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Brick Council Benefits Debate to Re-Emerge

Brando to propose ordinance eliminating benefits, pay for council members

Brick Township Council members would receive no taxpayer-funded pay, stipends or health benefits under an ordinance Councilman Domenick Brando says he will propose at the Feb. 19 council meeting.

The ordinance, which Brando will place on the agenda for a first reading, will eliminate pay and benefits for current and future council members. Currently, council members are paid an $8,000 annual stipend, and are eligible to receive full employee health benefits or a waiver stipend if they opt out of the benefits program. The council president makes an additional $1,000 in salary, for a total of $9,000.

"I think it's the right thing to do for our taxpayers," said Brando. "We'd be like the Board of Education, we'd be doing it totally voluntarily."

"Living through what's happend after the storm and seeing the hardships the residents are facing, it's the least we can do."

Brando also indicated the proposal was, at least in part, inspired by an Asbury Park Press article published last week that included a quote from Councilman John Ducey saying the Democratic council majority would only appoint commissioners to the Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority who would not accept health benefits from the authority.

"Why not extend that all the way to the council?" asked Brando.

"I haven't seen it yet," said Ducey, when asked about the proposal. "I don't know what it is or why it's even being proposed."

"It seems odd when it comes from someone who works for the MUA," Ducey said, referring to Brando.

Brando is an employee of the BTMUA, where his salary was $60,300 in 2011, according to public records.

Ducey also said the option of receiving benefits and a stipend was never removed for MUA commissioners.

"We didn't take it away, we're just asking the question, 'will you take benefits?" said Ducey.

Ducey, along with council members Jim Fozman, Bob Moore and Dan Toth currently accept health benefits as a result of their council positions. Fozman is also an MUA commissioner, though he does not take any stipends or benefits from his appointment there.

Brando, as well as council members Susan Lydecker and Joseph Sangiovanni, do not take council health benefits.

Mayor Stephen C. Acropolis pledged his support to Brando's proposal, which he said is an improved version of one he has repeatedly tried to introduce to both Republican and Democrat controlled councils.

"I think this was a long time coming," he said. "I think this is the first time, I believe, that a council member has put my ordinance forward."

"I think any money the township saves should be earmarked toward Sandy relief. I am in favor of it," the mayor said.

Mrgrumpass February 18, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Vera you just don’t get it this ordinance is the cries of a desperate man who knows that when his time as councilman is over he will also lose him do little job at the BTMUA, he has been spanked (behind closed doors) for arriving at the MUA at 7:00 AM and getting in the company truck and disappearing till check out time, and the truck would be seen parked at his house for the day. But in the same way Vera your hubby is trying to start his own little scam at the MUA but there are too many eyes on him personally I think Brando is a halfwit and your hubby is a bit slower than him! As for your comments about the mayor I thank God he was the man at the top during the storm and after absolutely no one in our town government can or could have done what this man did for Brick!
mineeeemoh February 19, 2013 at 12:07 AM
Your anger is escalating, and your self doubt is showing. I am not who you claim I am. And if Mr Brando misused company time, then you are equally responsible for his mistake.
mineeeemoh February 20, 2013 at 05:15 AM
The only people elected to your local council who may be remotely wealthy, are the those whose homes suffered damage from storm sandy. And by the way, they should never hold the privilege to vote on any legistlation regarding their homes. That in itself is a direct conflict and they should be informed by the legal department of their deriliction.
Brick February 21, 2013 at 05:29 PM
This is the same man(Brando) along with the other 6 Republicans were asked to give up there benefits 2 yrs ago at a Republican club meeting. They all said NO and now he wants to do it.. Bu bye Brando
David February 23, 2013 at 04:30 PM
The bottom line is that the elimination of "Bloated Stipends and Medical Benefits" for part-time employees (the Council entrusted to look out for the best interest of the public) is Good for the TAX PAYERS and saves TAX DOLLARS period end of story. Save the political spin for your political gatherings. The only constant is that our Business Administrator, Scott Pezarras is worth is weight in gold. His contributions to the Township are unworthy of measure. Thank you Scott for putting up with the nonsense. It goes with the territory.

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