4 Former School Administrators Receive $100K Yearly Pensions

Superintendents and principals from Washington Twp., West Morris Regional on Watchdog list of '$100K Club.'

Four former administrators in the Washington Township and West Morris Regional school districts are currently collecting pensions of more than $100,000 annually, according to a New Jersey Watchdog report released this week.

While the report focused on the “$100K Club” and its 75-percent increase in members over the past three years, the list broke down each New Jersey municipality’s former employees and the pensions they are collecting.

As of Dec. 31, 2013, there were 1,731 retired public employees collecting more than $100,000 annually the report said. That number increased by 739 from 2010. There are more than 275,000 retired public workers in the state, the report said.

Among them locally was Gerald Vernotica, former superintendent of Washington Township schools. The retired schools chief receives $100,796 annually in his pension payments.

The other three were all from the regional school district, the report said. At the top of the list is former superintendent Anthony diBattista, who retired in Feb. 2012. He is receiving an annual payment of $117,695. diBattista began his career in the regional school district as a history teacher at West Morris Mendham and eventually became the schools’ top administrator for more than seven years. He currently teaches at Rutgers University.

Next on the list is former West Morris Central Principal Gil Moscatello, who is receiving an annual pension payment of $109,570. Like diBattista, Moscatello began his career in the district as a classroom teacher and served as an administrator for nearly two decades.

Last on the list from the regional district is Dr. Alyce Hunter, who last served as an assistant principal at Mendham High School before retiring in 2013. Prior to that, Hunter was the district’s director of curriculum. Her annual pension payout is $101,799.

The list showed no employees retired from the municipality of Washington Township currently receiving pensions of more than $100,000 annually. 

Topping the list in New Jersey are former Jersey City schools superintendent Charles Epps and Essex County College President A.Z. Yamba. Both are receiving annual pensions of $195,000, the report said. As a municipality, Paterson led the state with 34 retirees hauling in six-figure annual pensions. 

