten Hoeve has been providing consulting services for finance matters since July 1st, 2014 at $75 per hour.
The new contract will allow Ten Hoeve to remain as acting finance director at the same rate for the next fiscal year that started on July 1st, 2015. The award of another contract to Ten Hoeve comes as Margaret Cherone, who was appointed and approved to serve as finance director for the city, did not take on the job following controversy over her salary amount.
Cherone was approved for a $140,000 salary by the city council in early June. Her appointment came into question when a discrepancy was uncovered between what her salary was in West New York, where Cherone has been serving as finance director since 2012, and the information administration officials provided to city council members.
Cherone’s salary there was $125,000 last year, according to payroll data from the Hudson County municipality. Administration officials told council members her salary was much more by using questionable documents which showed Cherone received a retroactive pay increase in West New York, according reports in the Paterson Press.
The ensuing controversy forced her to remain at her post in West New York.
Ten Hoeve is “fully familiar” with the city’s finances and will “maintain continuity,” according to the resolution awarding the contract to his company. The city awarded the contract without seeking proposals from other firms after obtaining approval from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), according to the awarding resolution.
Last year, the city awarded several $29,000 contracts that added up to $120,000 to Ten Hoeve to continue serving as the chief finance officer.
This year’s contract marks a significant increase that will allow him to put in more hours, said city officials.
Julio Tavarez, 5th Ward councilman, said the city may incur $156,000 at the end of the year and go over the approved contract amount.
Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large, said Ten Hoeve does not work the typical eight hours per a day that would eventually add up to the amount Tavarez calculated.