After the new Committee members had taken their oaths of office, the first resolutions of the new year were to appoint Tony Porto as Mayor (nominated by Mike Fitzpatrick or Frank Masciocchi—there is some discussion as to which it was—and seconded by Leila Gilmore), and Frank Masciocchi as Deputy Mayor (nominated by Mike Fitzpatrick and seconded by Mick Dickinson).
Appointment of Liaison & Deputy Committee Persons
Public Safety – Liaison – Dickinson
Public Safety – Deputy – Fitzpatrick
Construction/Code Enforcement – Liaison – Masciocchi
Construction/Code Enforcement – Deputy – Gilmore
Administration – Liaison – Porto
Administration – Deputy – Masciocchi
Finance – Liaison – Porto
Finance – Deputy – Fitzpatrick
Public Works – Liaison – Gilmore
Public Works – Deputy – Masciocchi
Economic Development – Liaison – Porto
Economic Development – Deputy – Gilmore
Hainesport Education Foundation – Liaison – Fitzpatrick
Next Mayor Porto appointed Senior Citizens Committee (2) – Liaison – Leila Gilmore and Deputy – Frank Masciocchi.
A raft of annual resolutions followed. One key point to note is that the regular Township Meeting time has been changed to 7 p.m. for all future township meetings.
Other Township Appointments at January Hainesport Reorganization
Appointment of Township Planner – Ragan Design Group
Appointment of Township Solicitor – John Gillespie. (Note: Ted Costa has held this appointment for many years. However, since Tony Porto staged a coup and ousted him as Hainesport Republican Committee Chairman, the relationship reportedly became strained.)
Appointment of Township Bond Counsel – Capehart & Scatchard
Appointment of Township Auditor – Bowman & Co.
Appointment of Township Engineer – Alaimo Engineering
Appointment of Council on Affordable Housing Special Counsel – Capehart & Scatchard
Appoint Risk Management Consultant – T.C. Irons
Appoint Employment Practices Liability Attorney – Hermando Richios (sp?)
Resolution Authorizing the Appointment of Conflict Counsel for 2017 – Capehart & Scatchard
Appoint Members of Joint Land Use Board Class I – Mayor Designate – Tony Porto
Class II – Official of Municipality – Vacancy
Joint Land Use Board Governing Body Class III – Committee Member – Leila Gilmore
Joint Land Use Board Class IV – 4 year term expiring 12/31/2018- Gerry Clauss
Class IV – 4 year term expiring 12/31/2020- H. Krollfeifer
Class IV – Alternate #1, 3, 4 #1 2 year term expiring 12/31/2017 – Irene Baggio
#3 2 year term expiring 12/31/2018 – Vacancy
#4 2 year term expiring 12/31/2018 – Vacancy
Environmental Commission – 3 year term expiring 12/31/2019 – Paula Uhland
Appoint Joint Insurance Fund Commissioner – Alternate Fund Commissioner – Donna Kilburn
Claims Coordinator – Donna Kilburn
Safety Coordinator – Vacancy
Appointment to Recreation Commission 3 year term expiring 12/31/2019 – Paula Tiver, Leila Gilmore
Resolution Appointing a Public Agency Compliance Officer – Amy Cosnoski
Resolution Awarding a Contract for Animal Control to- NJ Animal Control
Resolution Appointing Registrar 3 year term expiring 12/31/2019 – Paula Tiver
Resolution Appointing Deputy Registrar 3 year term expiring 12/31/2019 – Sharon A. Deviney
Leo Selb Resignation Letter
A motion was introduced to include correspondence from Leo Selb. The letter gives two weeks notice such that his last day will be Sunday January 15th. Note: this conflicts with earlier information received that Leo’s last day was to be March 31st. Another source stated to me later that evening that Leo Selb has now taken on the Township Administrator role in a larger New Jersey township, although this is at present unconfirmed. This conflicts with reports that Mike Fitzpatrick has been falsely claiming Leo Selb’s “retirement” plans were the reason for the Clerk/Administrator role split. I will confirm as and when I receive more information.
UPDATE: Leo Selb has accepted a full time job as Municipal Clerk in Washington Township, Gloucester County, a town of 48,000 people. He was offered the job in Washington AFTER the role of Hainesport Municipal Clerk was split from Township Administrator and given to Pemberton Clerk and Vice President of the Burlington County Clerks Association Amy Cosnoski. On behalf of all of the citizens of Hainesport who have benefited from Leo’s cheerful and excellent service, I congratulate him and wish him well.
Public Comment 1
Kitty McNelis — congratulated Gilmore & Masciocchi. Criticized the choice of Tony Porto as Mayor after he posted the sexist Kermit meme on Facebook. She had the poster sized version of the meme with her and showed it, then read it to the audience. A man in the audience laughed loudly and they exchanged words.
Anna Evans — Note: Tony acknowledged my desire to speak by calling me “the lady with the glasses.” I began by pointing out the absurdity of this, then congratulated Gilmore & Masciocchi. I added my voice to the criticism of rewarding Tony Porto’s behavior, both with respect to the meme, but also on election day, by making him Mayor. Some audience members have reported that the man in the audience who laughed at the meme said “asshole” under his breath after I spoke. The man then left loudly. UPDATE: Attorney Deborah Douglas Plaia has kindly provided a guest blog post summarizing the legal argument as to why the Kermit meme was in contravention of the Hainesport Employee Handbook, which should have led to punitive action by the then Mayor against Porto and certainly NOT to his elevation to the next Mayor.
Kathy Parker — confirmed that all township meetings would henceforth be at 7 p.m. and clarified some other issues with the appointments.
Irene Baggio — confirmed her 2 year term and expressed that she would like to see the Committee supported in 2017.
Committee Comment 1
All 5 spoke. The new committeemen thanked voters and their families. Frank Masciocchi complimented Natalie Schneider for getting involved as a younger person. Mike Fitzpatrick said you couldn’t pay him to sit in Tony’s seat (which is strange because he has been paid to be Mayor in a previous term?). Tony Porto thanked the committee and community for placing their trust in him.
Regular Township Meeting Business
After a short adjournment the regular township meeting was reconvened, with a very short agenda. George Myers was confirmed as part-time Fire Official with a salary of $17,500. The 2017 temporary budget was established.
Public Comment/Committee Comment 2
Kitty McNelis — expressed concern that Hainesport was effectively paying Amy Cosnoski $76 per hour for performing the Clerk’s duties in just 4 hours per week. She said she couldn’t understand how the demands of the position could have changed so much that this was possible.
Ginny Cliver — Clarified what was happening with the shoebox recycling. Also expressed surprise at the Clerk’s hours/remuneration.
As Ginny was walking back to her seat, Committeeman Fitzpatrick asked contemptuously what she didn’t understand about salary? Said, “It just blows me away, the ignorance,” followed by “I’ll expect to see that on the blog.”
The other four committee members did not add much to their previous commentary but Mike Fitzpatrick wasn’t done.
He said that we kept talking about moving Hainesport forward but were we really moving forward? He indicated Amy Cosnoski and called her a young lady who had stepped up to help out (which is odd because I thought that she had applied for the Clerk’s job in competition with Leo Selb reapplying for it, and that the Committee selected her over Leo.) Apparently oblivious to the irony, he called the negativity in the town deplorable and stated that he was embarrassed at the way “you people” act. Finally, he looked straight at me and said, “You’re a loser, blog that.”
So I have.