CARTERET – Last week, Mayor Daniel Reiman touted his accomplishments and announced plans to reduce the government workforce in his fifth state of the borough address.
The Carteret mayor announced a boroughwide hiring freeze and an incentive plan to encourage early retirements to cut salary costs. Currently, 224 people are employed by the borough, down from 238 four years ago.
“We have steadily reduced on an annual basis the number of personnel in all departments, excluding emergency services.” Reiman said. “But we will be forced this year to make additional cuts where appropriate.”
Reiman also spoke of negotiating changes in the pension and health insurance benefits offered to borough employees. “…[T]he run away costs of health care and pensions have reached a breaking point,” said the mayor. “Our taxpayers, our retirees, our empty nesters, and our young and working families can no longer afford to bear the complete cost of this archaic and outdated system.”
The mayor also challenged Carteret’s school board to reduce the budget by $500,000 to ease the burden on property taxpayers. “The challenge ahead is to do more with less, and to reduce the board’s reliance on local taxation,” he said.
Reiman remains optimistic about the future of Carteret. “While our nation and, in fact, our region faces economically troubled time, and a real estate crisis, here in town we have kept ahead of the curve,” he said.
The mayor spoke of new businesses coming to the borough, from Verizon to Arizona Tea, which will add more than 300 jobs. He also spoke of the continued push to redevelop large portions of the town, announcing a new $10 million health center and an expanded children’s library.
“As our commercial base and industrial base continue to develop and as our residential community continues to expand, as we continue to grow toward prosperity and as we continue to become a vibrant hub of economic activity, Carteret is indeed becoming ‘The Center Of It All,’ and with your help – with your continued support, the renaissance that we are experiencing will continue to keep Carteret into a great place to live, to work, and to raise a family,” Reiman concluded.