The change will save Jersey City taxpayers about $3.5 million annually, according to Business Administrator Jack Kelly.
The council approved the measure by a vote of five to four over the objections of representatives from the fire and police union. An impassioned Joe Krajnik, president of Local 1066 of the Uniformed Fire Fighters
Association - who spoke for nearly 30 minutes in opposition to the ordinance and Jerry DeCicco, president of the Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association, argued that the measure violates prior labor agreements made with union groups.
Council members Michael Sottolano (Ward A), David Donnelly (Ward B), William Gaughan (Ward D), Ray Velazquez (At-Large), and Council President Peter Brennan voted in favor of adoption. Council members Steven Fulop (Ward E), Nidia Lopez (Ward C), Viola Richardson (Ward F), and Kalimah Ahmad (at-Large) voted against the measure. A motion by Councilwoman Richardson to table the ordinance was also rejected by the council majority.
DeCicco and Krajnik have vowed to combine the financial resources of their unions, in addition to those of other collective bargaining groups with agreements with the city, to fight the ordinance in court. - E. Assata Wright