Gary Schaer Yet Again Promises to Reverse Benefits for Elected Officials.

10 08 2007

Meredith Mandell –

Passaic, NJ – City Council President Gary Schaer announced Thursday that he will call a special meeting on Aug. 16 to hold a third vote on a resolution granting special post-retirement medical benefits to the city’s eight elected officials.

Schaer failed to get a majority vote Tuesday night to rescind the resolution, with the vote ending up in a 3-3 deadlock and one abstention.

The resolution, which passed in May, makes elected officials eligible for retiree medical benefits after 15 years of service instead of the 25 years required for the city’s nearly 700 employees.

“The sole purpose of this special meeting will be to vote once again on a resolution to rescind the 15-year health benefits and correct this mistake for which there continues to be no excuse,” Schaer said.

“I hope that my colleagues on the council will this time see fit to join with me in repealing this benefit.”

In a telephone interview later in the day, Schaer said he had received several telephone calls from residents upset with the council’s decision not to rescind.

He said he was confident the resolution to rescind would pass at next week’s special 8:45 a.m. meeting — having had conversations with other council members. He refused to say whom he had spoken with and what the specific nature of those conversations was.

“I think the people who did it (voted to keep the resolution) … did not do it to hurt anyone, rather to help others,” he said, refusing to elaborate on whom he meant by “others.”

Councilman Marcellus Jackson said in a telephone interview Thursday afternoon that he voted “no” on rescinding the resolution because he wanted to expand it to include all city employees.

“If you rescind it, you rescind the whole resolution,” he said. “It would have been much easier if we just add on as an addendum for public employees.”

Jackson said Schaer had not notified him about the special meeting, and he was uncertain whether he could attend next week.

Newly elected Councilwoman Maritza Colon-Montanez, [PCNJ note: she works for Gary Schaer] who was not on the council when the original resolution passed, said Thursday that she abstained from the vote because she had just come back from vacation out of the country and did not understand the resolution.

“I needed more information … I really wanted to feel comfortable the way I voted,” she said.

Mayor Samuel Rivera said Wednesday that he thought the resolution should be rescinded, a shift in his stance on the issue. Rivera had previously said that his business administrator proposed the resolution for the council’s May 29 agenda with the mayor’s health in mind.

View original article here.



2 responses

10 08 2007

How crooked can you get?

14 08 2007

Good Game you play, Gary.

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