MANCHESTER – The Township Council approved a new, three-year contract for Police Chief Lisa Parker and a contract for the Public Works employees at a recent meeting.
Mayor Ken Palmer said that contracts with chiefs in other Ocean and Monmouth County towns of similar size were compared when setting the chief’s salary.
“We were significantly under average,” he said.
Palmer also noted that Manchester’s chief has a different set of responsibilities than other towns in that she also supervises the volunteer fire and first aid squads.
Because of the income level of the majority of the town – who are seniors – the township can’t afford to have the department heads be among the highest paid in the area, he said.
The first year of the contract is from Jan. 1, 2018, to Dec. 31, 2018, and the salary is $206,200. The second year sees an increase to $211,200, and the third year, ending on Dec. 31, 2020, is at $216,200. Palmer said her current salary is approximately $185,000.
The contract also details 128 hours of sick time, what happens to the sick time at the end of the year, and how much is able to be paid out upon retirement (max 60 days). There are also 40 hours of personal time and 240 hours of vacation time.
At the meeting where this contract was ratified, Palmer said that the police department is organized and professional, and that the contract is well deserved.
Parker thanked the governing body and credited her officers for their hard work as well.
A new contract for Public Works employees was also agreed upon. The contract details a step guide with increases in salary along the way.
“They were historically significantly underpaid,” Palmer said. “We would train somebody, and they’d leave (to work at another town.) The work product suffered because of a lack of continuity.”