Ordinance 2483: Proposed Municipal Salary Increases

Increases in the maximum salaries allowed for six (6) municipal positions are being proposed through Ordinance 2483. These increases are revisions of those approved in December of 2014 through Ordinance 2430.

The first position on the list is also the one with the most significant change in its maximum salary. The 200% increase in the pay ceiling includes the position of building inspector. Previously, the position was a part-time one and, according to the borough website, had Jesse Atwell listed at the Construction Official/Building Inspector for an annual salary of $25,000 with a six (6) hour-a-week inspection schedule. He received a 2% increase every year from 2015 through 2017. Mr. Atwell was hired on July 20, 2013, as the borough’s Construction Official/Building Sub-Code Official after being appointed as the acting Construction Code Official for two 30-day periods starting May 20th of that year. His appointment was a result of the governing body at the time terminating Rich Belluscio who was the Code Construction Official for the borough through an inter-local agreement between Roselle Park and Cranford in an emergency meeting (link). Mr. Belluscio is the borough’s current zoning officer.

With the new ordinance, the job will become a full-time position and it appears that that the direction the governing body wants to adopt is to have one person do all three jobs instead of having three individuals for each position separately.

Although the maximum is set at $120,000, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Ken Blum stated that it does not necessarily mean that will be the salary. Actual salaries are set by resolutions.
Mr. Blum stated, “Some of them were the discussions that we’ve had in budget meetings. It’s just the maximum. All resolutions will be passed setting the actual rates for those individuals. The maximums are usually given higher to make sure we’re in [line with] the requirements with what we’re requesting. The main one that jumped up – that I heard there [were] several issues with – was the construction code official. That was previously a part-time position. We’re now looking to make that a full-time position.”

The maximum salaries and wages will cover a number of years, in this case up until 2019. By way of example, someone hired this year for the Construction Official / Building Sub-Code Official / Building Inspector cannot be paid $120,000 because by 2019 the salary for that position – based on a 2% annual raise – would be close to $125,000. That amount would be over the maximum. On the other hand, someone hired at $115,000 this year would have a salary of $119,646 by 2019 which would be under the salary maximum.

The actual salary for the combined position has not been made public yet as Mr. Atwell has formally submitted his retirement effective June 24th.

The Community Center Director’s salary guide remains the same. The old guide had the position listed as “Administrative Assistant”. That has been removed and replaced with the director’s title.

The tax assessor’s guide will have an increase of 47% while the fire official and chief inspector will have 137% and 140% increases respectively.

Construction Official /
Building Sub-Code Official /
Building Inspector
Community Center Director
Tax Assessor
Fire Official (Fire Protection)
Chief Inspector
Community Center Staff

No reference was made by anyone on the dais as to how the maximums were reached or which – if any – surrounding comparable municipalities were reviewed to see if they are within the same ranges as those proposed for Roselle Park.

A copy of the ordinance is included below: