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Gloucester City News Headlines for March 11

Gloucester City Council Freezes Salaries, No New Employees to be Hired

By Sara Martino

NEWS Correspondent

Due to a tight budget and a troubled economy, Gloucester City Councilman Nicholas Marchese said a letter was sent to department heads stating that there will be a freeze on salaries and hiring.

“Salaries will be frozen, and any salary increases will have to be denied during this time of trying to keep taxes down and still provide city services,” he said during last week’s City Council meeting.

“Any new hires or title changes will not take place at this time,” he said.

Also, any department purchase more than $500 must be approved by the purchasing office.

Mayor William James said these actions are necessary to keep within the state’s budget cap guidelines.

Another step to cut down spending included the addition of an RCA inspector for the City who is employed in-house, and who will receive a subsidy of $300 instead of hiring a new paid employee.

The code enforcement trainee moved into the inspector title.

Also, Gloucester City Council approved an ordinance to exceed municipal budget appropriation limits.

On a positive note, and surrounded by his family, Kenneth Eller took the oath of office as Deputy Police Chief from Mayor James and was congratulated by members of Council.

Administrator Jack Lipsett said the City received notice from the Joint Insurance Fund (JIF) that the City Safety Committee has helped to reduce accidents by 15 percent.

On another matter, resident Theresa Graham was informed by Mayor James that the engineers did have a look at the red light situation located in front of TD Bank on Broadway.

She had expressed her fears of accidents that may occur due to the placement of the red light.

“The Planning Board engineer suggested that TD Bank is responsible for any corrections to the situation,” James said.

As for plowing snow from the streets, Councilman John Hutchinson said, “It costs a lot of money, but the roads had to be cleared regardless of cost.”

He and Councilman Jay Brophy said the City employees did a great job of clearing the roads.

The mayor and all other members agreed.

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