Denville residents deserve better

It was the mayor, Ted Hussa, who apologized the other night for not knowing about a well-publicized state law mandating that public employees contribute 1.5 pct of their salaries to their health benefits.  Good for him. But really now, the town administrator, the town attorney and those on the council should have known as well that the law takes effect May 21.
The mix-up, which resulted in a new contract for police and others being tabled, should not just be blamed on the mayor.


About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

8 Responses to Denville residents deserve better

  1. Then again, Maybe this was NOT a mistake.
    Maybe, the plan was to approve the contract in advance of the state law taking effect?

  2. P says:

    Unless they were all living in a cave, someone had to know what the state was doing on health care contributions. And if he didn’t, the mayor should step down immediately. No municipality should have as its leader someone who is so divorced from important current events that directly impact how a mayor does his/her job.

    P.S. I saw the video that the DR posted on the meeting. It was interesting that the chief of police, and not the head of the PBA, was making the case for the contract before the council.

  3. AllAboutDenville says:

    The contract contains the following language in the Medical section:

    “In the event that the State of NJ or any other governing body imposes any additional contributions of any kind, that by law supercede this contract, the cost sharing amount imposed by that governing body will take the place of the employee cost sharing amount specified above. At no time will the employee be responsible for both contributions”.

    So 1) The author was aware and 2) the Mayor and Council either read it and agreed or didn’t read it at all or didn’t understand what they read.

  4. P says:

    If the contract was approved now, when would that language have applied to the PBA – now, or after this contract expired in three years time?

  5. Edward France says:

    I like ted. He is a strifht shooter. At least he gave an honest answer. Good for him.

  6. Edward France says:

    Stright shooter. Sorry about the typos from my tiny phone computer. Ted is doing a decent job overall.

  7. AllAboutDenville says:

    Based on this wording, they don’t expect to pay the 1.5% for 4 more years. As a back up plan, if it is somehow imposed, then they would no longer have to pay the original agreed to amounts ($400-$800 annually).

  8. P says:

    The 1.5% should be at least double what they agreed to, but it’s still chickenfeed compared to the rapidly escalating cost of HC. Ask your borough administrator what the total HC coverage is for the department, what the average cost per officer is, and what the average increase has been for the past 5 years. Your eyes will pop out

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