Jersey City Freeholder Bill O’Dea (D-2) was furious at the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office for not immediately pulling officers out of a small social worker protest yesterday afternoon and Undersheriff Andrew Conti got the brunt of his anger.
Terrell McDonald and other Hudson County social workers hosted a protest asking for salary increases that made its way in front of the county building at 567 Pavonia Ave. at 4:30 p.m. yesterday before addressing the freeholder board around 6:30 p.m.
McDonald and her colleagues were frustrated when they were told this was an issue they’d had to take up with their union reps.
At the December 10th meeting of the Hudson County Board of Chosen Freeholders, McDonald compared the Department of Family Services salaries in Essex, Bergen and Union Counties to those in Hudson County.
Back to last night’s meeting, things began to head south when Delores Black, a former Hudson County social worker, told the board that security called the sheriff’s office and had a handful of officers surrounded her when she returned to her former place of employment for social services.
After the board discussed if a policy could be enacted to prevent a similar incident in the future, O’Dea questioned why the sheriff’s office deployed so many officers for a protest.
Another Jersey City Freeholder, Gerard Balmir (D-3), asked for a copy of the memo issues by Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari to deploy officers for the protest.
North Bergen Freeholder Anthony Vainieri (D-8), who was sworn in by Schillari as vice chair on Tuesday, didn’t understand what all the fuss was about – causing O’Dea, and to a lesser extent Balmir, to get heated.
Conti did his best to try and explain the situation, but things didn’t go as smoothly as he would’ve hoped, as O’Dea wasn’t having any of it.