RUTHERFORD —The Borough Council has given its mayor a whopping 1,750 percent raise by making the position full time.

The mayor in this Bergen County town of 18,000 people has been a part-time position with a salary of $4,000.

But Mayor Joe DeSalvo, who has taken on the responsibilities of the vacant full-time office of borough administrator, would become a fulltime employee with a salary of $74,000 if the ordinance is adopted May 23.

For comparison, the mayor of Woodbridge — a township with more than five times the population of Rutherford and a municipal budget that's nearly five times larger than Rutherford's $29.8 million spending plan — earns a salary of $86,000 a year.

The proposal has raised howls of protest from some residents, although borough officials said the move would end up saving money in the long-run.

The mayor would absorb all the responsibilities of the borough administrator's office. Those responsibilities include attending meetings, manage day-to-day operations at Borough Hall, direct responsibility for policy formulation on overall problems, review the borough's insurance program, supervise and maintain property owned by the Borough and act as liaison between the mayor's office and the council according to job posting for the position.

DeSalvo would essentially be the mayor of the borough of 18,000 on seven-day-a-week basis and would not receive extra compensation for weekends or overtime hours worked.

During the meeting, Council President Frank Nunziato said the move is a temporary one as the borough has had trouble filling the position according to the Bergen Record.  He told the meeting  DeSalvo's double duty has saved the Borough $334,000 in salary and $100,000 in benefits, according to the newspaper.

The newspaper reported that resident Dawn Avagliano questioned the length of time time the position has been vacant "questionable"  and the situation a "conflict of interest."

Rahway's mayor Samson Steinman in 2013 boosted the job to a full-time position in 2015 from $21,000 to $72,000. As a city councilman, he voted to cut the mayor's salary during his campaign.

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