BERKELEY – Ratepayers, can you spare a dime? Politically appointed Berkeley MUA and Sewerage Authority commissioners are about to see their compensation doubled.
Like other municipalities, Berkeley’s commisioners are appointed by the township council and oversee the operation of Berkeley’s water and sewer infrastructure as two independent authorities.
The council recently gave their preliminary blessing at their March meeting to new levels of compensation, which will be given a final public hearing at the April 18th, 2016 meeting before taking effect.
According to the Berkeley Township Municipal Code, MUA and Sewerage Authority commissioners currently receive $2500 per year, in addition to being reimbursed for expenses incurred in the course of their duties. This ordinance will raise that sum to $5000.
MUA Commissioners Can Also Receive Ratepayer-funded Health Benefits
The most recent MUA budget also shows that commissioners have the option of taking health benefits from the authority. The budget showed that one commissioner was receiving benefits for themselves and a spouse at a cost of $23,795.
As far as patronage kickbacks go, MUA appointments are a favorite among Ocean County’s power brokers. It’s a pretty sweet gig, a few thousand bucks a year for showing up once a month to vote “yes” on every agenda item. Nice work if you can get it.
The BMUA most recently made news in 2015 after Commissioner Patrick Pizzi caused outrage with a Facebook post. In the post, Mr. Pizzi asserted that all Mexicans trick-or-treating at his home must show a green card in order to receive candy.
Mr. Pizzi resigned following outrage over his comments, losing his stipend and benefits. Despite that, Berkeley Township’s website has Mr. Pizzi listed as still being employed as a code enforcement inspector.
Here’s The Appointees Getting The Raise
According to the MUA’s website, the following individuals are commissioners:
- Michael W. Hale
- Karen Davis
- Lloyd G. Mullikin
- Edward Cammarato
- Kevin Askew (alternate)
According to the Sewerage Authority’s website, its commissioners are as follows:
- Anthony DePaola (Berkeley Councilman)
- Nathan Abbe
- Robert Martino
- Wendy Colombo
- Steven Pellecchia
- Joseph Bruscino
Do Berkeley MUA & Sewerage Authority Commissioners Deserve A Raise?
- No (89%, 105 Votes)
- Yes (11%, 13 Votes)
Total Voters: 118