A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Aberdeen Council Presses for Savings in School Administrative Salaries

The 18 May 2010 Aberdeen Council minutes are now available online. The main item on the agenda was the Council's nearly half million dollar cut to the MARSD annual budget in response to the voters' rejection of the proposed budget at the polls. The Council accepted Superintendent O'Malley's recommended cuts but added a $150,000 cut in administrative salaries to show their displeasure at what they saw as profligate spending by the Board on school district executives.

It is clear from the public comments portion of the minutes that neither MARSD nor the Council wrestled with the details, instead finding blocks of cuts they could live with and that would satisfy an angry public. When Mike Abend pointed out an incongruity in Social Security cost savings associated with recommended salary cuts, the township attorney explained that the Council wasn't privy to the details of its committee's work with the Superintendent on the budget overhaul. The Mayor explained that the Superintendent had presented numbers he made up and could live with. Councilman Greg Cannon pointed out that NJ Law requires a line by line accounting of the recommended cuts but the Council cannot compel MARSD to apply the cuts as designated. It will be interesting to see whether MARSD accepts the criticism of its heavy administrative salary load and cuts that portion of its spending this year. I certainly don't expect Mr O'Malley to reject his salary increase.

The Council turned down Beaver Place residents' request for immediate road repairs in their Cliffwood Beach community. The Mayor and Mr Cannon visited the location and agreed work was needed, but the $210,000 cost cannot be absorbed by the current budget. The work is already scheduled for 2012.

News reports suggested that the Council was extending the fishermen parking exception indefinitely at Cliffwood Beach, but the minutes say the exception will last only until 30 June, the end of the current fishing season.


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