The Jersey City Council approved Ward E Councilman James Solomon’s proposal to require overtime spending reports from each department to make for a smoother budgeting process this year.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“I made a commitment to work with my colleagues to make sure last year’s budget debacle is never repeated. Increasing council oversight and enforcing timelines are the first critical steps in this process,” Solomon said in a statement this morning.
“I thank my colleagues for supporting this effort and commit to continuing to push forward with the plan I laid out at the beginning of this month.”
The local legislation was introduced at the January 11th council meeting and approved unanimously (9-0), though some of his colleagues, including Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey and Ward D Councilman Yousef Saleh, had reservations.
Solomon, who voted against last year’s $724.8 million budget in October, said that he would work diligently with his colleagues on this matter to reach common ground and it sounds like that’s exactly what happened.
“I just want to thank Councilperson Solomon for thanking the concerns that were brought in caucus during first reading to make sure that it’s not a heavy administrative burden for whatever departments are involved in this, including the collection of reports, but also making sure that some of the more sensitive employee information is protected,” Prinz-Arey said last night.
“I agree with Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey’s points, thank you Councilman Solomon, we definitely need a tighter grip on the budget and to monitor the overtime,” Saleh noted.
Ward A Councilwoman Denise Ridley also concurred that all of the concerns of the council were addressed before voting aye.
As for Solomon, he thanked his colleagues for their feedback, noting that their input improved upon the ordinance that was originally proposed.
Council President Joyce Watterman also echoed that sentiment before voting yes, with the measure passing unanimously (8-0), with Councilman-at-Large Daniel Rivera absent.
“Each department director shall provide a monthly report to the Council identifying all overtime spending by the department year to date, broken down by division, and comparing that spending to its allocated overtime budget,” the ordinance says.
“The Department Director shall submit that report to the City Clerk to be included in the upcoming council meeting’s ‘Report of Directors.'”