Mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration has scrapped a plan to furlough employees after better than expected revenue collection.
“We have seen continued positive trends in tax revenue collection in August, with sewer collections starting strong in September as well. We believe these trends are positive enough leading into the second half of this shortened year that we can take the furlough off the table,” Sayegh wrote in a memorandum sent to employees on Friday.
Municipal officials had sent a memo to employees in late August about a possible furlough that would result in workers losing 13 pay days.
Paterson has 1,700 employees.
Council president Flavio Rivera on Friday said the administration had no basis to predict a big revenue shortfall other than an assumption that Covid-19 would drive tax and sewer collection numbers down.
“I don’t know who recommended that,” said Rivera of the initial memo. He also pointed out a six-month transitional budget would not have a shortfall. “It’s poor planning.”
Municipal officials changed the city’s budget year from fiscal to calendar year this year. A six-month budget was approved in early September.
“I’m glad that’s happening,” said councilman Luis Velez of the move to scrap the furlough plan. “I thank the taxpayers of the city of Paterson for paying their taxes at a difficult moment.”
Sayegh had said the furlough is contingent upon revenue collection rates.
“My Administration is beginning the budget cycle for our new calendar year budget – January to December 2021 – and our hope is tax and sewer revenue stabilizes this year so we do not have to consider a furlough for potential revenue gaps due to the pandemic in this upcoming CY21,” said the mayor in his memo.
Sayegh also urged his directors to keep an eye on expenditures and curb overtime spending.
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