Marotta asks council to repeal salary ordinance

Mayor requests his pay remain at $30,000 to avoid referendum

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Vernon Mayor Victor Marotta urged the Township Council to rescind their approval of the recently-passed ordinance to raise his salary from $30,000 to $70,000 on Monday night.

A petition of more than 1,000 valid signatures of Vernon's registered voters was approved on Feb. 28, and the issue was scheduled to be added to the November ballot so the people can decide whether to increase the mayor’s salary.

However, if the council chooses to repeal the ordinance, the question of the mayor’s salary can be decided more quickly.

“There has been a large and long discussion between the council and myself on what to do about this," Marotta said. "I have no intention in seeking any legal redress on this issue, against the petitioners, or the town. And while there are questions that have been raised, I think that they are better left to be handled in another way.”

Marotta said Dan Perez, his attorney, sees nothing preventing the council from repealing this ordinance at the request of the people that put the petition in.

“A thousand people spoke and said they did not want to see this raise go through,” Marotta said. “To spend the amount of time on this particular issue when we have so many other issues to deal with in 2014: the town center, the roads project … I would prefer to see us, as a community, focus on these issues and not what the mayor gets paid. I am asking you formally to rescind this ordinance.”

In 2012, the Town Council approved an ordinance to raise Marotta’s salary from $30,000 to $50,000. A successful petition led to its inclusion on November 2012’s ballot, where 87% of voters opposed the raise.

The Township Council has scheduled a work session for Monday, March 31, which will be start with an executive session and be followed by a regular public work session to announce the future of the salary ordinance.

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