Falling revenues help lead to nine municipal layoffs


MARLBORO — Nine long-term employees of the township were informed on Jan. 21 that their jobs would be eliminated.

Mayor Jonathan Hornik said notices were sent to those individuals to make them aware of the municipal downsizing. Hornik said the actions are ones that no mayor or governing body ever wishes to take.

The positions to be eliminated are three senior clerk typists; an official in the tax collector’s office; a police records clerk; two public works laborers; a heavy equipment operator; and a violations clerk, according to the mayor.

During the Township Council’s Jan. 22 meeting, Hornik said Marlboro is facing a $6.2 million gap in surplus (savings). In 2007 the township had $10.5 million in surplus, but the municipality ended 2008 with $4.3 million in surplus.

Part of the problem stems from the fact that Marlboro has experienced a three-quarters of 1 percent drop in tax collection in 2008, which translated to $750,000 less in revenue than was anticipated, Hornik said. The mayor said that at a recent meeting with Gov. Jon Corzine, municipal administrators were told to expect another cut of about $500,000 in the amount of state aid municipalities receive.

“We can no longer as a township afford to live beyond our means,” the mayor said.

With the economic crisis affecting everyone, Hornik said the administration cannot look to raising taxes to try and fill such gaps, which is why the layoffs of municipal employees became necessary.

“On a personal note, I feel absolutely terrible having to lay off even one person. I really consider many of the people who work in this township as a part of my family. And it’s a very difficult decision for any mayor to make in good times, (and) in bad times it’s even harder. I will tell you that it is the 100 percent correct decision based on the finances of Marlboro today,” Hornik said.

The mayor went on to say that additional cuts are being made and he said the perks some municipal employees may have come to expect will be gone. He said the times ahead would still be difficult and said no municipality is immune to these challenging times.