More unnecessary hiring by Taube

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To the editor:
Commissioner Taube continues to grandstand about reducing spending while working behind the scenes to hire unnecessary staff.
I learned at the Jan. 10 commission meeting that Taube hired a “project manager/engineer” without adhering to the civil service requirements of providing a job description and posting the position. This new hire will cost taxpayers between $130,000 and $150,000 in 2013 alone, and will increase payroll, benefits and pension expenses for many years into the future.

The Margate Commission just renewed two contract employees, the business administrator and the city engineer (three-year contract). Add Taube’s new hire, and taxpayers will be saddled with staff expense of at least half a million dollars.

Salaries, benefits and pension represent 74 percent of the city budget and are basically the only expense the commission has any control over. What happened to Taube’s “biggie,” shared services? This position, if needed at all, would best be shared with Ventnor, which just appointed an engineer, or with Longport, which already has an engineer on staff.
Commissioner Blumberg, head of revenue and finance, opposed the hire stating, “We are in the process of salary negotiations with all our unions, and it would be irresponsible to hire any new employees at this point in time not knowing where we are with the new budget.”
Mayor Becker remained silent on the issue, indicating that he supports the hire.
Margate taxpayers can’t afford to let this happen. Call Taube or Becker or come to the Thursday, Feb. 7 commission meeting to express your concerns about increased spending and ask for concrete evidence that this new hire will save us money. Taube’s claims that we will save money on street opening permits are unfounded. Street permits do not require an engineer and can be handled by public works, as they have been in the past. This would save taxpayers $60,000.
Did the commissioner forget that she is spending taxpayers’ money, not her own? That she challenged the business administrator to work together with the full commission to reduce spending by $1,050,000 through staff reductions and shared services? That she and Mayor Becker vowed to not support projects that cost taxpayers money? 
One thing you can be sure of is that the taxpayers have not forgotten.

Sharon Simon



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