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Benefits Restructuring, Bond Measure Up for Vote in Toms River

Council to consider benefits restructuring, bond measure

The Toms River Township council will start its meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday, an hour earlier than usual.

The council is set to take a final vote on a plan to restructure nearly all of the benefits offered to full-time, nonunion employees and solidify the health benefits package that is offered to elected officials in town.

The governing body is also poised to amend a bond ordinance adding the amount of $3.5 million to finance the forced taking of the slivers of property to complete a federally funded dune project. The 15-year bond will also finance the replacement and construction of various township boardwalks and beaches and improvements to township parks including all work and materials.

The portion of the borrowing used to acquire the easements from homeowners is expected to be "nominal," said Council President George Wittmann.
Chief Wahoo December 10, 2013 at 09:46 AM
Spend. Spend. Spend. And give yourself Cadillac Health Benefits while you are at. Can't say I blame you, the taxpaying dopes in town could care less.
proud December 10, 2013 at 09:51 AM
What is "nominal"? Why won't Kelaher and Wittman tell the public how (and, how much of their money) they are spending?
Mr. Happy December 10, 2013 at 10:03 AM
@proud - you live in Lacey, right? Whadda you care about Toms River financial issues? Mind your own business!!
GloriaP December 10, 2013 at 10:05 AM
While the council is at it may I suggest they return to the drawing board & restructure the property tax codes so that the recent tax increase that affected only a fraction of Toms River residents is rescinded and recalculated to spread evenly amongst all TR residents! I'm still so incensed by this arbitrary assault to my pocketbook!!
Daniel Nee (Editor) December 10, 2013 at 10:56 AM
proud - The basic answer as to why they won't tell you how much they're spending to acquire the easements is because they do not know yet. No offers have been made to property owners. I do not know if the appraisal process has been completed yet, but I plan to have more details for a story to be published after tonight's meeting.
Mike L December 10, 2013 at 11:35 AM
Then this bond vote should be held off, if the cost hasn't been determined yet. And if part of the funds of the bond issue is to be used for township boardwalks, parks and beaches, shouldn't we know which ones are to be fixed and shouldn't the fix up be in the regular budget, not in this all inclusive bond issue. Again, like stated above, spend, spend, spend and leave the future township inhabitants to pay. By the way, we paid for a new animal shelter, WHY is it still boarded up and the new court at the police station is open????
proud December 10, 2013 at 02:57 PM
@Dan, regarding the press release from the council (which apparently caught the mayor with his pants down), president Wittman stated that they needed to get some level of funding in place for eminent domain proceedings. From the APP this morning: [ “The council put out this press release, and while we list a total dollar amount for the ordinance, we did not break down the amounts that would be credited for eminent domain payments for easements from the engineering, legal and real estate appraisals costs,” said Township Council George Wittmann. “We need to fund this at some level so that the actions can proceed once this progresses to the courts.”] I would think that the allocation is fairly simple .'x' amount of the the 3.5 million goes to all costs associated with the beaches, boardwalks and parks, and the remainder goes towards the associated costs of obtaining the easements for the USACE project, which, of course is an unknown variable. To me that sounds eerily similar to "we have to pass the bill to find out what's in it". Look how that sound fiscal reasoning is turning out. There is one absolute, however. The "solidyfying" or the lining of the pockets of the elected officials will be 100% regardless of the cost of those benefits, which is also unknown. I suppose my point was that there are too many unknowns in the equation: x = governing in N J.

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