Brick’s Mayor Plans To Veto Job Slashing Ordinances
The dust has settled a bit at Brick Town Hall after a highly tense and dramatic meeting last week. Now Mayor Steve Acropolis is examining his options.
At issue was an ordinance that would restructure several departments, eliminate eight positions and create three new ones including a Municipal Deputy Clerk job. Things got so heated at the meeting that the Mayor walked out of the meeting along with the Township Attorney and Township Administrator.
Mayor Acropolis says he wants to veto the plan because he believes the move by the mostly democratic council is based on politics and nothing more. He says "there are several legal issues that need to be explored here. They violated various state laws including part of the state's Open Public Meetings' Act. Council President John Ducey was warned and failed to listen to any of the advice coming from myself and the Township Attorney."
In addition, Acropolis says the plan violated the Sunshine Law by failing to meet to discuss the measure and not notifying the employees that their jobs were at risk. Under the form of government in Brick, which is part of the Faulkner Act, the mayor has veto power but that could be overturned by the council. Acropolis says "I won't back down. This was totally inappropriate. The way the whole thing was handled. And it's all for them to get what they want through political patronage jobs for friends."
Township Attorney Jean Cipriani had warned the council members during several points in the meeting that approving the measures could lead to potential lawsuits from laid off employees. If the council had informed them ahead of time through Rice notices, it could have made it impossible for a lawsuit. Because they didn't, there could be a firestorm if anyone loses their job.
Council President John Ducey says he plans to override Acropolis' veto, so he shouldn't waste his time.
The Council has said on several occasions that they would be saving $418,000 a year by putting these ordinance through. Mayor Acropolis tells WOBM News, he's still waiting to see the proof.