Paterson mayor Sayegh says city found $4 million in savings; delays layoff, furlough, and payroll deferral plans | Paterson Times

Paterson mayor Sayegh says city found $4 million in savings; delays layoff, furlough, and payroll deferral plans


Mayor Andre Sayegh on Tuesday afternoon said his administration officials have identified $4 million in cuts to partially resolve the ongoing budget crisis that would have claimed more than 200 police and fire jobs.

“We’re not out of the woods yet, but I am able to announce that we have delayed implementation of furloughs, layoffs, and a payroll deferral plan,” said Sayegh in a statement. “We must still move forward with changes to our sewer rate and supplemental bill.”

Municipal officials said the state has recommended the city increase sewer fees. Some council members want to create a sewer utility which will fairly spread both sewer maintenance and capital improvement expenses among users.

At present, sewer users in neighboring towns are paying next to nothing. A sewer utility will also result in a bigger contribution from nonprofit organizations.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the plan,” said councilman Flavio Rivera, chairman of the finance committee, when told of the mayor’s announcement. “It’s good news if they found the money needed to balance the budget.”

Rivera campaigned on creating a sewer utility. However, he is not in favor of imposing a large sewer fee increase.

The state wants the city to raise sewer fees by $3 million, according to municipal officials. Currently, the sewer system is operating at a $5.7 million loss, according to a report presented to the council earlier in the month. The city separately bills to fund the sewer system, but the collection is not sufficient to maintain and improve antiquated the system.

Rivera worries the mayor is “disguising” a tax increase by calling it a sewer fee. Sayegh has raised taxes by 2-percent last year to raise $3 million in revenue.

Earlier in the month, finance director Marge Cherone told council members the deficit had been reduced to $6 million. With the $4 million in savings produced from putting off new hiring and cost cutting at departments, the mayor still needs to find $2 million.

“If he found $4 million, I commend the mayor for tightening the belts,” said councilman Luis Velez.

Velez said he has to see more details about the mayor’s sewer fee plan.

Some council members were irritated at the way the mayor made the announcement.

“I’d love to see the details of that plan and where that money came from,” said councilwoman Lilisa Mimms. Both Mimms and Rivera were annoyed at the way the mayor made an announcement without informing council members, who have had to take criticism from residents about potential layoffs. “Shouldn’t we know something as council members?”

“Each month we will monitor expected revenues and expenses and may still need to come back to the table with our bargaining units.  It also means that residents may see some impact to services and operations in the city; we cannot operate at the same capacity as before.  But for now, our employees will maintain their positions,” said Sayegh.

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  • Adam Mosciszko

    The opening sentence says the mayor has identified $4 million in cuts. The rest of the article talks about a sewer tax increase. I am reading this correctly ?

    • Hanifa Ritcherson

      Asinine, to say the least @adammosciszko:disqus! .

    • Michael Algier

      That's how they talk, taxes are revenues and cuts are savings. Political mambo jumbo, really. Assface Andre Sayegh now trying to tax people again with $3 million sewer tax.

      • Sandra Tang

        ASSFACE?? that is hilarious.

      • firebird

        Assface…..that's hilarious.

    • Miss jamaica

      A few year ago there was an article and it talk about all the other town that used our sewage system and small payment that was made to Paterson because of some years old agreement.
      Town like prospect park, little fall, west Paterson, Totowa

  • Plumber

    keep looking there's more money unaccounted for

  • Plumber

    surprising now there is money being found

  • iG @fonerin5

    F….ck I bought a house in the wrong town.. i guess one year, back in market and leave silk city..

  • Unc

    Yeah, The A-hole Fuc*ked me enough on my bennies to run the city for a few weeks!!

  • Miss jamaica

    Our mayor have just learned a valuable lesson in politics. He is looking to be Paterson mayor and potentially move to higher office in the future. He knows that this was not going to be good politically for him .
    This would be a career failure. He should fired the BA he will save some money there.

  • Dominick Perez

    Paterson is run by barely literate morons.

  • AB Vinson

    Hello if you can't afford the salries they need to be cut!!! How many tax raises and now raises on sewer bill can this city do before they drive all the tax payers out of the city. What are they gong to do next year when yet another budget crisis happens or god forbid they don't get the state subsudy they rely on to help balance their budget.

    • Miss jamaica

      They want to ran us out of Paterson, please look around all the developers are lined up.
      The city is packaging our houses right now. They are all in bed together.
      Please don’t trust these cronies.

      • AB Vinson

        Believe me I know, only problem is nobody is lining up to move to Paterson cause of the high taxes and these developers will get tax breaks and all sorts of goodies from the city as they continue to shrink the tax base… Making it impossible for homeowners to sell. It's like a vicious circle that nobody in city hall even wants to talk about. IE that boon doggle mall that was built downtown that nobody goes to.

  • John

    How crazy this might sound to Americas worst cities all ran by Liberals, We need a hard line Guiliani style Republican if Paterson is ever going to be great again. And I mean Great for every single race living in Paterson