NEWARK – Central Ward Councilman and Newark mayoral candidate Darrin Sharif called on the city administration to freeze most municipal hiring, citing budget uncertainties.
“For weeks, I and members of the municipal council have been asking to meet with the mayor and members of the administration regarding the preparation of the 2014 budget,” Sharif said in a prepared statement on Friday. “As rumors swirl about the size of an anticipated budget shortfall, I have been bombarded by my constituents who have deep concerns about the impact a budget deficit would have on their daily lives. One of my most important statutory responsibilities as an elected official is to adopt the city’s budget. I know that revenues that were available to balance the 2013 budget will not be available for the 2014 budget.
“Rather than having to guess what the likely budget deficit might be the municipal council, mayor, and his budget team should be drilling down into the budget to get a clear idea of what the financial picture is likely to be,” Sharif added. “And if there is a probability that the city will need transitional aid to balance the budget, we should freeze all hiring (with the exception of police) until the budget is introduced.”