New Jersey: Slide-Rule Caesar

As he made the rounds of Jersey City's sprawling Medical Center last week, Mayor Thomas J. Whelan cheerily shook hands with employees and urged them to give him a call "if there's anything I can do for you." That was a pretty tall offer, considering that 1,172 of them—two-thirds of the hospital's entire staff—were to be fired by Mayor Whelan this week.

Since economy-minded Tom Whelan, 43, took over Democratic Boss Frank Hague's old fiefdom in 1963, he has discharged a total of 1,777 municipal employees for a saving of $10.5 million, more...