I am flattered. Mr. Glasel offered a letter regarding what Hobokenites have done to lower taxes and how state legislation is largely accountable for why NJ has the highest property taxes in the nation. Mr. Glasel is a former union rep.
He called the Administration and an organization “Tea Baggers” that don’t understand the process. It seems in politics, you’re nobody until someone hates you.
He mentioned a letter writing campaign that was led by an “organization” to block the four 11th hour Corzine Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC) appointments. Hoboken Revolt, the organization to which I believe he is referring, didn’t organize the effort nor did Hoboken Revolt appeal to its base. Hoboken Revolt didn’t do so simply because the 11th hour appointments went down over Christmas and the Steering Committee just wasn’t available. An individual organized it, namely, me.
The PERC sets the tone for arbitrated contracts. Arbitrated contracts are arbitrated by a trained arbitrator. If either party feels the arbitrator did not consider the 9 statutory factors, either can appeal to the PERC. If this panel overturns an award it sets a precedence that shifts the pattern of bargaining. By implication, all contracts are affected.
A Governor should be able to make appointments to allow him/her to deliver his vision. But, let’s be real about what Corzine did. Three nominees were confirmed and they were in office for a total of 7 days of Corzine’s term. It meets the letter of the law but not the intention.
Six of seven PERC Commissioners were in holdover status. A term is 3 years and almost all of them expired in late 2007/early 2008. If Corzine made these appointments when terms expired in 2007/08, they would be expiring again in the first year of Christie’s administration. Corzine’s action undermined the will of the people.
Corzine withdrew one of the 4 PERC nominations, I believe, in part due to the letter writing campaign.
Municipal employee costs constitute 55 percent of local budgets. 70 percent of employees are public safety workers. That’s 38.5 percent – the largest line item of our municipal property taxes. NJ has the highest property taxes in the nation per the taxfoundation.org.
The Department of Investigations issued “The Beat Goes On” report, December 2009, outlining the egregious excess and abuse in public safety contracts. They looked at 75 municipalities and most embarrassingly Hoboken was highlighted as one of the most egregious. Go to www.donnaforhoboken.com to see the report and detail about the letter writing campaign.
Per Mr. DePinto’s letter, at least one of Hoboken’s 4 public safety contracts has gone to arbitration. The PERC database shows 0 percent raises for some years and several have upheld the Administration’s demand for healthcare contributions.
So, Corzine just appointed 3. Three more are in holdover status that Christie can appoint now. The last one can be replaced in March of 2011.
It takes months to select an arbitrator and appeal an award which will bring us to March 2011. Gentlemen, sharpen your pencils.