Cops in E.N. get 2% pay hike, new parking lots possibly coming

EAST NEWARK —

A modest pay hike for cops and the prospect of a new municipal parking lot were addressed by the East Newark governing body recently.

On Sept. 13, the mayor and Borough Council adopted two ordinances, one granting members of the borough police department a 2% raise for 2017, retroactive to Jan. 1 of this year; and a second, codifying existing regulations dealing with employment of cops for “extra-duty” details.

Brigite Goncalves, the borough CFO, said last week she was in the process of preparing the checks with the retroactive increases to be sent to the cops.

Mayor Joseph Smith said the borough limited the duration of the salary agreement to a single year because of budget constraints.

The ENPD has a two-tier salary system. “Schedule A” applies to officers hired prior to Jan. 1, 2010; “Schedule B” is geared to officers hired after May 1, 2012.

Here are some sample 2017 salary figures for Schedule A members: patrol officers’ third year pay is $54,251; in their fifth year, $63,595; seventh year, $73,034; top pay in 10th year, $87,593. Sergeant’s pay is listed at $89,820.

For Schedule B personnel: patrol officers’ third year is $35,720; fifth year, $45,462; seventh year, $59,533; top pay in 10th year, $75,771. Sergeant’s pay is $77,955.

The chief’s revised salary was not listed in the ordinance and it was not readily available from the borough CFO.

The department has one chief, one sergeant and six rank-and-file officers, leaving it two short of the maximum strength allowed under its Table of Organization, according to Smith.

Another parking lot?

The governing body also adopted an ordinance authorizing the acquisition of four lots on John St. currently occupied by the parking lot for the former St. Anthony’s social center building, “including the exercise of eminent domain, if advisable.”

The entire property, encompassing the building and parking lot, was recently sold to a real estate investment company which has yet to disclose what it intends to do with the property.

Smith said the parking lot section is zoned for public uses and the borough wants to use it for municipal parking. He estimated it could accommodate about 20 spaces.

Smith said the borough tried to negotiate with the Archdiocese of Newark – the original owner of the property – for the parking lot, “but they wanted to sell the entire property.”

“We have a big waiting list for our off-street parking lots,” he said.

Residents pay a monthly parking fee ranging from $45 to $50, depending on the location of a lot. The former St. Anthony’s lot would be the borough’s seventh lot, Smith said. Parkers for that lot would either be chosen from the waiting list or from a lottery, he said.

– Ron Leir

Ron Leir | Observer Correspondent

Ron Leir has been a newspaperman since the late ’60s, starting his career with The Jersey Journal, having served as a summer reporter during college. He became a full-time scribe in February 1972, working mostly as a general assignment reporter in all areas except sports, including a 3-year stint as an assistant editor for entertainment, features, religion, etc. He retired from the JJ in May 2009 and came to The Observer shortly thereafter. He is also a part-time actor, mostly on stage, having worked most recently with the Kearny-based W.H.A.T. Co. and plays Sunday softball in Central Park, N.Y.