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$37 Million Mahwah Budget Includes DPW Hiring Firm, $50K Cut to PD

The budget will mean a 4.2% tax increase for township residents, report says.

A $37 million budget that calls for a 4.2% increase in municipal taxes was narrowly approved by the Mahwah town council earlier this month, NorthJersey.com reported.

According to the report, the council was divided over several issues in the budget, namely the hiring of a search firm to find a permanent replacement for the retired head of the town's Department of Public Works, and a $50,000 dock to the police department's budget.

At a meeting on May 8, three council members - Lisa DiGiulio, Chuck Jandris, and Harry Williams - voted against the budget, saying they disagreed with the council's move of removing $50,000 from the PD's $5.8 million budget after meeting with Chief Jim Batelli, who explained why the department needed the money, the report said. Williams called the move "11th hour tactics," and said any cuts to the police budget should have been discussed when Batelli was in front of the council, the report said.

The budget also includes hiring Jersey Professional Management, a hiring firm that will place a temporary director at the DPW while searching for a full-time replacement for Keith Hallissey, who retired last month, the report said.

Mayor Bill Laforet suggested hiring the firm because the DPW is one of the largest departments in the township, but some council members objected to its $40,000 price tag. 

Overall, the 2014 municipal budget will mean a $70.50 increase for the average homeowner in Mahwah with a home worth $470,000. Officials said that most of the increase was due to medical insurance costs and an increase in debt services, the report said.

Innocent Bystander May 19, 2014 at 01:40 PM
Wow: they cut almost half of one Council Member's insane annual pension, yet their new hires will create future needs for many times that. Seems to me only "public servants" get away for any lies on their job applications. We should use our power to start changing that, at least here.
Innocent Bystander May 19, 2014 at 04:13 PM
Oops, need to clarify: that one Councilman mentioned had a highly paid job elsewhere in town before this one, for his huge stipend. We should do some serious town-flushing soon.
Mike Kupchik May 19, 2014 at 05:04 PM
This is all making life impossible here for us seniors. Years back we had "fantasy revalualtions" by the county before the slide, a 40%+ water hike, and seems annual "over-caps" tax hikes, with county, township, and BOE all contributors. It gives little hope for the elderly here to survive. After nearly 42 years a resident, I must sadly now investigate states where sanity still rules. Tax and water rates go crazy, and they both can't even supply envelopes to mail in payments?
Hank May 19, 2014 at 05:35 PM
What would be great is if the mayor's search firm comes back with Ed Sinclair is the best man for the job.
Innocent Bystander May 20, 2014 at 06:43 PM
Hank, if you hit this one on the head, may be time to coax Alan back out of retirement, and admit we once made a bad choice. Just to watch Sammy squirm would be worth the effort.

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