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Mayor Breaks Tie Voting in Favor of Special Events and Programs Coordinator Position

The four council members present were divided on an ordinance to affix a salary towards a new position of Special Events and Programs Coordinator which will be held by an existing borough employee, likely the borough's Recreation director.

Mayor Rose Heck broke the tie between a divided council Tuesday night voting in favor to affix a salary of $12,500 for a Special Events and Programs Coordinator, a new position which will now become an additional title for an existing employee, likely the borough's Recreation director.

Council members David Gonzalez and Pamela Link voted against the ordinance, as they . Sonya Buckman and Justin DiPisa voted in favor.  Heck had the deciding yes vote. Councilmen John Dingertopadre and Russell Lipari were not in attendance Tuesday night. 

Through discussion with residents who had questions regarding this additional position and its salary, it was learned that this title would fall under the umbrella of Recreation which is currently led by Robert Brady.

Mayor Heck told residents that it was her decision to have the program divided into three parts – recreation director, senior activities director and the new title of special events coordinator. Brady is currently the borough's Director of Recreation and Senior Center Activities Director.

The program has grown over the years with more responsibilities, she said, stating “we are fortunate to have someone qualified and capable of doing this particular job as well as the others and I want to make sure we recognize that fact.”

Although the mayor did not confirm that the position would go to Brady, it was implied through the discussion that it is being considered.  

Without stating his name Heck spoke favorably of the borough’s recreation director and head of senior activities stating he has never once said no to the many additional responsibilities that she knows have been handed to him over the years, citing the annual street fair as one of the examples. She told the audience she considered him “underpaid for the past three years.”

Resident Susan Collins told the mayor and council she felt that the money could be better spent suggesting it go towards or towards upgrading the borough’s website as a way of helping to keep residents more informed.

The mayor called the comparison of the costs that would come from the proposed OPRA and OPMA reform to the proposed salary “apples and oranges.” She said the costs they could incur from the state suggested changes would amount to much more than the $12,500 proposed for this position.

As for upgrading the borough's website, it is something they will need to address with the webmaster, she explained.

Resident Frank Gasparino spoke favorably of Brady, who he has worked with as a recreation sports coach, telling the mayor and council he supported the idea.

Chris Semenecz told the mayor and council “I have no problem with Rob Brady, just call it a pay raise for Rob Brady. That is what the ordinance should be [called].”

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Alana Quartuccio at alana.quartuccio@patch.com, or follow Hasbrouck Heights Patch on Facebook or Twitter. For news straight to your inbox sign up for the daily newsletter.

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