North Bergen ordinance would restructure payment schedule for board members

A number of local municipal boards would only be paid based on attendance

The North Bergen Board of Commissioners meet in person at Town Hall. Photo by Art Schwartz
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The North Bergen Board of Commissioners meet in person at Town Hall. Photo by Art Schwartz

The North Bergen Board of Commissioners has introduced an ordinance that would overhaul how members of certain municipal boards would be paid. The ordinance aims to account for attendance of chairpersons and members at these board meetings, according to Mayor Nicholas Sacco.

“This ordinance will have the impact of board members being paid per meeting they attended,” Sacco said at the Oct. 20 meeting. “They used to be paid whether they attended or not. I think it’s a much better way and it’ll also get our attendance up.”

Township Counsel Tom Kobin said that the payments are about the same, increasing slightly. “It was like 62 and change so we bumped it up to 75,” Kobin said of regular members’ payments. Chairpersons also received a slight pay increase. However, members are only paid if they attend.

“We just had a scenario where a regular planning board meeting, all things on the agenda got carried so they had no meeting,” Kobin said. “So you might have an instance like that where someone doesn’t get paid for that meeting. So we’re bumping it up a little bit.”

Sacco added that this was a good idea as some boards had become almost dormant. The boards affected under the proposed ordinance include: the Senior Citizen and Disabled Persons Condominium and Cooperative Conversion Board, the Traffic Advisory Board, the Rent Leveling Board, and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.

New payment schedule

Under the new ordinance, for the Senior Citizen and Disabled Persons Condominium and Cooperative Conversion Board, the chairperson would make $100 per regular meeting attended. Normal and alternate members would earn $75. For special meetings, all members would make $150.

For the Traffic Advisory Board, the chairperson would make $100 per regular meeting attended. Normal members would earn $75. For special meetings, all members would make the same as regular meetings.

For the Rent Leveling Board, the chairperson would make $100 per regular meeting attended. Normal and alternate members would earn $75. For special meetings, all members would make $150.

For the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, the chairperson would make $100 per regular meeting attended. Normal members would earn $75. For special meetings, all members would make $150.

There will be no additional payment to any person serving in a vice-chairperson or acting chairperson position for any particular meeting. Under the ordinance, the township or a board can request that applicants appearing before a board for a special meeting pay the township for the special meeting attendance fees. The ordinance would take effect Jan. 1, 2022.

A public hearing on the ordinance will be held at the next North Bergen Board of Commissioners meeting on Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. at Town Hall at 4233 Kennedy Boulevard. For more information, go to northbergen.org.

Green committee?

The board also adopted an ordinance that would restructure the Senior Citizen and Disabled Persons Condominium Cooperative Conversion Protection Board. The board typically deals with converting rental units to condominiums or cooperatives or any related issues.

The changes are being made due to an absence of anything brought before the board. Sacco said that back in the 1980s, the board was very active but nowadays, that is not the case.

“Right now there aren’t any conversions taking place,” Sacco said. “In other words, there’s nothing to do.”

As a result, the board will no longer meet each month, only when necessary.

“It’ll still be on the books in case we start to need it again, but it won’t be meeting regularly,” Kobin said.

Since the board is transitioning from regular meetings to meeting only when necessary, the township is looking to repurpose the personnel on the board.

“Those people are going to be put on like a Green Board or a Green Committee,” Kobin said.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.