More details have been revealed about the layoff plan in Wildwood. Coastal Broadcasting has obtained a copy of a letter the state’s Civil Service Commission sent to the city. The layoffs include 10 permanent employees in the Department of Public Safety and Public Affairs, three employees in the Department of Revenue and Finance, and 29 employees in the Department of Public Works.
The plan includes the laying off of five police officers and one firefighter. Coastal Broadcasting has been told that one of those names includes Mayor Gary DeMarzo, though he is on an unpaid leave of absence. The names on the list to Coastal Broadcasting have been blacked out for privacy reasons.
The documents obtained by Coastal Broadcasting also states that DeMarzo is was aware there is no Voluntary Layoff Program. DeMarzo said he placed himself on this list when the courts told him to pick between being a mayor and police officer. A letter from Gordon H. Ball, Jr. the Personnel Director for the city states, “I am well aware of the fact that there is no Voluntary Layoff Program in the State of New Jersey. I notified Mayor DeMarzo of this fact when he directed me to put his name on the list. He directed me to do it anyway; however he feels it is up to the state to tell him this.”
The city is awaiting bids to privatize the trash and recycling pick up. Commissioner Chip Harshaw tells Coastal Broadcasting he is hoping many of the layoffs in his department come from this year. Also, that letter from Ball says that the city has received a low bid of $23,000 to privatize the Parks Department. Ball says this move would save the city $246,000.
The letter from the state says that the notices must be provided at least 45 days prior to the effective date of the layoff. Also, “upon receipt of the individual 45 day notices, the New Jersey Civil Service Commission will determine the seniority, special reemployment and/or demotional rights of the affected employees,” the letter reads from Kenneth Connolly, Director of State and Local Operations.
Wildwood officials are looking for savings in the budget as a way to bring the tax rate in the city down.