Gov. Christie calls Camden Mayor “strong, bold”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is weighing in on recent massive layoffs in the city of Camden.  Camden Mayor Dana Reddsaid she had to go through with the cuts, including police officers and firefighters, because of declining state funding and the city’s $26.5 million budget gap.  Leading up to the layoffs, Mayor Dana Redd said concessions from the police and fire unions could scale back the job cuts.  That didn’t happen and Governor Christie said recently that Camden officials had little choice but to follow through.”We have to continue to be fiscally responsible,” said Christie.  “I think that what Mayor Redd did was a very strong, bold leadership decision that she made to layoff 45% of that police force because they refused to be part of that shared sacrifice.  They want to continue to be paid at levels that don’t reflect what our economy’s going through right now.”Just after the layoffs went into effect, the Camden police union nearly unanimously rejected a potential deal that Mayor Redd said would have saved about 100 police jobs.  When reached, Camden Fraternal Order of Police President John Williamson did not respond.  He has said many members didn’t feel confident the deal would keep jobs in the long run.

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