Partial shutdown in Paterson because of budget showdown

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PATERSON, N.J. –– Paterson's been known for its crime, corruption and now, dysfunction. After a bitter battle over the budget and raising taxes, about 70 percent of the city staff, has been told to stay home Tuesday.

Out of the city's 1,600 workers, nearly 1,200 will not be paid today, in order to save about $225,000. Non-essential employees are being furloughed since Mayor Jose Torres doesn't have the money to pay them.

He and the city council had until midnight Tuesday to come a budget agreement for the 2016 fiscal year but scheduling conflicts kept them from meeting last night.

This comes after Torres proposed a $275,000 budget and a 6-percent property tax hike that city council voted down.

On Tuesday, there will be no school crossing guards, no after school programs, no senior services, no garbage pickup and no street cleaning.

Meantime, about 450 essential workers, like police officers and fire fighters will be reported for duty as normal.

"We pay taxes, the government should have enough money to give out jobs not take away jobs from people so in my this is just a shame," a Paterson resident said.

In a statement on his Facebook page last night, Mayor Torres put out the following statement:

"The Administration regrets this disruption and continues to work around the clock to remedy this situation. The livelihood of our employees is at hand. Our City, our residents deserve the municipal services that they are entitled and accustomed to.”

Tonight, there will be an emergency budget meeting but if both sides still don't agree, the city shutdown will continue another day.