A Helpful Suggestion for Wayne

WAYNE – This sprawling town – the home of 54,000 people in addition to many shopping centers – is probably not all that easy to govern.

But does it need a full-time mayor to run things?

Some Republicans think so.

The GOP-majority township council last week introduced an ordinance to create a full-time mayor’s position at a salary of $140,000 a year. The now part-time job pays $18,750.

If adopted after a public hearing on Jan. 18, it will obviously benefit all mayors to come. But just as obviously, the main beneficiary at the moment would be Chris Vergano, the current mayor.

When stories like this surface, it’s instructive to remember that Republicans enjoy stressing their commitment to curtailing spending by not expanding government.

But not always – apparently.

In an interview with TAPinto Wayne, an online news source, Vergano explained why this move is necessary.

“This begins my 16th year as mayor and things have certainly changed since January 1, 2008. The town is growing. We have a budget of $87 million and we have a water and sewer utility of $20 million. So we have an over $100 million corporation with over 600 employees – including our part-timers and summer help – that has a CEO who is part-time. And I think the township of Wayne deserves more than a part-time CEO.”

Francine Ritter, the only Democrat on the nine-person council, says, in effect, this is nonsense.

She notes that Vergano knew quite well that the job was part-time when he ran for reelection a few years ago. An online petition has been started asking residents to oppose the idea.

Wayne is a purple town – sort of.

The 2020 presidential election here was very close; Donald Trump won by a bit more than 1,000 votes out of more than 31,000 cast.

But as mentioned, the council is solidly Republican.

Broadly speaking, other than large cities, most municipalities in New Jersey do not have full-time mayors, although one exception is Parsippany just a few miles to the west.

Next week’s hearing looks like it may be interesting.

If council members truly feel the township merits a full-time mayor, why not adopt an ordinance that says the change will take effect after Vergano’s current term ends? That would allow the public to select the township’s first full-time mayor.

It also would stop criticism that the council is simply giving Vergano a juicy benefit.

Just a humble suggestion.

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10 responses to “A Helpful Suggestion for Wayne”

  1. The mayor also has serious skin cancer in remission.
    Wayne employees retire with self insured health benefits at Wayne taxpayer expense.
    While most retired Wayne taxpayers shoulder burden of health care with Secondary Medicare, this Mayor EXPECTS, the Wayne Taxpayer to pay for his recurring skin cancer treatments.
    This borders on insurance fraud, except there is no insurance company to claim such an action.
    Obviously, this Mayor believes the citizens of Wayne are FOOLS.

  2. Mr. Snowflack, GOOD STYLE on your Wayne article of Jan. 12,2023 opening the eyes of Wayne residents. I lived in Parsippany for 25 years and witnessed the political corruption ,incompetence,and financial mismanagement in a town with full-time mayor. Chris Vergano takes it to another level, out of private industry, he wants the taxpayers to suppport his livelihood and retirement income.One simple question , why did Vergano wait 16 years,8 years,4,years to suggest full-time mayor. According to 2020 census the population in Wayne increased 150 people. Shame on the GOP councilmembers for not voting NO.

  3. Fred Snowflake is spot on! This is a golden parachute tailor-made expressly for a retiring Chris Vergano. It popped up out of nowhere, without any opportunity for public discussion and seems to be ready to be rubber stamped by his republican council cronies.
    This sweetheart deal has to be stopped! The ordinance should be defeated. Otherwise, we will force a ballot referendum and let the voters strike it down. Get ready to sign a formal petition to make that happen.

  4. It should be a full time position. That way the mayor can focus attention on running the town instrad of worrying habout juggling another job he/she has.

  5. Fine then let the electorate vote on that when the pay raise skyrockets by 647% in this example with retroactive healthcare, beneifits and pension.
    As for now this situation comes across as an electoral bait and switch that the People have no choice in?
    The introduction of an ‘immediate’ ordinance with a two week deadline for the second reading is hardly due process?
    And what pray tell about a public job posting and EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity ) law? Was there a job posting published anywhere?
    Did the City Clerk post it?
    Did HR (Human Resources?
    Because it sure wasn’t posted on the Public Billboard that once stood outside city hall because it demolished during the remodel.

  6. You forgot to mention that Wayne has a full-time business manager whose responsibility is managing the day to day business.

  7. 16 YEARS AS MAYOR OF WAYNE!!!!!! Time for the Council or the Taxpayers to pass a referendum on term limits of Two-4 year terms for Mayor. Vergano is looking for a fraudulent “cash windfall” which is against the Township’s Statement of Purpose to keep taxes down.

    Then there’s the issue of a full-time township Business Manager ($165,000/yr.) who is already running the township (with an Associate Business Mgr. making $70,000/annually), a full-time Waste Water Superintendent ($122,000/yr.) running the water and sewer dept., a Chief of Police running the police dept. ($220,000/yr) (18 Wayne, NJ police officers make $200,000/yr or over; 2 Wayne officers make $250,000/yrs), and then there’s the Volunteer Fire Dept., etc.

    So, tell Wayne taxpayers again why we need a Mayor making $140,000/yr.????????

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