Five senior members of Sea Isle City Mayor Leonard Desiderio’s administration are getting new multiyear employment contracts that include annual pay raises mostly in the 2 percent range.
City Council voted 4-0 Tuesday to authorize Desiderio to execute the contacts between the city and the five department heads. Councilman Frank Edwardi was absent from the meeting.
Police Chief Tom D’Intino, a 27-year veteran of the department, is getting a new contract that runs through 2019. He will receive a 2 percent annual pay raise in 2016, 2017 and 2018. His pay raise for 2019 still must be negotiated.
D’Intino, who was named police chief in 2008, currently earns $162,634. His salary includes $155,634 as chief and $7,000 as head of the city’s Office of Emergency Management, according to city figures.
A new contract for Business Administrator George Savastano runs through 2018. Savastano’s pact includes different pay raises than those granted to the other senior officials in the mayor’s management team.
Savastano did not get a pay raise in 2015, the first year of his contract. His pay will increase by 0.9 percent in 2016, 1.8 percent in 2017, and 2 percent in 2018. Savastano, who also holds the titles of community development director and director of the Public Works Department, currently makes $152,475.
Other department heads receiving new contracts include Tax Collector Paula Doll, City Clerk Cindy Griffith and Public Information Officer Katherine Custer. Their agreements run from 2015 to 2018 and include annual pay raises of 2 percent.
Doll, who also serves as the city’s chief financial officer, earned $139,021 through the end of 2014. Griffith’s salary was $109,715 through 2014. Custer, who also holds the title of director of community services, earned $90,000 through 2014, according to figures released by Savastano.
The contracts for the five department heads follow the recent settlement of the last in a series of labor agreements for the city’s municipal workers.
On Tuesday, Council voted 4-0 to introduce an ordinance setting the salaries, wages and overtime pay for city officers and other employees. A public hearing and final vote on the ordinance are scheduled for Sept. 13.
In other business, city officials were presented with a statuette of a Vietnam War hero from Philadelphia who spent his summer vacations in Sea Isle and has a local street named in his honor.
The 45-pound “modello” of Cpl. Michael Crescenz will be kept temporarily in the mayor’s office. Arrangements are being made to display it in a prominent location in the entrance to City Hall, Desiderio said.
Crescenz was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery during a 1968 battle in Vietnam. He charged up a mountain to knock out three enemy machine gun bunkers, but was killed while attacking a fourth.
Sea Isle honored Crescenz by naming a portion of 46th Street in his memory during a Veterans Day ceremony in 2014. It was at the 46th Street beach that Crescenz and members of his family spent much of their summer vacations in Sea Isle.
“He had a very great childhood and had a very great history, he and his family, in Sea Isle City,” Desiderio said.
Presenting the statuette to city officials was Bill Crean, treasurer of the Cpl. Michael Crescenz Medal of Honor Committee. The committee raised money for a lifelike bronze statue of Crescenz that was unveiled in April at the Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Penn’s Landing.
Crean credited Sea Isle for playing a major role in fund-raising efforts for the statue. He also praised the city for undertaking other initiatives on behalf of veterans.
“I just want to thank Sea Isle for being such a vet-friendly town,” Crean told City Council.
Desiderio noted that Sea Isle was the first town at the Jersey Shore to give free beach tags to veterans in recognition of their service.
Joe Griffies, a 69-year-old Vietnam veteran who knew Crescenz, called Crescenz “the bravest person to ever live in Sea Isle City.”
“Michael had three things on his mind: God, country and saving his veterans,” Griffies, of Rio Grande, said in an interview.
Griffies said the sacrifices made by Crescenz and other members of the military should inspire government officials to give veterans better healthcare and other services.
“We’re not doing a very good job,” said Griffies, an advocate for veterans.