Guy Patterson February 27, 2014 at 09:39 AM
No one said you have to be happy. Not sure if that's possible.
wt-taxpayer February 27, 2014 at 11:31 AM
I really wonder if there is a solution to this State-wide problem. We have the highest property taxes in the nation due to the demands of the NJEA and how it is administered. My work is here; my family and friends are here and I love the beauty of this bucolic part of the state. Is the ONLY answer to this dilemma to move if one can't afford this burdensome system? Frankly, there is no place in the state where similar properties in other states are not lower. Will only public employees be able to retire in this state? Surely, there must be a way to correct this obvious imbalance in the way taxes are allocated… if anyone has any insight, I'd love to hear it. The personal attacks are irrelevant, childish and irritating.
Guy Patterson February 27, 2014 at 11:56 AM
"We have the highest property taxes in the nation due to the demands of the NJEA and how it is administered." Whining and scapegoating like this is irrelevant, childish and irritating. The fact is NJ has the highest property taxes in the nation because it insists on a school governance structure linked to 565 municipalities with a preference towards local rule, which results in 603 school districts. The NJEA didn't establish these districts. If you want change, start by dropping the scapegoating and elect leaders who will consolidate districts and eliminate millions in duplicative costs.
Roll Back Our Tax March 01, 2014 at 09:42 AM
First of all money never buys you better schools. If you gave the school districts more $ "it's NOT for the children" it goes to salaries, health benefits and pensions. Secondly, I always hear the comment "if you don't like the taxes then move". Well I did move my business and now NJ has one less business and one less taxpayer. Thirdly, I always like this phrase from the public worker..."well we're taxpayers too". OMG...it's like a ponzi scheme...."I put my own money in now you should too". NJ is heading towards bankruptcy with these entitlement programs. If you want to continue to blame it on Whitman and all the others after her then go collect your money from them. So if the rich don't want to pay their fair share and the poor can't pay, don't take it out on the shrinking middle class because we too are trying to save for retirement because most of us have NO pension and most likely have a battered 401K account. Here's a suggestion. Next union contract negotiation in your town suggest them "eliminating the pension", what you put in you get out and go to a 401K account. Then you'll feel our pain and why I didn't want to pay anymore taxes in NJ.
Guy Patterson March 01, 2014 at 09:45 AM
The notion the state is going bankrupt is a false one as it has the legal power of taxation and thus will always have the means by which to fund its costs. None of this whining addresses the root cause, which again is home rule and the resulting duplicative cost structures.
Jennifer Simon March 01, 2014 at 10:31 AM
I agree with you Guy. New Jersey is never going to thrive until it gets rid of home rule and all of its many, many, duplicative governmental and education layers. Just look at other areas of the country with excellent school systems, government and educational systems that are not top heavy, and low taxes!
Roll Back Our Tax March 01, 2014 at 10:48 AM
Guy...no bankruptcy? Detroit said same thing. Now those pensioners had wished the took 1/4 of the pie instead of none.
Guy Patterson March 01, 2014 at 10:54 AM
Last time I checked, Detroit is a city with a collective wealth of its citizens far less than that of NJ's collective wealth. In other words your anology has no merit. Even within WT, the average annual HH income exceeds $100K. The same cannot be said for Motown.
Roll Back Our Tax March 01, 2014 at 12:53 PM
Guy...here's the funny thing. You're a police officer in Cranford making well over $100K per year. You criticize the NJEA and it's "education layers" when the police department has just as many titles as they do employees. Yet you find time during your 8 hour work day to comment on Patch. Now your town may have made the top 50 safest cities in NJ and you say "you're worth it" but was that report done by per capita or number of crimes reported?
Roll Back Our Tax March 01, 2014 at 03:37 PM
And according to a 2010 article on NJ.com entitled, "NJ Police Salaries Rank Highest in Nation With Median Pay of $90,672" ... http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/09/nj_police_salaries_rank_highes.html .... "the average municipal cop in NJ is paid 80% more than the average citizen". If you don't have enough people making enough money to support the system, NJ you are heading for bankruptcy.
Guy Patterson March 01, 2014 at 04:17 PM
Municipal cops (whose salaries are paid with municipal property taxes) are in no way a threat to NJ solvency. You are the king of "apples and oranges" comparisons. Stick to the drivel of your monthly OT rants.
Reality Chuck March 01, 2014 at 05:25 PM
And single bucket of water doesn't sink a ship....This is the typical argument that trys to minimize impact of a system that is either corrupt or extreme. I always find it interesting that when push comes to shove, each union (teacher or police) will throw the other under the pension reform bus cheering that its either "for the children and the future" or "public safety"....As we go broke, I can't listen to these hysterics any longer......
Not Jeff March 02, 2014 at 06:59 AM
Guy Guy Guy Detroit was very wealthy once. It makes no difference where the money comes from the only people that pay the pensions are the taxpayers. People do base decisions on taxes. http://www.nj.com/business/index.ssf/2010/02/nj_loses_70b_in_wealth_over_fo.html
Roll Back Our Tax March 02, 2014 at 07:55 AM
SandyP....good article link above. Precisely the reason why we left the state. "Findings from the Boston College report show that about 302,780 households left New Jersey between 2004 and 2008, only slightly lower than the 323,350 households that moved into the state. However, the average net worth of the departing households was about 70 percent higher, at $618,330. Those who left were also more likely to be older and more educated, with jobs as entrepreneurs or in the finance and professional industries, the study found. Those replacing them tended to hold management or support jobs in the manufacturing industry. The study analyzed data from three main sources: The Federal Reserve’s Survey on Consumer Finances, the Census Bureau and the Internal Revenue Service". What I'd like to see are the figures of the wealth leaving the state between 2009 and 2013. I bet it's more than $70B. The public worker and their unions will never get it because they think it's a never ending supply of money. The funny thing is their brother and sisters long retired from the public sector are moving South as well. LOL!
Not Jeff March 02, 2014 at 08:03 AM
Maybe worse than we all thought ? http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/14/02/28/analysis-christie-sweeney-and-the-limits-of-pension-reform/
