Council amends salary ranges

Pay affects mayor, others

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By Joe Weston

— The Sparta Town Council unanimously passed amended salary ranges for its nonunion employees at their June 10 meeting after introducing it for the first time back on May 27.

“This brings what we’re paying employees back up to where they should be. It brings them current,” said Deputy Mayor Jerry Murphy. “To me, it’s a work in progress. I think it is a general consensus of the council that we have some more work to do on the ordinance itself, but it at least gives the managers the authority to pay personnel accordingly.”

The ordinance does not give any employees raises, rather sets the guidelines for what an employee can earn.

The adjustment of the ranges affects the pay for the mayor, four council members, the eight division heads, management, directors and department heads, four division heads, 25 office support staff positions, 24 part-time hourly positions, and the municipal court judge according to the released ordinance. The positions of mayor, council members, and municipal court judge are considered to be part-time.

Under the ordinance, a council members’ salary can range from $3,000 to $3,600. The mayor’s salary can range from $3,050 to $4,050. The salary of the police chief can range from $135,000 to $175,000 and municipal department heads can make up to $125,000.

Other Business
Town Manager William Close announced at the meeting that the council is applying to the NJ Department of Transportation for a $500,000 streetscape improvement grant to put pavers in and install sidewalks and streetlights.

“It would be a continuation of projects already started and take further down the road,” Close said.

Sparta Township is competing against other towns for the grant, according to Murphy.

“Now that we’ve started, we could have the other pieces of the puzzle, so it’s a natural for us,” Murphy said.

CERT Graduates

“I am very proud to announce we had our second wave of CERT graduates who have donated 22 hours of their time for training,” Councilwoman Christine Quinn said.

CERT graduates are citizens who are trained to augment township efforts to react to an emergency when resources are stretched, according to Quinn.

The graduates will be recognized during a formal graduation at the next town council meeting on May 24.

“We’ve just started this a year ago, and already we’ve had two groups through and we are going to be starting training for the next group in September,” said Quinn.

The nationally recognized training FEMA accredited course is underneath the umbrella of the Sparta Township Emergency Preparedness Initiative.

“We don’t self-deploy. We are a resource to the chief of police. We are not emergency responders by any stretch. The chief determines whether or not we will be activated,” said Quinn.

“It started out in California where there were a lot of earthquakes and entire neighborhoods wouldn’t be passable. If first responders can’t get to you, you can respond on your own. So, it is a little bit of empowerment,” said Quinn.

You may see certified members directing traffic on Main Street or on Glen Road making evaluations on what neighborhoods look like, and reporting back to the chief.

Quinn said that in addition to being prepared for a disaster like Hurricane Sandy, CERT volunteers can also help in everyday situations like 5K runs or a traffic accident.

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