JERSEY CITY - The City Council at Wednesday's meeting voted 5-3 against reintroducing ordinances to take away health benefits for people serving on the boards of the Jersey City Incinerator Authority and the Municipal Utilities Authority, both autonomous agencies.
The ordinances were crafted by City Councilman Steven Fulop early this year as part of his initiative to cut health benefits based on the fact that both boards have part-time members that meet at a minimum for 12 hours per year, or one hour per monthly meeting. He estimates that over $400,000 would be saved.
The council had defeated the ordinances back in February, with the council voting instead in March to get JCIA and MUA board members to pay 20 percent of their health insurance costs instead of zero, and limiting benefits to just board members and not including family members.
City Council members Fulop, Willie Flood and Viola Richardson voted in favor of stopping the benefits with Fulop explaining exactly what the ordinances entailed. Voting down the ordinances were council members Michael Sottolano, Nidia Lopez, Bill Gaughan, Peter Brennan, and Ray Velazquez.
Sottolano said that the ordinances should return for a council vote early next year when the Incinerator Authority is expected to change its structure when Public Works jobs are folded into the agency. - Ricardo Kaulessar