Partial shutdown in Paterson, NJ, amid budget showdown

AP News
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Posted: Mar 01, 2016 7:15 AM

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) — Nonessential city workers in New Jersey's third-largest city have been told to stay home amid a budget showdown between the mayor and city council.

Tuesday's shutdown affects school crossing guards, street-cleaning, after-school recreation programs and senior citizen services in Paterson. About 453 police officers, firefighters, municipal court and sanitation employees are working.

Mayor Joey Torres says the city will save $225,000 in pay by shutting down for the day.

A special meeting to discuss the mayor's proposed budget is scheduled Tuesday night. The shutdown could continue Wednesday if progress is not made.

A rejected budget included a tax increase of 6.1 percent, and opponents urged officials to cut overtime and to lay off employees to cut costs.