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A Sign of things to Come : Paterson May Not Meet Payroll

Paterson Falls

Paterson looks to hold emergency meeting to make Friday’s payroll

NOVEMBER 30, 2015, 10:16 AM    LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2015, 10:16 AM

PATERSON – Officials were scrambling Monday morning to schedule an emergency City Council meeting later in the day in an effort to issue Friday’s paychecks to Paterson’s 1,800 municipal workers.

The mayor has said the council must approve temporary budgets for December and January on November 30 in order for the employees’ next checks to be issued on time.

The employee checks were placed in jeopardy last week when the council objected to the administration’s lack of spending cuts and voted 4-4-1 to reject its proposed temporary budget.

The state on November 25 sent the city council a letter criticizing its action. “The City Council’s failure to act on a temporary budget jeopardizes the fiscal well-being of the City,” wrote Timothy Cunnnigham, director of the New Jersey Division of Local Government Services.

Cunningham said the council should “work with the administration to identify specific budget cuts” and approve the temporary budget in the meantime so that Paterson could meet its financial obligation to employees, vendors and bondholders.

It’s not clear whether the council would budge at an emergency meeting. Under laws government fiscal decisions, the administration needs six votes to get the temporary budget passed. That means at least two council members among the five who abstained or voted against it would have to change their minds.