Tiny town, big bennies at Jersey Shore

A minuscule Monmouth County municipality's proposed mega-severance package for one employee is raising questions.

The lovely little village of Loch Arbour would offer municipal clerk Lorraine Carafa nearly $700,000 worth of compensation under a measure approved late last year, PolitickerNJ reports. The proposed package would include a payout of $66,000 (!) for unused sick and vacation time.

Mayor Paul V. Fernicola declined comment when I reached out to him this morning; I also left a message for Carafa. The package is set for discussion at a village meeting tonight.

"Every time we read about another insanely inflated golden parachute, it is a reminder why we need to reform sick pay,” state Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, R-Monmouth, said in a statement.

According to Politicker, the severance package proposal would become effective if Loch Arbour -- which is experiencing a budget crunch -- decides to merge with an adjacent municipality. The only incorporated village in the state, Loch Arbour has fewer than 200 residents within its 0.141 square miles.

This is not the first time the cost of government in Loch Arbour has made headlines, Save Jersey reports; in 2009, enraged taxpayers posted videos on YouTube in the face of proposed tax hikes even more stupendous than the proposed severance.

And in late July, the village beach was temporarily closed after numerous stingrays were seen in shallow water.