Al Mirabella’s Secret Pay Raise

A small bombshell dropped during the Scotch Plains Council meeting on Tuesday, August 30th. During Council comments at the end of the meeting Llewellyn Jones, the lone Republican on the Council, discussed the mid-year budget review he’s been conducting. The most explosive revelation was of the salary increase that Town Manager Al Mirabella received earlier this year, unbeknownst to the rest of the Council.

Jones asked Mayor Kevin Glover if he  had authorized the pay raise. Glover admitted he had, and looked to Mirabella in desperation as Jones pressed on, asking what authority Glover had to act unilaterally and in secret.

Glover weakly replied that he had discussed it with at least one other Council member, but didn’t name which, and none volunteered the information. He then claimed there was precedent for this. Jones asked specifically what precedent. Glover could not name one.

Bob Renaud, Township Attorney, was absent, but Jones asked his fill-in to check whether the law allows the Mayor to raise the salary of the Town Manager without telling the rest of the Council.

The video of this meeting has not yet been posted, and I suspect the Mayor is in no hurry.

Aside from the usual political trick of trying to buy loyalty, Glover’s motivation here is clear. This is an election year, and if the Democrats lose control in November, Mirabella will likely be out of a job come January. Although Jones didn’t mention the amount of Mirabella’s raise, other township employees have reported a 2-3% increase, which would come to three to four thousand dollars on top of his contracted annual salary of $145,000. Truly, every little bit of padding to the golden pension parachute helps.

In an example of splendid timing, the Council also voted on a $25,000 bid awarded by Town Manager Mirabella to Ralph Checchio Inc., for the replacement of a sewer pipe. Mr. Checchio is not only the father-in-law of current Deputy Mayor Rose Checchio, but also Mr. Glover’s campaign manager. Town Manager Mirabella assured Councilman Jones that of the two bids received for the project, Mr. Checchio’s was the lower.

Town Manager Mirabella did not mention that last year Freeholder Mirabella voted to authorize a $118,143 bid award to the same firm for the repaving of a parking lot at Nomahegan Park.

Is it possible that these bid awards are quid pro quo for a salary increase? And do the Union County grants which Town Manager Mirabella receives from Freeholder Mirabella come with strings tied to Town Manager Mirabella’s compensation? The problem with this conflict of interest is that we will never know for sure.

Which, judging from his performance, is exactly how Kevin Glover wants it.

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More from the Westfield Leader:

SCOTCH PLAINS — Mayor Kevin Glover said he was merely following past practice when he authorized a salary increase earlier this year for township manager Al Mirabella. At Tuesday night’s township council meeting, Republican Councilman Llewellyn Jones questioned the mayor, a Democrat, about the salary increase, which Mr. Jones said he discovered when reviewing the township bill list for August. Mr. Glover recalled that he had discussed the matter with an unspecified number of council members, but not with the entire council during a formal session. The mayor also claimed that previous mayors had done likewise. Township attorney Robert Renaud, who was not present at this week’s meeting, will be asked to look into the propriety of the mayor’s action.

 

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by bpaterson on September 1, 2016 at 11:34 am

    so piggy Mirabella is not satisfied with bumping up his pension 600% in 3 years, he wants MORE????????? What a disgusting self serving PIG, you hear me Mirabella. Time to refer to you as pig in the freeholder meetings. You should be ashamed of screwing the citizens of NJ….you worthless pig.

    Reply

  2. Posted by scotchplainsresident on September 1, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    RChecchio is also a relation to the buliding inspector , hMMMmmmmmm???

    Reply

  3. Posted by ReadsLikeAMafiaBook on September 1, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    bpaterson: Hopefully the pension fund goes broke sooner than later and Mirabella gets stiffed, like he deserves to be, with all the others.

    Reply

  4. […] week we found out that the mayor who brought Mirabella aboard also gave him a boost on his spike: […]

    Reply

  5. Posted by bpaterson on September 9, 2016 at 10:59 am

    mafia, wishing the pension system goes down, just to get back at one person, or many scurrilous people like Mirabella is not the way to go, since it also hurts many of the other good public workers. The pension fund is already hobbled, and more so when politically connected pigs force the way into the pension pool without proper donation. This should be cleaned up legislatively, although most of them are at the trough also.

    Reply

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