Freeholders vote to cut their own salaries 20 percent

Not ours (they are getting raises again) but here:

Salem County freeholders have bowed to the will of the people and voted to cut their own salaries by 20 percent.

Action came at the county’s annual close-out meeting late Friday afternoon as one of the last pieces of business in what has been a tumultuous year for this freeholder board.

The salary cut is the result of a non-binding referendum that was approved by a three to one margin by voters in November.

“I decided to vote like I did because of the shear numbers in respect to the election (referendum margin of approval) … To see that … that spoke volumes to me,” said Freeholder Director Dale Cross.

 The salary cut takes effect immediately, according to resolution unanimously approved by the board.

Freeholders in Salem County were paid $25,410 for what is considered a part-time job. The freeholder director received an additional $1,000. The board members receive no benefits.

Under the new guidelines, the freeholders will make $20,328, and the director will make $21,128, just $800 more than others — also a 20 percent cut.

Along with the pay cut, county voters in November approved a binding referendum, also by a three to one margin, to cut the number of members on the board from seven to five. That action is considered to be a first in New Jersey.

According to state statute, all five seats on the new board will be up for grabs in the November 2017. The winners will be seated on the Monday after the election.

The two questions aimed at the freeholders got on the ballot thanks to a grassroots petition drive organized after the county considered outsourcing county jobs — including the 911 call center and jail nurses — to close its 2016 budget deficit.

Those actions were later abandoned after a public outcry mostly by first responders and their supporters.

Freeholder salaries in Salem County are higher than those received by counterparts in many other New Jersey counties with much larger populations. Salem County officials have argued that they have a heavy workload and have no paid aides to help them as do freeholders in some other counties in the state.

Will Union County taxpayers ever develop the will to follow suit and reverse this…..



4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Hayley on December 31, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Would love to see this in Union County.


  2. What a bold and honorable gesture for the citizens of Salem County amidst the greedy attitude of most people in this day and age.My hat’s off to the Freeholders of Salem County. May this start a trend among your constituents in this state.

    Walter Pommnitz


  3. Posted by Hayley on December 31, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    I will not hold my breath! Lol


  4. Posted by Bpaterson on January 2, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    if opne reviews the increase %’s, there are a few decreases. The anomalies of this is due to new employees came on board in those positions and thus were not paid at the full salary (this “savings” is called “breakage”).

    The Union County freeholder chair Bergen when asked for the public’s understanding as to why certain people deserved the 5-6% simply ignored the public’s question. Proven, he’s just another imperial with no reason but to abuse taxpayer dollars toward a corrupted system. He did say later at the meeting if a resident goes over 5 minutes he can email the question to get an answer. I will take him up on his offer and see what happens.


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