Paterson planning to layoff and furlough employees, say officials | Paterson Times

Paterson planning to layoff and furlough employees, say officials


Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres’ administration is preparing to layoff and possibly impose furloughs on city employees as the mayor and the council battle over a preliminary tax levy that has forced cuts in recreation programs and delayed August tax bills, according to municipal officials.

Directors of the city’s various departments have been told to identify employees that can be laid off, according to officials. It’s uncertain how many employees will be laid off or furloughed. It’s also not clear how much money the city expects to generate through a possible furlough and layoff plan.

Torres did not respond to a call for comment on Wednesday morning. Business administrator Nellie Pou could not immediately be reached for comments. The mayor and his cabinet usually meet on Wednesday mornings to discuss city business.

Council president William McKoy said he has not heard of any plans to layoff or furlough employees.

“We’re in a very serious financial situation. We’re going to have to look at everything, nothing is off the table,” said McKoy.

Council members will take a third vote on the mayor’s preliminary tax levy tonight. Torres has been attempting to propitiate council members to support his tax levy, which was voted down twice for being too onerous on property owners, behind the scene, said officials.

The mayor may have the support of four council members when the measure comes up for a vote tonight.

Andre Sayegh, 6th Ward councilman, said he prefers to see an economic development plan from the administration. “At this juncture it’s almost inevitable we’ll have to cut costs, but please give us a projection as to how the administration plans to raise revenue,” he said.

The city will not produce a great deal of savings from laying off employees because payroll is dominated by police and fire employees. The business administrator and council members have said the city cannot get rid of fire and police employees hired through federal grant money, for it risks being banned from future grant opportunities and may even have to return millions already expended.

Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large, has said laying off employees will not produce short-term savings for the city. He has said the city will have to pay a large portion of any employee’s salary towards unemployment insurance.

“What’s his vision for introducing new revenue streams? All we keep hearing about is that he’s going to reduce or eliminate line items. How about introducing new revenue streams?” remarked Sayegh.

Email: jay@patersontimes.com

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  • Unc

    Start with the Guys making big bucks in OT!!!

  • Sharon MacGregor

    Put city employees on the top tier ACA plan instead of the insurance plans they are on. The city plans cost $22K each, top tier ACA is about $11K. Savings of $11K per city worker. Taxpayers cannot afford to float these crazy expensive insurance plans anymore, half the taxpayers can barely afford the low level ACA plan.

  • http://www.facebook.com/animalabusewar Animal Abuse War

    i never see talk about the outrages number of non profits we have in this city NOT paying taxes. there are so many.if they are so great & doing so much, why is the city is such horrific shape? time to investigate these non tax payers.inspect the premises & paperwork on a weekly/monthly basis & make sure they are actually doing enough to offset their not paying taxes.

  • Paterson Resident

    start with reducing the salaries of the Mayor, Council, and the other Big shots !!
    its always the employees who are barely making a decent living wage to support their family who get the short end of the stick, just like the city did back in 2011 when the City knowingly laid off all the civilian EMT's and stated they were apart of the Fire Dept. when in fact they weren't but it was allowed to be done just to keep from laying off Firemen. the police dept lost 125 police officers at that time and again the new Mayor get in office and increases his pay and hires a Chief of staff at the sum of 100.000 a yr. look at the council wages when they jumped from 19,000 to now 40,000 and some of them are already making 6 digits on other full time employment. So the question is does the officials really care about the residents and employees who live, work, and support this City ?
    because most of the big bucks made in this city leave this city everyday to go to other cities and states (PA) (DE) (NY) where most live, shop, and pay their taxes.