Disclaimer: this blog post contains speculation about the township committee’s motives and intents. Speculation is a legitimate part of political discourse, and is not akin to rumor-mongering, which is the sharing of facts with no evidence that they are true.
As usual, this post will restrict itself to agenda items which I believe are of general interest to the people of Hainesport. Regular township business continued as normal.
The committee held a moment of silence for former Hainesport Mayor and Democrat Party Deputy Chairman, Ray Storck, who passed away earlier this week.
Firstly, the results of the Hainesport Calendar Contest were announced, and many of the children were present with their parents to receive their award certificates from Mayor Dickinson. Prizes ranged from $25 to $50, with the outright winner, Olivia Fields, receiving $100. Her artwork will be printed on a poster circulated to local businesses.
Mayor Dickinson also announced the purchase of a new ambulance, which was available outside for inspection. The EMT crew were present, and received a round of applause for their service.
Resolution 2016-173-12, Appointing CFO & Affordable Housing Finance Officer
Joanna Mustafa was appointed to this part time position, which shall have a combined average of 30 hours a month, for a total of $23, 000 per year and no benefits. This resolution (see right) was formulated in the expected manner. Joanna is currently named as the CFO/Assistant Business Administrator for Ewing Township. It is unclear if she will work both positions simultaneously. Hainesport’s previous CFO, Dawn Emmons, who was full time and received a salary of $39,000 plus health benefits, resigned to spend more time in Florida, where she had a house and accountancy practice. No justification has been given for the downgrading of the CFO job to part time, but it is my opinion that the job should never have been full time to begin with.
Resolution 2016-175-12, Appointment of Municipal Clerk For the Township of Hainesport
This resolution appointing Amy Cosnoski (currently named as Township Clerk for Pemberton Township) was tabled for discussion in executive session. You will note several curious things about the resolution, seen right.
- The font and layout of the resolution are different from the township norms—Arial instead of Times New Roman and the approval box is set up with the committee names in alphabetical order and listed Last, First. It’s as though it was lifted straight from an email received from someone like a lawyer.
- The resolution says nothing about the hours, wages or benefits assigned to the position.
- Cosnoski’s appointment begins today, December 14th, rather than, as would be more logical, January 1st 2017. This means that, as of the December Hainesport Township Meeting, Leo Selb is no longer your Municipal Clerk. (He is still Township Administrator, for now.)
- Cosnoski’s term runs until “her successor is duly appointed and qualified.”
Anna Evans – I drew attention to Ms. Cosnoski’s current appointment in Pemberton and asked if she was resigning or if she would be working both jobs simultaneously. If the latter, I asked how this would possibly be more efficient than Leo Selb working the Clerk’s job alongside his full time position as Administrator. Mayor Dickinson said they would be discussing this in Executive Session.
Ginny Cliver – asked about the hours and wages of the CFO position and clarified that Joanna Mustafa was, indeed, a replacement for Dawn Emmons.
Leila Gilmore – noticed a $30 discrepancy in the price of a truck Hainesport is buying, which was listed twice at $40, 487 and once at $40, 457. The former is correct. She also thanked the township for the children’s Christmas party.
Kitty McNelis – clarified the hours and wages of the new Municipal Clerk.
Pat Macken – drew everyone’s attention to the fact that Ms. Cosnoski’s term is until “her successor is duly appointed and qualified” and asked who this successor might be, as the wording suggested they had someone in mind. She asked why the hours and wages weren’t on the Resolution where we could see them. She asked why everything hadn’t been set up before tonight. She also asked if this was political retaliation for Leo having Tony Porto removed from the township building on Election Day. Mayor Dickinson did not answer.
Executive Session & After
The committee went into executive session around 8.25 p.m. and came out at 9.10 p.m. whereupon with no further discussion Tony Porto moved to approve Resolution 2016-175-12 and Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Dickinson and Clauss voted yes to the motion, and Committeeman Krollfeifer abstained. The public received no additional information about the new Municipal Clerk position.
Hainesport friends, I speculated in August as to the committee’s agenda in getting rid of Bill Boettcher by means of Ordinance 2016-9-6:
I set this out there now. If Leo Selb is put on 90 days notice at any time between now and January 1st 2017, this will constitute hard evidence that this was the Porto-Fitzpatrick-Dickinson plan with Ordinance 2016-9-6 all along. Hainesport should protest this strongly and refuse to re-elect any of the 3 incumbent committee men if they demonstrate such misuse of political power.
I also warned you that neither Leila Gilmore nor Frank Masciocchi would stand up against the incumbents, Dickinson, Porto and Fitzpatrick.
I further opine that the committee does not have Hainesport’s best interests at heart in making these changes to your township administration, but is acting to pursue a grudge against Leo because he is insufficiently partisan toward the Republican committee, and possibly because they have a long term plan to put someone else in the Administrator’s job as a patronage position. The evidence is all there before you.