Morristown council okays three-year police contract, liquor license renewals

It took about 18 months to hammer out, but Morristown police finally have a three-year deal.

“Nobody walks away completely happy–and that’s a good contract,” Mayor Tim Dougherty said Tuesday after the town council unanimously approved the agreement.

Officers hired after January 2012 will need eight years to reach their maximum salary, as opposed to six years for those hired previously, said town Administrator Michael Rogers.

morristown police badgeLongevity payments also were reduced slightly, and should save taxpayers about $125,000 over the 25-year careers of seven new officers, he said.

Cost-of-living adjustments for officers who have reached the top pay scale are 1.5 percent, 2 percent and 2.25 percent over the three years, retroactive to 2012, the administrator said.

The contract covers approximately 35 members of PBA Local 43, he said. The salary range for officers is $52,000 to $95,000.

Salary ranges also were approved for non-union managers and employees, and for the mayor and council. The Mayor earns $26,000 and council members are paid $9,676, with Council President Michelle Dupree Harris receiving an additional $1,000. Those numbers are unchanged from last year.

LIQUOR LICENSES, STREAMING VIDEO, SCHOOL PARKING

In other business, the council unanimously (minus Kevin Gsell, who was absent) approved liquor license renewals for at least 33 bars, restaurants and shops.

Bars were a hot topic last summer, when residents testified about problems from weekend drinking crowds. Nobody said a word on Tuesday, at a sparsely attended meeting where town officials appeared to outnumber audience members.

Starting next week, residents can watch video replays of town council meetings on the town website–and future meetings will be streamed in real time, said town Clerk Matt Stechauner.

There will be a sense of deja vu for us: We streamed council meetings a few years ago, when MorristownGreen.com was affiliated with The Star-Ledger.

Parking has become a sore spot for Morristown High School students since the town imposed two-hour parking limits on nearby streets earlier this year. Councilman Stefan Armington said the Morristown Parking Authority this fall will offer discounts of more than 50 percent to students who park in MPA garages and lots.  To qualify, the students must attend an Alive@25 safe driving seminar, Stefan said.

The councilman and the mayor met last week with Morris School District Supt. Thomas Ficarra to discuss parking options for students.

Councilwoman Alison Deeb invited residents to bring their pets to “Put Your Paws Up,” from 10 am to 3 pm on June 29, in municipal parking lot 10 behind George & Martha’s American Grill. There will be rescue adoptions, pet micro-chipping, and more, hosted by 911 Dog & Cat Rescue.

And the Mayor reminded everyone that Greater Morristown is celebrating July 4th  in a big way next week.

At noon the Declaration of Independence will be read on the Green, followed by patriotic music and family activities. More music and fireworks are planned at Sunrise Lake Beach, at Lewis Morris Park in Morris Township, starting at 7 pm.



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