Roll Back Our Tax March 02, 2014 at 08:44 AM
SandyP...NJ has been in a state of decline since 2004. From your article link above "combined with rising debt and retiree health benefit costs -- was preventing the state from increasing spending on education, colleges, transportation, healthcare, and other vital needs"..... The unions are so full of themselves that "The Democratic-controlled Senate and Assembly would certainly challenge any attempt by Christie to modify pensions by executive order, as would the unions. In fact, unions are awaiting a decision by an appeals panel on their lawsuit challenging the Christie-Sweeney bill’s elimination of cost-of-living adjustments to retirees". When we made the decision to leave the state I and 2 others last year (that I know of) left the state as well. One was a businessman that closed his hardware business and showroom and moved to Texas. He kept his e-commerce business because that was very mobile. He too kept on hearing from his municipality when he complained about his high taxes in the Princeton area "if you don't like it here then move". LOL!.... same thing Guy Patterson keeps telling others. Here's another link... http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2013/02/07/the-states-people-are-fleeing-in-2013 .... "Moving company United Van Lines released its 36th annual study of customer migration patterns, analyzing a total of 125,000 moves across the 48 continental states in 2012. The study provides an up-to-date, representative snapshot of overarching moving patterns in the U.S., and reveals a mass exodus from the Northeast. At No. 1, New Jersey has the highest ratio of people moving out compared to those moving in. Of the 6,300 total moves tracked in the state last year, 62% were outbound"....the public worker just doesn't get it. They're living in the past talking about how Governor Whitman ripped them off. The fact of the matter is ... “New Jersey has been suffering from deindustrialization for some time now, as manufacturing moved from the Northeast to the South and West,” says economist Michael Stoll, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles. It all boils down to choices like I said above. The choices are "how much of that pie are you willing to give up to keep NJ solvent"? Yes Guy you have already given up some. But you'll have to give up more to keep people from leaving the state. From the "king of apples and oranges".
Guy Patterson March 02, 2014 at 09:00 AM
You two should get a room.
Roll Back Our Tax March 02, 2014 at 09:07 AM
SandyP.. "Last year, Moody's Investors Services announced it would begin adjusting officially reported unfunded public pension liabilities before considering their impact on state and local bond ratings. Moody's made this decision in an effort "to bring greater transparency and consistency to the analysis of pension liabilities.".... http://www.statebudgetsolutions.org/publications/detail/moodys-report-shows-states-failure-to-recognize-scope-of-broken-promises? .... "Moody's new approach adds to the chorus of voices claiming that unfunded pension liabilities are a much larger problem than state governments currently recognize. These new figures and their potential impact on the bond market, along with coming (if flawed) changes in the way that state and local governments must report their unfunded pension liabilities, meaning that legislators will be forced to finally confront the true cost of the promises they have made yet failed to keep. What will most certainly be a drastic wake up call for officials will demand similarly drastic solutions". If you have ever bought municipal bonds for a state or local municipality, the interest you get on those bonds are tax free. That's one of the benefits. The drawback is they generally pay low interest rates because they were once considered a "safe investment". With this new change by Moody's where do you think NJ's interest on that debt is going to go? No where but up. Who are they going to pass those debt costs onto? The taxpayer of course. Moody’s has already downgraded New Jersey’s debt outlook to negative in December 2013 based partly on “the ongoing pressure of statutorily scheduled pension contribution increases.” If I was a betting man I'd short NJ and push for bankruptcy.
Roll Back Our Tax March 02, 2014 at 11:23 AM
Hey Guy....quite typical of someone in law enforcement saying something like that when you have nothing else to say. You like other public workers in the state of NJ will be paying each other to keep the system afloat when all the private workers who still have the money have left the state and all you'll have left is a contract.
Not Jeff March 02, 2014 at 11:39 AM
Hey Guy you say "The notion the state is going bankrupt is a false one as it has the legal power of taxation and thus will always have the means by which to fund its costs. " Detroit had the power to tax. Even had the highest city tax in country. Guess that did not work.
Roll Back Our Tax March 03, 2014 at 02:21 PM
Here's a listing of teachers throughout all of NJ K-8th salaries in descending order and I see plenty making over $110 K per year and if I'm not mistaken one making $827 K with 12 years service... http://php.app.com/edstaff/results2.php?county=%25&district=%25&school=%25&lname=&fname=&job1=Elementary+Kindergraten-8+Grade&tfm_order=DESC&tfm_orderby=SALARY
Guy Patterson March 03, 2014 at 04:27 PM
The database says a teacher with 12 years experience makes $827K, you believe it? And by the way...I'm not "law enforcement".
Roll Back Our Tax March 03, 2014 at 04:56 PM
Only one person named Guy Patterson in state of NJ and he lives in Cranford NJ. If you put your name into the Data Universe link above you'll see your salary unless you're trying to impersonate a police officer. In that case it would be crime. Right? Yes I believe the site because NJ is out of control.
Guy Patterson March 03, 2014 at 05:00 PM
LOL! Try this "Guy Patterson". http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0012642/
Roll Back Our Tax March 03, 2014 at 05:06 PM
Guy...I guess what really should concern the taxpayers in Cranford is how you find the time day and night to respond on this site if you're suppose to be out doing your job. Can you explain? Because if I was a taxpayer from Cranford on this site and I saw the posts you're making I'm would really be offended.
Guy Patterson March 03, 2014 at 05:22 PM
You really aren't too bright, are you? I'm not from Cranford. The name I use for posting comes from a character in a movie (http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0012642/).
Roll Back Our Tax March 03, 2014 at 06:15 PM
On the contrary. I am pretty bright. I'll let the police department in Cranford know that someone on Patch is using his name. I'll be sure to use a pay phone when I make the call to Eric Mason.
Guy Patterson March 03, 2014 at 06:17 PM
Knock yourself out!
Roll Back Our Tax March 03, 2014 at 06:20 PM
I copied and pasted all this and I will send it in the mail instead.
Guy Patterson March 03, 2014 at 06:21 PM
I'm sure they will jump right on it!


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