Even George seems curious.
Americans are always curious about how much money other people make.
Companies go to great lengths to keep the differentials in pay from being too well known (though there are websites where folks share the information).
Public service though, is another ball of wax as they say. Salaries of public employees -- municipal, county, state, or school district -- are public information.
In addition, public officials (including volunteer appointees to local boards and commissions) must fill out an annual financial disclosure form.
So, when the Asbury Park Press did its recent story on 43 New Jersey mayors whose income is over $100,000/year (see here), folks eagerly checked out the list (just like I used to have real estate customers who would look in the seller's closets and then talk about what they saw after we got in the car).
And of course, Plainfield Mayor Adrian O. Mapp is on the list.
The problem though, as several readers pointed out to me is that the story fails to take into account his third public source of income -- the NJ Local Finance Board, which pays him $12,000 a year as noted in a TAPinto story by Bernice Paglia from March 2018 (see here).
Mapp was a "lame duck" appointment by former Gov. Chris Christie on his way out the door.
With that third "job" in mind, Mayor Mapp's total income from public service is $202,020, making him the #2 top-income mayor -- behind only North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco, who tops out at $269,428.
This puts him well ahead of such other mayors of note as --
- Steve Fulop of Jersey City (#37 - $114,000)
- Ravi Bhalla of Hoboken (#33 - $117,000)
- Ras Baraka of Newark (#23 - $130,722)
- Jim Cahill of New Brunswick (#16 - $139,736)
- Ted Green of East Orange (#15 - $141,552)
- Reed Gusciora of Trenton (#13 - $146,061)
- Chris Bollwege of Elizabeth (#7 - $169, 262)
- Jimmy Davis of Bayonne (#4 - $191,880)
It must be noted that the actual mayoral remuneration of most of the mayors on the total list is much smaller than Plainfield's ($75,000).
The other thing to keep in mind is that Mayor Mapp -- like many other of these mayors -- has legitimate professional employment in government (a few are retired teachers or public servants drawing pensions). He makes the bulk of his income as Finance Director for the City of Orange, an essential government position.
Those that want to think these incomes from public jobs are somehow undeserved need to go sit in the corner. It may be arguable what is acceptable pay for part-time mayors -- which most of them are -- but that is another matter.
Much more questionable is legislative hanky-panky with public employee pensions -- as with a law tailored just for former Camden Mayor Dana Redd which boosted her pension significantly.
The one thing you can say is that if government pay ever was measly (and it was at one time), that word no longer is a fit description.
-- Dan Damon [ follow ]
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