Tag Archives: Open Public Records Act

Operating in the Dark: Sewerage Commissioner resigns in New Jersey

The Executive Director of the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission (PVSC) in New Jersey is resigning his $313,000 a year position. Bryan Christiansen, former four-term mayor of Edgewater, has held the post since 2004. His salary, according to Governor Christie, is inflated at the expense of disadvantaged ratepayers. Though the entity is quasi-public with an annual budget of $164 million, the PVSC with a decades long reputation as a patronage machine for both parties, answers to no one. Former Governor James McGreevey had to file Open Public Records Act requests to get basic information on the agency.

Mr. Christiansen is not only a case study in the opacity of special authorities, but in New Jersey’s politically-manipulated public pension system. He is entitled to $140,o00 a year upon retirement, the result of a special deal between the PVSC and the state, on top of that he may exit his position with a $600,000 lump sum payment.

The resignation comes after Mr. Christie announced he plans to dig into PVSC’s payroll and outside consultant contracts. A total of 86 of the authority’s 600 employees earn over six-figure annual salaries.