Thursday, January 3, 2013

Professional Appointments Highlight of Reorganization Meeting; New Township Engineer Appointed

Vincent J. Polistina

Galloway Township held their reorganization meeting Wednesday night which clearly showed a new majority of council emerging. Every year Professional appointments become the forefront of every reorganization meeting, more so than the election of a Mayor or Deputy Mayor. Councilman Tony Coppola was re-appointed as the Deputy Mayor despite speculation that another member of council was vying for the seat.

As members of council may not always agree on every professional appointment, this year was a clear example that decisions were still being made during the actual vote. For everyone who believes in Deja vu, tonight was a night to witness it. Council voted in the same format as the 2010 Reorganization Meeting of the Planning Board that removed Kevin Dixon from Dixon Associates as Planning Board Engineer and replaced him with Vince Polistina of Polistina & Associates. A vote on the Planning Board which left Mayor Don Purdy voting for Polistina and former councilman Dennis Kleiner voting for Dixon.

Now two years later, Republican Councilman Thomas Bassford who voted with Democrat Councilman Jim Gorman and Jim McElwee, still couldn't save Dixon's position as Township Engineer. In a vote of 4-3, Vince Polistina from Polistina & Associates replaced Kevin Dixon who held the position since 2004. A deciding vote which came down to Mayor Don Purdy voting once again for Polistina. Dixon was not chosen as Alternate Township Engineer as he did not submit a proposal seeking that position. 

Polistina's firms has held various positions in the Township over the past decade more so than Dixon's which included Planning Board Planner, Zoning Board Planner, Planning Board Engineer, Alternate Township Engineer and now Township Engineer. Craig Hurless who is a Galloway resident and an Associate has represented the firm in conjunction with Polistina at all levels within the Township.

Polistina wasn't the only one with a tie-breaker vote by the Mayor. Labor Counsel also came to 4-3 vote, giving the contract to Blaney & Donohue. Michael Donohue who is partner in the lawfirm, is the the Republican Chairman for Cape May County. William Blaney was already appointed by Council in 2010 as required by JIF to train employees. Training which included Managerial Supervision and Discipline Procedures and Harassment.

Michael Fitzgerald remains as the Township's Solicitor even though Democrat councilman Gorman and McElwee voted for Randy Lafferty. Andrew Previti from Maser Consulting was appointed as the Alternate Township Engineer. 

Township Council also voted on the Mayor's selections to Boards and Committees. As most of the appointments remained the same, a new addition to the Planning Board acting as the Township's Class II position which is held by an employee, is the Chief of Police Patrick Moran. That position was previously held by Construction Technical Assistant Beth McCann, former Manager Stephen Bonanni and former Clerk Lisa Tilton.

In the end, Deputy Mayor Tony Coppola read a committee report on the controversial Invocation Policy. Coppola with the committee recommended a pre-approved prayer to be lead by a member of council at the start of each council meeting. Township Solicitor Michael Fitzgerald recommended the committee's suggestions be voted upon through Resolution or Ordinance at the next Council Meeting.  Council agreed with Fitzgerald's recommendation and a vote is set for the next council meeting.


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