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Re: public hearing on proposed $469 million Jersey City budget
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Posted on: 2012/3/29 3:42
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public hearing on proposed $469 million Jersey City budget
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Poor participation for public hearing on proposed $469 million Jersey City budget

Wednesday, March 28, 2012
By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Only four Jersey City residents offered their thoughts on the proposed $469 million city budget during a public hearing at tonight?s City Council meeting.

The residents, three of which are regular critics of city administration, mostly offered a negative view of the budget, which comes with no municipal tax increase.

Yvonne Balcer raised objections about the city?s compensated absence liability, or the amount of money the city owes workers for unused sick and vacation time. If the city?s entire workforce retired today, the city would owe $64.6 million for unused absences.

?The city?s in bad shape,? Balcer said.

Jayson Burg, who is seeking a seat on the Board of Education, questioned why the city was budgeting $5 million in savings from a possible merger of the Jersey City Incinerator Authority and the Department of Public Works, when an independent consultant said the merge could save the city $10 million.

Burg?s question went unanswered tonight, but yesterday Mayor Jerramiah Healy called the $10 million figure ?several years old? and likely ?inaccurate.?

Dennis Overend asked the council to require the city to send out annual tax bills instead of releasing them quarterly. Meanwhile, Riaz Wahid questioned why the city budget projects skyrocketing unemployment claims, from $494,000 last year to $1.5 million in 2012. City Assistant Business Administrator Robert Kakoleski blamed last year?s roughly 300 layoffs.

?People are collecting unemployment,? Kakoleski said.

The council has given tentative approval to the budget. There?s no date set for its adoption.
http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/20 ... icipation_for_public.html

Posted on: 2012/3/29 0:15
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