Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Atlantic) introduced legislation today that would block state imposed layoffs for Atlantic City public safety employees without the state first offering, in writing, an early retirement incentive plan.
“We can’t throw away the positive strides made in Atlantic City by jeopardizing public safety. Atlantic City’s Police and Fire Departments have made significant cuts over the past few years to bring themselves in line with the needs of the community. Any additional restructuring can happen through Early Retirement Incentives which is why I made sure ERI’s are the cornerstone of this intervention legislation.
“In addition, if the state designee were to move forward with the massive layoffs as planned, Atlantic City’s federal Fire SAFER Grant would be at risk. This grant directly pays for 84 full-time firefighters at no cost to the taxpayer,” said Mazzeo.
The new legislation will amend the Municipal Stabilization and Recovery Act, signed into law last year, by specifically requiring that a municipality deemed in need of stabilization cannot institute layoffs in a public safety department without first offering, in writing, an early retirement incentive offer.
“Atlantic City’s fiscal mess has to be turned around, and soon. The state’s intervention has delivered some positive results for the residents of Atlantic City – the first municipal tax decrease in two decades along with over $70 million saved from negotiations with the Borgata – but more needs to be done.
“While buyouts will require upfront costs to the city, they can absorb those costs over a maximum of 15 years, while saving tens of millions of dollars in the long run – needed funds that will help the city finally get its fiscal house in order. This is the right deal for Atlantic City, the taxpayers, and our hardworking police and firefighters,” concluded Mazzeo.